See you there! Jamila McDonald, manager, Norfolk House Nursery
How long have you worked as a nursery manager?
I started working at Norfolk House Nursery in 2011 as a nursery nurse, and have progressed my career to room leader, then deputy manager and now I have been nursery manager coming up two years. I always knew I wanted to work with children in a nursery - I didn’t have a plan of becoming a manager but when the opportunity arose I was ready for it! My setting looks after up to 63 children from three months up to four years.
Why did you decide to book a ticket?
I am hoping to see what other managers are doing and get ideas. The best things about being a manager are being able to make changes to the nursery, seeing the children develop and supporting staff. I also love building partnerships with parents.
Which sessions do you plan to attend?
I want to go to all the sessions, but I’m particularly interested in the session on staff wellbeing in the CPD theatre taking place at 10am and again at midday. I am looking forward to that one – we do a lot around staff wellbeing here, but I am hoping to see what other settings are doing.
For example, we have staff competitions, team members have their birthday off work, and parents can send positive reviews or “gems” to staff members – when they have a certain number of gems, they get £30 spent on them. Since Covid, the staffing crisis has been a nightmare for everyone. We are getting there now, but the more we support staff wellbeing the better the retention of staff.
I know there is also a whole wellbeing strand and I am most interested in the session on sleep - that is definitely an issue for me. I love my job because no day is the same, but it is very full on and that can impact sleep.
Will you be kicking back and watching any of the entertainment on offer?
I will be going to everything! I am coming along with a manager from another setting, and she is keen to go around the whole event.