Meet The Team


Suzanne Banks - Nursery Manager.

Level 3 NNEB.

Level 5 Foundation Degree in Early Years Childcare and Education.

Safe guarding lead.


I have worked at Apple Tree Nursery since 2006 and lead a team of 14 staff. I have worked in child care in various roles for 38 years, I have 3 grown up children and  5 grandchildren.


I believe that every child is an individual and therefore unique, by offering a child varied learning experiences and planning for the individual we are able to provide the highest quality care and education for the children that come to our setting.

Debra Young - Deputy Manager.

I joined Apple Tree Nursery in 1999  as the nursery cook on bank staff.  Through hard work and dedication plus a natural affinity for child care, I have managed to make my way up to Deputy Manager.


I hold a NVQ Level 3 in Childcare and Education and have experienced working with all age groups. 

I am one of the Nursery's Special Education Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCO) and work closely with the children who need additional attention.

I am also the Behaviour Coordinator.

Senior Staff

Senior staff  have the responsibility of acting as coordinators in designated areas:


Safeguarding Children Dedicated Person:

Our setting will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of the child and to give them the best start in life. Our Safeguarding Dedicated Person will ensure that the commitments laid out in our safeguarding policies are upheld and implemented responsibly.

All staff and students are checked and approved by the Criminal Records Bureau.


Special Educational Needs and Disability Coordinator (SENDCO):

We believe in providing an environment in which all children, including those with special educational needs, are supported to reach their full potential. The nursery SENCO is responsible for ensuring that our provision is fully inclusive for all children with special educational needs.

She works closely with children and families and is supported by other professional agencies should the need arise.


Equality Named Coordinator (ENCO):

As a nursery we aim to ensure that our service is fully inclusive when meeting the needs of all children and their families. We recognise that children and their families come from diverse backgrounds and therefore should be supported accordingly and with respect. We will strive to see each child as a unique individual.


Our ENCO will ensure that we offer a balanced selection of toys and books, which depict non sexist and non racist attitudes, and show awareness of both nuclear and single parent families. She/he will also discourage prejudicial or violent feelings within the nursery, encouraging a culture of mutual respect and understanding.


Behaviour Coordinator:

At Apple Tree we want children to have fun and learn in a calm and friendly atmosphere. We therefore encourage respect between all members of our nursery community. Staff attend regular training on behaviour management. We deal with issues in a calm and sensitive manner and never use physical punishment. Any cases of unacceptable behaiour will always be dealt with in partnership with the child's parents/carers.


The health and safety of the children in our nursery is of paramount importance to us. Our Health and Safety Coordinator carries out regular risk assessments, as do all the staff, and we have strict policies and procedures in place. We strive to ensure that all children are kept safe and secure when in our care.


Rachel Thompson - Senior Nursery Educator

I have worked at apple Tree since 2006. I have had experience working with all age groups but currently work in the Apple Blossoms room 5 days a week during term time. I am the nursery coordinator for the 3 -5 and lead a team of 4 staff. I am also one of the nursery's safeguarding coordinators and work alongside Suzanne and Debra in this area. I have twins who also attended the nursery and now attend the After School club attached to the nursery.

Hayley Adams - Senior Nursery Educator.

I have worked at Apple Tree since 2013. At present I am the Under 3's co-ordinator leading a team of 4 staff and room leader in the Apple Seeds room (2-3 yrs), although I also have experience working with different ages within the setting. I am also one of the nursery's ENCOs. As a practitioner I am fully dedicated to providing quality care and education for all of the children in my care.

Clare Hales - Senior Nursery Educator

I joined the Apple Tree team in August 2016. I currently work full time within the  Pre School room (3-5 years). I have always wanted to work in childcare and having successful gained my level 3 qualification I am now able to fulfil my ambition. I am also one of the nursery's ENCO's.

Saskia McCulloch - Senior Nursery Educator

I joined the Apple tree team in July 2019 and I work full time in the Apple Pips room looking after the youngest members of the Apple Tree family. I am also one of the nursery's ENCO's.

Full Time staff


Tayla Sutherland - Level 3 Nursery Educator

I joined the Apple Tree team in July 2019 having completed my Level 2 qualification at Chelmsford College. I started my Level 3 apprenticeship at Apple Tree and gained my Level 3 qualification in November 2020. I currently work full time in the Pre School room.

Freya Cox  - Level 3 Nursery Educator

I started at Apple Tree as a student and  was given the chance to complete my Level 3 qualification whilst working at the nursery. I now work full time within the Apple Blossoms room and have completed my SENDCO training so that I can support Debra within this area.

Katie Twin - Level 3 Nursery Educator

I also started at Apple Tree as a student and  was given the chance to complete my Level 3 qualification whilst working at the nursery. I now work full time within the Apple Seeds room.

Eleanor Wall - Level 3 Nursery Educator

I started at Apple Tree at the beginning of April 2021 and I work full time in the Apple Seeds room. I have been given the opportunity to begin my Level 3 training whilst working and learning from the other qualified staff within the setting.

Megan Kinsella-Illot Ward - Nursery Educator

I started at Apple Tree in January. I am looking forward to undertaking a Level 2 apprenticeship whilst training/working full time at the nursery. At present I work within the Apple Blossom room.

Part time & support staff

Amanda Baker - Level 3 Nursery Educator

Having worked at Apple Tree before leaving to raise my three children, I was pleased to be offered the chance to return in January 2017 after 10 years. I currently work as lunch time cover mainly within the Blossoms and Pre School room during term time.

Leeanne Winning - Level 2 Nursery Educator

I started at the nursery in June 2019 and currently work within the Apple Pips room. I recently gain my Level 2 qualification and am now working towards gaining my Level 3.


Dawn Watts - Nursery cook

I have worked at the nursery for 10 years as the cook. I also enjoy doing lunch cover and getting involved in the activities with the children when my other duties allow.

Gillian Pratt - Lunch assistant/After school club leader

I started working at Apple Tree 20 years ago as lunch time assistant/cook. I was given the chance to work with the children and now I cover staff lunches in the rooms and lead the After school club. I enjoy being involved in all the activities that the children do. I have a grown up son.