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 Escrick Before and After School Club since it first started in 2008, and her son attended Nursery, and more recently has become the inspiration for Zac’s Club. 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 Director for Young Discoverers and Zac’s Club, for the most time working in the commercial banking 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. 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, and insists that all of her staff gain the 12 hour Paediatric First Aid qualification within 3 months of joining the team if they do not already have this key qualification, and renew every 3 years. She returned to her studies on founding Young Discoverers to complete her NVQ level 4 in childcare.
Nursery Manager Kathy- I have worked in childcare forever!!! or at least since 1980 when i qualified as a Nursery Nurse and began my childcare career. I began my career path working in a busy 50 place day nursery in Leeds. as a nursery nurse , deputy and officer in charge for 15 years. When my children came along i became a registered childminder and in 2003 moved to manage the Pre School in Escrick. I joined Young Discoverers in 2009 where i was part of the decorating team as the building was being adapted for use as a nursery. I am passionate about my work with children and work hard to ensure the team at Young Discoverers are the very best they can be. As a mum i have total empathy for every parent who has to leave their most treasured little tot with us, to venture back to work after maternity leave, so i am here to be the shoulder to cry on if you are feeling sad. I am well known in Escrick, especially by the children in the village and surrounding area, so i am and keen to develop links in the local community, you may see me at 3 Hagges Meadow at their many events as the resident storyteller in the woods.When i am not at work i enjoy swimming, walking , time with my daughter who lives away and holidays abroad with my son.
I hold a National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) and Diploma in Pre School Practice (DPP) qualifications, and gained my Foundation Degree in Early Years in 2010. I currently hold Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) role for the setting as well as Paediatric First Aid and i am the designated lead professional responsible for safeguarding.
Deputy Manager Kirsty- I have a Btec National Diploma in childcare at level 3. I have worked in nurseries and as a nanny caring for various ages of children. Being a Pre School supervisor and deputy manager, allows me the opportunity to help our little people grow and develop in so many ways and it is wonderful to watch every child blossom. I have worked in all rooms and still enjoy having lots pf baby cuddles and a chat with our two’s when i can. When i’m not at work i enjoy spending time with family and friends , i also enjoy ballroom dancing . I am the settings Senco supporting children with additional or special needs to reach their full potential.
Megan – Room Supervisor for Twinkle Stars and Shooting Stars- I’m Meg , i have a BA (Hon ) degree in social science , i love to learn, help others to learn and being a positive educator. Outside of work i love to walk my dogs, Flash and Frost. I love playing video games, movies, reading and writing. Working with children for me is amazing, i love watching them learn , develop, have fun and build relationships. I find it very rewarding helping children to settle, learn new things, take pride in themselves and develop a wonderful personality. I love that we have great relationships with parents , being helpful, telling parents how their children are getting on, and allowing parents to contribute to our planning and doing home visits to make sure everyone is comfortable.
Jess 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, although is currently on Maternity Leave.
Zoie is a member of our team with a level 3 qualification in childcare, and has a wealth of experience in both schools and nurseries. Zoie is currently with us to cover Maternity Leave, but has settled in really well, and is an absolute asset to the team. She is able to work across the age groups, and has great relationships with staff and parents and has a very caring manner with the children.
Paula joined the team as a Level 3 qualified member of staff, although she has now completed her level 5, and is currently with us as Maternity Cover. Paula is a fabulous team member who is always smiling, and helps to make all of the team smile too. She is a very competent practitioner, and fully committed to a career in childcare. She enjoys working with all of the age groups and has a good deal of experience in working with both children and families.
Karina Hi my name is Karina and i am a level 3 qualified practitioner, i also hold a Bachelors Degree in Sports, coaching performance and exercise science. After travelling around Australia i realised how much i enjoyed being around children and working with them and this prompted me into studying to work as a nursery practitioner. I love getting messy and creative with the children. In my spare time i love travelling and exploring new places and spending quality time with my family.
Heather – Heather has joined the team as a Nursery Apprentice, and is working towards her Early Years Educator (EYE) qualification. Whilst new to childcare, Heather has a very caring nature, and is enjoying spending time with all of the age groups of children, learning how to record and plan for children’s learning, and is a very valued member of the team.
Sally – Hello i’m Sally and i work in Shooting Stars with our 2 years to 3 year olds.I have a level 3 Btec National Diploma in nursery nursing. I have worked with children for over 20 years as a nanny and also in nurseries. I am very passionate in my work and love setting up different areas of provision for the children to explore.I am a mum to Jessica who is 16 and we love spending time as a family with our two little dogs.
