A woman who started her own nursery after being dissatisfied with the provision for her own child, now has a business employing 50.
Charlotte Bonney is celebrating ten years of founding Bonney Babies which began running Nutkins Nursery in Nutter Road Cleveleys.
Charlotte took over an existing nursery with big ideas for change and after inheriting falling occupancy rates, the team made several changes to the layout of the site to develop a baby unit and give greater freedom and choice for children downstairs plus a roof garden area.
With increased numbers that followed came the need for more staff and the creation of a management team.
Charlotte, who was formerly a teacher at Moor Park but retrained in early years, said: “After five years things were gong really well and then a nursery across the road closed down suddenly so we went for that and opened Squirrel Nutkins.”
The nurseries have forest and beach school status.
“With the 30 hours of childcare provision from the Government which has been fantastic, we found another building, this time in Thornton (Little Nutkins in Church Road) for our third nursery.
“It has been a rollercoaster ride and you need a real passion for what you do.
“When I started out I was with the children all the time, now I have 50 staff so I’m a managing director not a teacher.”
She said the nurseries have a simple ethos of providing a welcoming, fun, safe and secure environment to let children develop their personal, social, emotional and educational skills.
She added: “The staff that started with me are still with me. All the managers are home grown and we have been on this journey together. You have to have the right team, nurture them and look after them.
“It is important to remember that it is a privilege to care for the children, you are after all looking after the most important things in the world – other people’s children.”
Charlotte and her team are holding an open day on Thursday between 8am and 6pm.