I have worked in the Early Years sector for the past fifteen years.
In my time in the industry, I have managed day nurseries – including opening a new startup on day one and bringing it through to maturity – with a varied mix of parents and children with diverse needs.
Furthermore, I have also ensured the quality of care and education across a portfolio of 15 nurseries as a Quality Manager for a nationwide chain – before creating Hopscotch and providing both consultancy services to providers but also working extensively as a freelance inspector for Early Years regulators. I am also an Early Years Professional accreditation auditer.
Like you, I understand the need to provide high quality care and education for children in Early Years and am passionate about working with teams to promote best practice. With Hopscotch in the last year alone I have worked with over a dozen staff teams who have gained Outstanding judgements at their recent Ofsted inspections – and particularly enjoy building long-term relationships with providers to not only achieve the judgement they want but also to continue to support them to progress over the months and years that follow.
My philosophy is to be straightforward and honest with settings I work with, to quickly identify areas where we can make maximum impact and to work immediately to make swift progress. Because of my experience as a practitioner and operator of a setting I appreciate and understand the challenges you face both from the curriculum and regulations and the need to inspire and involve your staff teams to strive to maximise their potential. I’m approachable and open to everybody in a setting – from the owner to the newest trainee, and understand that everybody has a huge role to play if your setting is going to achieve the best grading and brightest future!
I have a BA(Hons) in Early Childhood Studies from Leeds University and also have Early Years Professional Status – the culmination of a decade of constant study in Early Years education.
I live in North Yorkshire with my husband and two children – and my nieces and nephews are keeping me on my toes as they go through the Early Years themselves!
We are an established UK and international consultancy with 11 consultants – experienced Early Years inspectors, operators of Outstanding settings and inspirational teachers.
We support settings with all aspects of Early Years practice, training, leadership and management etc. as well as conducting quality improvement inspections. Hopscotch is your one-stop shop for everything Early Years!
- Quality Improvement Inspections,
- Pre- and Post-Ofsted Support,
- Tailored Consultancy,
- Bespoke Training,
- Mystery Shopper,
- Startup consultancy,
- Policies & Procedures,
- Nursery Furniture & Equipment
We have been working with Hopscotch Consultancy since April 2012. We have found their services to be exceptional and the focus and attention to detail second to none. During this period we have had 23 Ofsted inspections the first being in September 2012 and all our gradings have been Outstanding. Laura has a clear focus on identifying areas that need to be improved and enables each nursery to be clear on the actions that are needed to be implemented. Laura has also supported with staff development and training and the reviewing of processes within our organisation. We have found her services to really help us to identify how we can move forward and ensure we are always up-to-date with any changes within inspections.
Clare Roberts, CEO, Kids Planet
I just wanted to take the time to say a huge thank you for all the support you have given both Lara and myself and of course all the staff at Crystal Early Years over the past year. What a year it has been! i know you have seen us through some of our darkest days so its very important for me to recognise how much you have contributed to our ‘finest day’! At some points the thought of being able to achieve and outstanding seemed impossible. I can’t thank you enough for your patience, your inspiration and your sense of humour through all our trials and tribulations over the past year it has been such a pleasure to get to know you and to work with you. I look forward to more adventures in the future!!!!
Lorraine Duffy, Director, Crystal Childcare