Nursery World Awards 15: Individuals - Nursery Operations/Regional Manager of the Year

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Winner - Charlotte Eavis Wix, Toad Hall Nursery Group

Charlotte Eavis Wix is regional operations manager for a group of seven of Toad Hall’s nurseries, but also supports all 15 as a key member of the senior management team. She works with teams to develop their nursery in all areas – financial, people, health and safety, and quality.

Charlotte started at the company in 2006, completing her degree and training as an
Ofsted inspector, while managing nurseries and progressing to her current role.
Since becoming regional operations manager in August 2013, Charlotte has overseen the development of two new nurseries and helped with the management of two extremely significant nursery extensions.

Both new nurseries reached breakeven after 12 months, exceeding expectations and budget.

Charlotte has led on the introduction of and training for new nursery management software, making sure that all nurseries were confident before going live.

Her passion for nutrition has enabled her to lead a huge piece of work for the group’s Soil Association silver accreditation, and she liaises very closely with food suppliers and chefs, also arranging training days for the nurseries. She has worked with a steering group of practitioners to design the Cook and Grow programme, to encourage staff to show children how to grow food and learn about where it comes from. This year, she has masterminded the Toad Hall allotment challenge.

Charlotte always has the needs of children at the heart of what she does, and her experience as a very successful nursery manager, building excellent relationships with staff and parents, ensures that she commands respect.

She has made a significant difference to the group’s provision for under-twos, writing and training staff on ‘Stork to Walk’, which focuses on attachment theory and the role of the key person. All new staff now undertake this programme.

When Charlotte took on running this region, the occupancy levels were typically 60-65 per cent, but now all nurseries are moving to 80 per cent, as she keeps managers focused on bringing in new families and ensuring they shout about the amazing things they do.
As one of her managers says, ‘I couldn’t ask for a better regional manager.’

Highly commended

Kate Reed,
Operations director, First Steps Children’s Nursery Group
Kate Reed has risen through the ranks of First Steps from teenage nursery nurse to operations director, and is now responsible for 100 staff and 350 children at the group’s four nurseries. She has worked up to a level 7 management qualification. Kate is a cheerleader for home-grown talent, has championed the introduction of in-house training, has overseen the opening of the group’s fourth nursery and led on the transformation of the gardens at the biggest setting. She has raised the profile of First Steps in Birmingham, leading a ‘Getting to Good’ workshop with Ofsted and the early years development team.


John Warren, Fennies Nurseries

Open to senior employees of nursery groups working across some or all of the company’s settings

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