Early Years Phase Council

A Voice for the Early Years Sector in Surrey - Representing your views.

We are delighted to introduce you to the Early Years Phase Council which was formally launched on 5 July 2018. This Council is comprised of an elected membership of representatives designed to capture the views across the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors of Early Years providers. The formation of the Early Years Phase Council (EYPC) mirrors that of the Primary, Secondary and Special Phase Councils and replaced the Early Years Reference Group. This means that there is equal status with statutory school age education which is a really positive development.

The EYPC gives all stakeholders the opportunity, in partnership with our Surrey County Council (SCC) colleagues, to support children and families on their journey of learning. It has a very broad representation from across the sector with members from maintained nursery schools, childminders, private voluntary and independent providers including pack away sessional settings and full day care settings. This offers us an opportunity to really understand the perspectives of the whole sector and ensure that we have a voice that represents all children under 5 when Surrey County Council seeks information and opinions in order to inform future planning and policy for Early Years.

The EYPC will work as a conduit to support wider consultation on a broad variety of issues and strategies including service delivery, funding and targeted priorities including SEND and social mobility. We will continue to have representation on Schools Forum, which is instrumental in deciding future funding policy. We will also have opportunity to meet with the SCC Director of Education at regular intervals, along with the Chairs of the other Phase Councils, to influence and input into future strategies.

Your EYPC representatives introduce themselves below and provide their contact details. This webpage will be updated regularly and we hope to send out newsletters and bulletins whenever we are participating in Local Authority consultations. We are all active professionals and you will see us at network meetings so please do approach us and introduce yourselves. If you would like to contact the Phase Council directly, then please email them: surreyeyphasecouncil@gmail.com

Sue Lewis, Chair

Members profiles

Donna Harwood-Duffy - Chair

Dorking and Chertsey Nursery Schools and Mole Valley Family Centre

I have worked in primary and nursery settings in Surrey and overseas as a qualified teacher for over twenty years, spending most of my career working in the early years. I have been the Headteacher at Dorking Nursery School since September 2013, one of Surrey's four maintained Nursery Schools. Since September 2018, I became the Executive Headteacher across both Dorking and Chertsey Nursery School. I also lead the Family Centre in Mole Valley, having led the Children's Centre in Dorking prior to the creation of Family Centre's in Surrey. I am a National Leader of Education, recognised by the DfE as providing system leadership to the sector, Dorking Nursery School is a National Support School.

Sarah Porter

The Stables, Lingfield

I am the owner of The Stables Nursery which is a day nursery catering for children from birth to five years. I have owned the nursery since 2016, but prior to that I worked as a qualified teacher for fourteen years across three Surrey schools. I have also been lucky enough to travel to the USA, Singapore and Denmark in order to learn about their approaches to Early Years Education. After the birth of my fourth child, I became a childminder and gained an Outstanding Ofsted Inspection. My childminding provision subsequently grew which allowed us to buy a local nursery which I have expanded significantly since taking it over and we are in the process of incorporating a Forest School. I am passionate about Early Years Provision and I feel very proud to be an elected member of the Surrey Early Years Phase Council.

Emma Champion

Caterham Prep School

I am the Head of Pre-Prep at Caterham Prep School. We are an Independent School which educates children from 3 to 18 years old. Children can join our Pre-School class (3 and 4 years old) or our Reception classes (4-5 years old). We are a term time only setting who offer mornings or full days in our Pre-School class before all children attend full-time from Reception. I have worked in education for 18 years, across six schools and have been a Headteacher at three very different schools, both in the State and Independent sector. Early Years is my passion and I have always embraced opportunities to share my knowledge and experience. I have completed further study, trained as an EYFS inspector, spoken at national conferences and delivered staff training to many different types of settings.

Nicola Ruffle

Childminder, The Little Sweethearts Montessori

I started my childminding journey when my daughter was small, alongside being a foster carer to teenage placements. This led me to do further training, and after achieving my Diploma in Social Work, I spent six years as a Children and Families social worker. In 2007 I returned to childminding and set up the Little Sweethearts to provide childminding as a high quality, home based childcare option. I hold an NNEB certificate and an International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy. My love of the natural world and the benefits that this can bring to children led me to become a Level 3 Forest School Leader and we incorporate the Forest School approach into our services.

I was part of Surrey's Childminding Network and achieved the Quality Improvement Award and The Little Sweethearts Montessori has just has gained accreditation under the Montessori Evaluation and Accreditation Board (MEAB) scheme.

Leela Sivaloganathan- Jones

Little Angels Preschool and Nursery

I am own and manage two term time Ofsted Outstanding pack-away nurseries in the Cobham area - Little Angels. After graduating from university with an IT degree and working in the financial services industry for many years, I was drawn to a more meaningful career, where I felt I could make a real difference.

I retrained in Early Years, first volunteering, gaining my level 3 qualification, followed by my EYPS qualification and have now been working in this long undervalued sector for 10 years, trained as DSL and SENCO. I feel passionate about this sector and my philosophy is simple, to embed core values in the Early Years. I am a champion for inclusivity as evidenced by the wide ethnic and special educational need mix of the children in our settings.

A previous member of the Early Years Reference Group in Surrey, I have always been vocal about the issues faced by small providers and have never been afraid to challenge proposals to ensure that providers, parents and children from all sectors of our society are fairly supported. With the significant changes in government funding of early years places (such as the 30 hours model), there has never been a more important time to fully engage with Surrey to represent the views / needs of providers, parents and children with my experience and ethos I hope to make a real difference on the Early Years Phase council and more importantly I am prepared to offer my time!

