I took over the role of senior play leader at Cambusbarron Playgroup in Sept 2017. I’ve been involved in playgroups since my own children were born, some 25 years now. The last 15 or so I’ve been professionally involved but before that I was a member of my own Community playgroup and served on its committee in various roles.
My Early Years career began in 1999 when I was given the opportunity to study part time for the HNC in Childcare and Education. I did this mainly out of interest since, at the time, I had 3 small children. This qualification allowed me to take on the Senior Playleader role in my local playgroup. Since then there has been increased recognition of the importance of Early Years and the qualification requirements for my role have increased. In 2008 I achieved the SVQ4 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development to meet the necessary requirements but subsequently the bar increased and Lead Practitioners such as myself now require to be degree qualified. I am now (just a little) proud to say I have completed my BA (honours) in Childhood Practice, graduating from the University of the Highlands and Islands in 2017.
Alongside the formal university study I have developed a significant interest in outdoor play and the benefits of engaging children in risky play. I have completed Forest Kindergarten training as well as the advanced Fire, Ropes and Tools course. I developed Woodland Play Sessions at my last setting and these only served to increase my passion for the benefits of outdoor play.
I am currently attending an Enhanced course in Makaton for Professionals. I have really enjoyed this learning challenge and already see benefits in being able to use Makaton signs and symbols to communicate more widely with children.
An earlier degree and several pre-children work years in the IT sector allow me to develop and use a platform such as this to share ideas and practice more widely.
Outwith my professional life I am the very proud mum to 4 wonderful sons. I have 2 gorgeous flat coated retriever dogs. I’m very fortunate to have been able to breed on a few occasions and I’m proud to say I delivered both my current girls myself. We added a kitten to our family just before Christmas and he has brought even more energy and fun to our hom.
I’m a keen cook, baker and enjoy crafts such as knitting, patchwork and, on occasion, some even some basket making.