Who We Are
Ruth Newton cares passionately about the needs of working parents and their children as a working mum herself. Her two girls are proud founder Young Discoverers, having been members of the Before and After School, and Holiday Clubs since they first started, and her son attends Nursery. Ruth has seen the need for a service that offers so much more than simply somewhere to leave the children, ensuring that they benefit from all the special moments that children enjoy whilst in their home environment. She also feels it is important for everyone to learn something new every day, and build fulfilling relationships with those we spend time with through work or play.
Ruth enjoyed a successful career in banking prior to her role as Nursery Director, for the most time working in the commercial sector as a Branch Manager, and a Relationship Manager for a wide range of businesses, including a nursery or two, and brings with her a wealth of business and management experience. Prior to that she had a career in Retail Management with WHSmith Ltd. Ruth has sound commercial and financial knowledge, and has sought career moves that challenge her skills base and give her opportunity to grow. She has practical parental experience, as well as direct experience with the children in Nursery and Before & After School Club, but mainly manages the business administration side of Young Discoverers. She is qualified in Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety, and Health and Safety. She has also returned to her studies on founding Young Discoverers to complete her NVQ level 4 in childcare.
Nursery Manager Kathy Wainwright has worked in childcare forever!!! or at least since 1980 when she qualified as a Nursery Nurse and began her career. She has worked in a day nursery in Leeds, been a registered childminder whilst her own children were young, and joined Young Discoverers from Escrick Pre School Playgroup, where she was Manager for the setting. She is passionate about her work with children and families, and is committed to providing the highest standard of care for each child joining Young Discoverers. Kathy is well known in Escrick, especially by the children in the village and surrounding area, and is keen to develop her links in the local community, to enable the Young Discoverers team to network in the childcare sector to provide the very best levels of care and education.
Kathy holds National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) and Diploma in Pre School Practice (DPP) qualifications, and her Foundation Degree in Early Years. She currently holds Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) role for the setting as well as Paediatric First Aid and is the designated lead professional responsible for safeguarding.
Deputy Manager Kirsty Hardcastle Bond is a valuable and experienced member of our team and holds her BTEC National Diploma in Childcare at level 3. Kirsty has had significant experience working in nurseries, as a supply team member for nurseries and also as a nanny. Kirsty has worked with our children in Pre School since joining the team in March 2012, and was successful in gaining well deserved promotion to Room Supervisor in 2014. She has developed relationships with local schools and Pre Schools to enhance practice in our environment, and has championed the delivery of French through Camembear for the children in her care. Kirsty works with Kathy as part of the senior management team. Kirsty is also our main Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for the setting.
Baby Room & Two’s Supervisor Rebecca Giles, or Becca as she likes to be known, has come to us from a Nursery in York where she previously held junior management responsibilities. She has a wealth of experience, is qualified to Level 3 in Childcare, and is currently extending her learning by completing the Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies, which will extend her qualifications to level 5. Becca takes overall responsibility for our busy Baby Room (Twinkle Stars) and Two’s Room (Shooting Stars)
Jess Shaw started with Young Discoverers as a level 2 Apprentice, and quickly progressed to a level 3 Apprenticeship. Jess has a natural way with children coming from a big family, and regularly helps out with her nieces and nephews. She is very in tune with the needs of young children, and whilst with us completed the Baby Room Project and then her level 3 Diploma in Leadership & Management. Jess left us for a short while to work in another day nursery and broaden her experience, and we are extremely glad that she has returned to the team to again work with us, as a valued and experienced member of staff. Jess works with out 2 year olds in our Shooting Stars playroom.
Jayde Seymour is a member of our team with a level 3 qualification in childcare which she gained in July 2013. Originally joining us as a Relief Practitioner in 2012 after completing a work placement with us, she joined the team on a permanent basis. Jayde is a caring and hard working member of our team and has a role as a key person Shooting Stars working with our two year olds. Jayde has also returned to her studies, and is completing the Foundation Degree in Early Years, attending College on her day off. Jayde cares for the children in our Shooting Stars room.
Sophie Lonsdale joined us as a level 3 qualified practitioner, and has worked for the Nursery for several years. She is working in Pre School as a key person on a Tuesday. Mondays and Fridays Sophie supports colleagues throughout the setting.
Karina Burmester- Lansdall has joined the team in 2016 as maternity cover in Pre school and commenced studying for her EYE qualification whilst undertaking this role. We are delighted that she has now joined our permanent team, and is extending her experience by working in our Baby Room. Karina has a natural way with babies and is a great asset to the team.
Diane Jennison is a mum of 2 and has had many years of experience working as a TA in a primary school. Diane can be found working throughout the rooms giving cuddles to our little people, although spends most of her time with our two year olds in this very important transitional stage of development.
