Our Teams

Our Teams

Staff Development and Training

Each setting highly values its staff and we strongly promote the continuous professional development of all practitioners. It is in the interests of the nursery, the children, the families and the individual, that each staff member is given the opportunity to develop their skills to their maximum and to broaden their knowledge and skills in caring for children.

Personal and professional development is essential for maintaining the delivery of high-quality care and learning for children in their early years. It underpins all aspects of positive interactions and activities planned for children. Therefore, Cliffe House Day Nurseries ensure that the majority of staff are qualified to Level 3 or above in childcare and education. In addition, each member of staff has individual training records and training plans to enhance their skills and expertise.

To facilitate the development of staff we:

Coach, lead and offer encouragement and support to achieve a high level of morale and motivation.

Provide opportunities for delegation based on skills and expertise to offer recognition and stimulate staff.

Encourage staff to contribute ideas for change within the nursery and hold regular staff meetings and team meetings to develop these ideas. Regular meetings are also held to discuss strategy, policy and activity planning.

Provide regular in-house training relevant to the needs of the nursery.

Carry out regular reviews with all staff. Staff appraisals are carried out every year where objectives and action plans for the staff are set out, whilst also sourcing training according to their individual needs.

Develop a training plan addressing both qualifications and continuous professional development needs of the nursery and individual staff.

Training needs analyses for all individual staff, the team as a whole and for the nursery are carried out regularly.

Promote a positive learning culture within the nursery.

Provide inductions to welcome all new staff and assign a ‘work-buddy’ to coach and support new staff.



Meet the team at Baildon

Sarah Johnston – Nursery Manager

Employed since 2008, Sarah has a Foundation Degree in Early Years and has worked in all of our settings, most recently as ‘Manager’ at Horsforth covering maternity leave.  She enjoys all age groups, especially exploring both the indoor and outdoor environments and messy play !!!

Melanie Cooper – Deputy Manager

With 18 years’ experience in childcare Mel worked as Nursery Manager at our Burley setting for many years and left for a short period to have her son, Mel has returned to the Cliffe House family when we opened Baildon in 2014.

Meet the team at Bramhope

Vida Tohidloo – Nursery Manager

Vida has worked at our Bramhope setting since it opened five years ago, she has undertaken all kinds of Early Years Training including Managerial courses, which have helped with management of the setting as well as Ofsted contribution and evaluation.  She loves organising and promoting children’s learning at any stage and values their multicultural backgrounds.

Katie Bassett – Deputy Manager

Katie has worked at our Bramhope setting for over five years and was promoted to Deputy in 2017. She is level 6 qualified, having a degree in Early Years and Education. Katie is passionate about providing high quality care and learning to ensure all children are prepared for the transition to school.

Meet the team at Burley in Wharfedale

Hazel Earley – Acting Nursery Manager

Being a soldier’s wife, Hazel has spent her 7 years of childcare experience in a variety of settings both nationally and overseas. She enjoys a busy family life and is currently studying towards a level 4 qualification in leadership and management. Hazel covered maternity leave for the Nursery Manager at our Trinity setting before doing the same at Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Sarah Ridley – Acting Deputy Manager

Sarah started working for Cliffe House in 2007 as an apprentice, she completed her level 3 with us and has a lot of experience working with all age groups. Sarah also has a level 3 in Customer service and is currently studying for her level 3 management qualification.


Lucy Mawer – Nursery Manager

Employed since 2002, Lucy has Level 4 qualifications in Childcare and Level 5 in Leadership & Management.  She oversees the organisation and deployment of staff, including holiday planning and training records as well as all other management tasks. Currently on maternity leave.

Emma Wardle – Deputy Manager

Emma has been with Cliffe House since 2015. She has a Level 4 qualification in Childcare and Teaching and over 20 years experience in the childcare industry. Emma supports Lucy in the day to day running of the nursery and is currently the Head of Blue Room. Currently on maternity leave.

Meet the team at Horsforth – Featherbank

Kim Hindley – Nursery Manager

Kim has worked for Cliffe House since March 2015, initially as Deputy Manager and was promoted to Manager in May 2016. Kim has a wealth of knowledge and has a BA Honours in Young Children’s Learning and development along with many years of experience in the childcare sector.

Samantha Hargreaves – Deputy Manager

Samantha has worked for Cliffe House since August 2017 and is the Deputy Manager working alongside Kim as well as the Head of Yellow Room. Samantha has a level 3 qualification in childcare and has a wealth of knowledge gained from the time she has worked in childcare settings.

Suzanne Wigham – Out of school club

Suzanne was a valued deputy at our  Horsforth Trinity setting sometime ago , so we are delighted to welcome Suzanne back to the Cliffe House family. Along with years of experience Suzanne holds an Early Years degree.

Meet the team at Horsforth – Trinity

Terri Mawson – Nursery Manager

Terri has completed qualifications in Childcare & Early Education, Leadership & Management as well as Recruitment and particularly enjoys building relationships with her families to support them as their bundles of joy begin life at Nursery.  Her office door is always open! 

Melissa Hill – Deputy Manager


Meet the team at Shipley

Natalie Morgan – Nursery Manager

Natalie has worked for Cliffe House since 2014 and has a Foundation Degree in Early Years. Having previously been Deputy Manager at our ‘Outstanding’ Bramhope setting, Natalie  transferred to our Shipley setting when it opened in 2017.

Bethan Searcey – Deputy Manager


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