Melissa Waite

Fetcham Village Pre School

I have been working in early education for over ten years; I have a degree in early childhood and have been a Pre-school manager for 8 years; my previous and current settings are both rated Outstanding by Ofsted in every area. I am passionate about empowering 'Early Years teaching'. Early yeas is a profession with a massive female majority, I feel it's overlooked, undervalued and underfunded. Early years is extremely important, alongside parents we create the foundations for all children's education. When children get a positive start, a pathway is created for future academic success and life achievement. This is essential, the experiences children have between 0-5 will shape their adult life and behaviours.

Vicki Herrington

Childminder

I have been a childminder for 12 years, starting after having my second child and I've never looked back. I'm based in Epsom Downs, having lived in Surrey all my life. In my time as a childminder, I have always been keen to learn more, obtaining a Level 4 in Childcare, taken part in the Early Years Quality Improvement Award and also been a Network Accredited Childminder. Over the past 12 years childcare has become my passion, and my aim as a childminder has always been to provide to a warm, welcoming and stimulating environment, building positive and nurturing relationships to ensure each child's individual needs are met so they can reach their full potential.

Penny Macland

The Wharf Nursery School

I am very proud to have been the SENCo and a senior leader at The Wharf Nursery School, for the last eight years, having previously taught across the primary age phase in both the state and independent sector. The Wharf Nursery School is a well-respected, state maintained nursery school which has been at the heart of the community of Godalming since it was founded in 1947.

I am a passionate advocate for inclusive, high quality early years education and value working with parents/carers, health teams and other agencies to ensure the best possible outcomes for all our children.

Danielle Lilley

Fennies - Epsom

I have been working in the early years sector for 11 years and stumbled upon working within nurseries by pure accident. I began my time within nurseries as a bank member of staff and worked my way up through each role within the nursery settings, completing my Level 3 apprenticeship. I did take a step back from working in a nursery and undertook a health and safety role, auditing different early years settings which I gained valuable experiences. I then stepped back into the nursery environment after 2 years and began my journey into management.

I have worked at my current setting Fennies for 4 years now and had the most amazing experiences and life lessons within the sector. I have a real passion for ensuring children have the best start to their early life and that the practitioners within the settings have the opportunities to access training to promote their professional development.

Ilana Hill

Childminder

I have been a Childminder since January 2001 and absolutely love my job. Working in childcare is not a job – it's a passion! Children are our future and together with their carers, childcare providers have a vital role in children's development and in helping to form each child into a confident, fully functioning member of our society. I offer a home from home environment where children are loved, kept safe, provided with professional and appropriate developmental care and each one is treated as an individual with a voice. Children are given lots of opportunities and time to become independent, socially confident individuals. I believe the best toy ever given to a child is an adult's time. Childcare is an under appreciated and under valued profession in England and I would love to be involved in changing this and helping people to appreciate the amazing work that our childcare professionals love to do every day.

Hannah Hayden

Christchurch Preschool Playgroup

I have worked in both early years and primary settings as a teacher after gaining QTS in 2014. Whilst working around the country I developed a passion for SEND and early years education. I am SENCO and deputy manager at Christchurch Preschool in Central Guildford. We are a term time pack-away sessional pre-school. I have started working again in May 2021 after having my four daughters.

I am a keen believer in inclusive, high quality, early years education, working with parents/carers, and all other agencies to ensure the best possible outcomes for all children.

Stacey Lawrence

YMCA Sovereign PreSchool

I am Stacey Lawrence, Preschool Manager of YMCA Sovereign Preschool in Reigate. We are a 35 place setting with 54 families on roll.

I am qualified, having worked in the sector for 20 years and I am incredibly proud to be able to provide a quality and inclusive provision where the children can achieve the best possible outcomes in their early years. I lead a team of seven staff, including two Early Years level 3 apprentices and I am passionate about having an impact on the development of the next cohort of Early Years professionals joining the sector. I am looking forward to offering my experience and knowledge and working collaboratively with other Early Years professionals on the Early Years Phase Council to have a positive impact on the strategic development on the Early Years sector as a whole.

Contact members

You can contact any of the members to give them your comments and they will feed it back to the group.

Name

Setting

Type

Area

Sector

Email

Emma Champion

Caterham Pre-School

Independent

SE

Caterham

Independent

Emma.champion@caterhamschool.co.uk

Donna Harwood Duffy

Dorking Nursery School

Maintained Nursery School

SE

Dorking

Maintained

head@dorking.surrey.sch.uk

Vicki Herrington

Childminder

Childminder

SE

Tadworth

Private

herringtonvicki@yahoo.co.uk

Danielle Lilley

Fennies

Daycare

NE

Epsom

Private

hook.road.epsom@fennies.com

Penny Macland

The Wharf Nursery School

Maintained Nursery School

SW - Godalming

Maintained

senco@wharf.surrey.sch.uk

Sarah Porter

The Stables

Daycare

SE

Felcourt

Private

thestablesnursery@gmail.com

Nicola Ruffle

Childminder

Childminder

NW

Camberley

Private

nicolaruffle@hotmail.com

Leela Sivaloganathan- Jones

Little Angels Pre-School

Pre School

NE

Cobham/Stoke

Private

littleangelscobham@gmail.com

Melissa Waite

Fetcham Village Pre-School

Pre School

SE

Fetcham

Voluntary/

maintained

preschool@fetcham.surrey.sch.uk

Hannah HaydenChrist Church Pre-school PlaygroupSessional Pack awaySW Privatechristchurchpreschoolenquiries@gmail.com
Illana HillIllana Hill ChildcareChildminderNWPrivateilanacaron1967@gmail.com
Stacey LawrenceYMCA Sovereign Pre-schoolPre-schoolSEPrivatestacey.lawrence@ymcaeastsurrey.org.uk