Amanda Mahaffey has a wealth of experience as a qualified teacher, and has joined the team due to her specific knowledge with children with special needs. Amanda supports one of our Pre School children with additional needs on a one to one basis, and ensures that all of our children in the environment can benefit from inclusive practice.
Rachel Pickering is also a key member of the team in providing support to the Nursery. She has a very hands on approach, and thoroughly enjoys working with children of all ages. She has her food safety certificate and also provides cover for our cooks. Rachel is a mum of 4 children so has oodles of childcare experience, she is a bubbly member of the team and the children all adore her.
Faith Muscroft is currently working towards her level 3 qualification but is based in Twinkle Stars as a key person. Faith is a caring member of our team who adores all our children and works with a real passion.
Emily Burton is our Manager at Cliffe Before & After school Club, but between shifts she undertakes the role of Cook alternatively with another Before & After School Club Team member. She is also qualified at NVQ level 3 in childcare, which she undertook whilst working as a Nursery Practitioner at Young Discoverers. She also provides us with some additional Nursery Practitioner cover during the school holidays, and is a great asset to the team.
Jane Young undertakes the roles of Nursery Practitioner and Nursery Cook whilst at Nursery as well as working as Playworker at the Before and After School Club. She is indeed a very versatile member of the team, and joined us from a retail background. Since joining us she has undertaken both Food Safety and Paediatric First Aid certificates, and qualified at level 3 whilst working for Young Discoverers.
Megan Stephenson joined the team as a Level 3 qualified practitioner. She has been an invaluable member of the team supporting us when members of staff have been on holiday as she can step into any of our roles on the Nursery Practitioner Team. She has previously worked as a Deputy Manager in a Pre School, and is great with children of all ages, including our Before & After School Club children where she has covered there.
Lauren Tanton joined our team in March 2015 as a qualified practitioner holding her level 3 diploma in Children’s Care , Learning and Development. Lauren has worked in a Play centre and crèche so has lots of experience. She is a caring, gentle practitioner who the children love, we are delighted that she is part of our growing team. Lauren has worked with our babies, and is currently a practitioner in our Pre School Room.
Andrew Newton, Before & After School Club Manager, Escrick. Andrew joined Young Discoverers from a non childcare background. Initially working on a voluntary basis during the summer, and then as a Nursery Practitioner at the Nursery. He has worked hard to gain his level 3 Diploma in Childcare, Learning and Development, and spent some time both in the baby room and pre school room once qualified, before taking up a Playworker position at Before and After School Club. Andrew then took on a Relief Deputy Manager role, before becoming Manager in September 2012. Andrew is especially keen on ensuring the children have plenty of opportunity for outdoor play, and thoroughly enjoys working with the Primary school children. Andrew also continues to work at Nursery as Cook, or to cover breaks between Before & After School Club sessions.
Emily Burton, Before & After School Club Manager, Cliffe. Emily has previously worked for Young Discoverers. She joined the Nursery team having already gained her level 2 in childcare, and studied whilst working to gain her level 3 at Young Discoverers. She has experience with all age groups from 3months to 11 years, and left Young Discoverers to pursue a career in the NHS. Emily soon missed working with children however, and was a natural choice when it came to appointing a Manager for our brand new Before & After School Club at Cliffe School. She has been working there since the setting opened in February 2017, and is organising events and activities to keep all the children busy.
Jane Young (Escrick)joined Young Discoverers Before & After School Club from a retail background and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of working with children. She has brought a fantastic sense of humour, and a lot of common sense with her to compliment the skills and experience of the other members of staff. She has completed her Food Safety and Paediatric First Aid qualifications, as well as her level 3 diploma in childcare, and is another great asset to the team. Jane also works at Nursery as both Practitioner and Cook like Andrew between some of her Before & After School Club sessions, so many children moving up from Nursery already know her well.
Lydia Wray is currently studying for her degree in Childhood Studies part time, and as well as working as Playworker for Young Discoverers, she also volunteers with the children at Cliffe School during lesson time, so has true dedication to working with children. She has been with us since the Club at Cliffe opened in February 2017, and is a fabulous asset to the team.
Rachel Cameron has joined our team following being a student with us at Nursery whilst undertaking her level 2 qualification. She is continuing her childcare studies, and also works as a Playworker at our Escrick Before & After School Club. She has lots of energy, and works really well with our Primary School aged children.
Lydia Wray is currently studying for her Early Years Degree with a view to becoming a Teacher. In the interim it is fantastic to have Lydia on the team as one of our Playworkers. She has been with us at Cliffe since we opened, and has the benefit of knowing many children already from her voluntary work in the Reception Class. She is very practical and full of energy and a great asset to the team.