HOW DID YOU COME TO WIN THE EARLY YEARS WALES PRACTITIONER OF THE YEAR AWARD?
A colleague suggested nominating the setting and I agreed. Then, when she next came in, she told me she had actually nominated me instead! Parents and other staff members put more nominations in for me, and I got a letter to say I’d been shortlisted in the top two. I was invited to a ceremony in Ruthin Castle, which happened to be in our town, so it was very convenient. We had a lovely afternoon tea, and people came from all over Wales. They called out the top two, and then they called out the winner, and the rest is a blur if I’m honest.
WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WON?
I was made acting leader of the setting after my colleague broke her foot over the Christmas holidays. I think the award was in recognition of the work I had done in that time. You don’t do this job for the recognition, but it’s nice to know people appreciate the work you’re doing. One nomination said I had ‘hit the ground running’ and kept the setting going. It was just lovely to see such nice comments from parents and staff. I was really chuffed and grateful just for that, so to win was the icing on the cake.
HOW HAS YOUR CHANGE IN ROLE AFFECTED YOU?
Our leader has now handed in her notice, so I have become permanent leader of the setting. I remember back in February someone said to me, ‘You can do this’, and I said, ‘No I can’t!’ It’s amazing how when you are thrown in at the deep end you just get on with it. I had never done the nitty-gritty of the paperwork side before, but I am getting to grips with it. There has really been such a huge change in six months. I used to be happy enough just coming in and doing my job, but now I love doing all the planning and thinking of new activities every week. It has made such a difference to me as a person. It has given me confidence.