Lauren- Hi i’m Lauren , i’m level 3 qualified in children’s care , learning and development which i studied at college straight after leaving school. I have always been interested in working with children and wanted to be a teacher from a very young age, but after completing some work experience in a nursery, and loved every second of it. I am now a mum myself so i spend a lot of time around children even out of work. I love to socilaise, go on long dog walks and spend time with my family.
Ellie – I’m Ellie, and I joined Young Discoverers as a Nursery Apprentice. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working across the Nursery to gain the skills to complete my Level 3 Early Years Educator Qualification, and am now based in the Bay Room assisting our very smallest children flourish and grow every day.
Faith joined us as an apprentice and went on to sucessfully complete her training and obtained her level 3 qualification. Faith is based in Shooting Stars with our 2 – 3 year olds 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. Faith is currently on maternity after giving birth to her first child.
Sarah has joined us as a Level 3 Nursery Apprentice, and is currently working across the age groups to gain experience with a variety of children to learn more about their individual needs. Already qualified to Level 2 in Childcare, Sarah is looking forward to a career in childcare and extending her skills and experience.
Jane ,Hannah and Sharon, all of these wonderful staff members prepare some delicious and nutritious meals for our children and staff . They have all undertaken their food hygiene training and update it every 3 years. We are proud to continue displaying our 5 rating from environmental health. The cooks cater for a range of dietary needs and work with management to plan the menus. We invite parents to join us at mealtimes to fully appreciate the quality of the food we serve.
Rachel – Hi i’m Rachel , i am level 3 EYE qualified and i am now studying towards my Foundation Degree in Teaching young children’s Learning and Development, as i am wanting to become a teacher in a primary school. My role is to support both nursery and our Zac’s club at Escrick school . I find working with children very rewarding , fun and exciting. Children surprise me and certainly make me laugh and it is wonderful to be part of their development. Outside of nursery i enjoy horse riding and entering my own horse into competitions.
Alice has joined us as a level 2 qualified Nursery Practitioner. She has a lovely nature with the children, and assists all of our Practitioners in the rooms by coming in when we need help most at our busy times, covering breaks and helping the team attend to all of the children’s needs.
Zac’s Club Team
Andrew, Before & After School Club Manager, Zac’s Club 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 covers break periods and staff absence at nursery and is often found doing maintenance work at nursery on a weekend our Mr Fix It !
Hannah, Manager, Zac’s Club, Riccall Hannah has been Manager at the Club since it’s inception in September 2017, and has been instrumental in ensuring that it becomes the success that it already is, with some sessions now operating at capacity. She has a wealth of childcare qualifications and background, also having been part of the opening team at Young Discoverers when it opened in 2009. Hannah has her Early Years Teacher Status, and is highly committed to ensuring that we provide a facility that means children want to be a part of it, rather than just somewhere they go whilst Mum or Dad works.
Rachel – Rachel primarily works at Escrick School as a Playworker, but does provide cover when needed in our other settings. She has been with us since being a student, and is keen to develop her career through playwork in particular. She is currently studying for her Foundation Degree in Teaching at York College, and brings lots of fresh ideas and fun things for the children to do to the setting.
Jane – . I’m Jane , i work at nursery as a practitioner and Cook and as a play-worker at Escrick Zac’s club. I joined Young Discoverers from a retail background. I am a fully qualified florist and used to own my own shop. I like to think i bring a sense of humour to the settings. I love having fun with the children. One of the things i particularly love is having the privilege of seeing our children go from little babies right through to leaving Escrick in year 6 , i always cry a lot at this time each year. When i am not at work i love spending time with my little black Pug, Gladys, she really is my fur baby! I enjoy days out with friends and tea and cakes. Since joining Young Discoverers i have undertaken both Food Safety and Paediatric First Aid certificates, and i am qualified at level 3.
Erika – Erika joined the team in 2017, and has had an interesting career working with children and supporting families. She is currently studying for her Early Years Educator qualification, and has shown great flexibility in working with the children. She works at both Riccall and Escrick Zac’s Clubs each week, but also provides cover at Cliffe when needed, and is also able to deputise for management.
Sharon – Sharon loves working with children, and is a big fan of the great outdoors. She has enjoyed working with children over a range of different settings and facilities that have really made a difference to children’s lives. Sharon always has great discussions with the children, and encourages them to extend their learning from the school day in a fun and exciting way.
Amy Amy joined the team in 2018, and has quickly settled in with the children. She is currently studying for her Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification (EYE), and primarily works at our Escrick Club. She has a natural way with the children, and enjoys getting involved in all of the various activities we do.
Lauren Lauren really enjoys working with the children at Before & After School Club, and has an affinity with this particular age group, which she attributes in part to having a younger brother at Primary School. She is also studying for her Early Years Educator (EYE) level 3 qualification, and hopes to make childcare her full time career.