Interview: What's it like running a nursery?

Here at Bretsa, we work with dozens of excellent nurseries across London and the south east, providing them with the staff they need to make a real difference in the lives of children and families. Recently, we caught up with one of our many amazing nursery heads to discuss their work, starting at the beginning – how did they end up in this business?

“I first got involved in nursery work after helping out at my son’s school, taking reading sessions,” she explains. “I found that I had a natural affinity for children and enjoyed helping them to learn. I was working in the travel industry at the time, but I needed a change in career, so I went back to college to study childcare”.

It was the right choice – she’s now the head of a longstanding nursery at the heart of its local community in southwest London. Now approaching its 40th birthday, the nursery is older than many of the parents who visit it. Our nursery head believes this longevity, and the opportunity it gives her team to children develop and grow, is one of the highlights of her career.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of the job is watching children grow and develop into confident young people who are motivated to learn,” she told us. “It is always great to see children leaving our setting, ready to take the next step in their education, knowing that we have had a positive input along the way.”

“It’s also nice to receive positive feedback about our setting from parents,” she adds. “Building relationships with parents, so that they feel confident about leaving their child in our care and knowing that we are working together for the child’s best interests.”

Working with children might be challenging and rewarding, but it is also a lot of fun. “I was on my lunch break one day and was just about to head back into our setting when I met a parent who had just dropped his child off,” she recalls. “The dad was upset and close to tears, as his son cried at being left at nursery. I was reassuring him that his son would be fine and would soon be happily playing.”

“Then, as we were chatting, he told me that his son had made a new friend and every day he would talk about this other child, and what they played together. He asked me if I knew the child and gave me a name – my name! We did laugh together when he realised that his son’s friend was me.”
What if you’re considering becoming a nursery manager? Would she recommend her career to others? “I think you have to have a real passion for working in childcare,” she tells us. “You need to want to make a difference in the lives of children. It can be challenging but very worthwhile. Teamwork and communication are extremely important and make a huge difference to the smooth running of the day.”

“One of the biggest challenges for us is finding good quality staff. We’re lucky to have a strong core team, but it has been difficult recruiting good quality practitioners to fulfil our staffing needs. Bretsa have been really helpful in finding staff that fit our requirements. They’re my first port of call when I need additional staff – always courteous, friendly and professional. Their service is prompt and efficient and keeps me informed every step of the way.”

Bretsa know that finding the right staff can be a huge hurdle for nurseries to overcome. That’s why we’re rolling out a new client login area, giving nursery managers the power to view live availability for all of our staff and pick individuals who they already know and trust. It’s part of our mission to empower nurseries to do what they do best – helping children grow and flourish.

To find out more about how we can support your setting, call us at 020 8858 5958 or send an email to and our consultants will be happy to discuss your circumstances and requirements.

Posted by: Bretsa on September 17th, 2019 @ 4:34 PM


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