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 35 years, I have 3 grown up children and  3 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 Coordinator (SENCO) 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 Coordinator (SENCO):

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 Practitioner

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 Practitioner.

I have worked at Apple Tree since 2013. At present I am the Under 3's co-ordinator 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.

Kayleigh Smith - Senior Nursery Practitioner

I hold a Level 3  qualification in childcare and have worked at Apple Tree since September 2015 and feel that I am learning new skills daily. I currently work in the Apple Blossoms room supporting Rachel with the running of the room. I am also one of the nursery's ENCOs.

Full Time staff

Clare Hales - Level 3 Nursery Practitioner

I joined the Apple Tree team in August 2016. I currently work full time within the Apple Blossoms 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 fulfill my ambition.

Saskia McCulloch - Level 3 Nursery Practitioner

I have recently joined the Apple tree team and I work full time in the Apple Pips room looking after the youngest members of the Apple Tree family. 

Ben Smith - Level 3 Nursery Practitioner

I started my apprenticeship at Appletree in July 2016 working within the Apple Blossoms room. I now work full time within the Apple Pips room.

Tayla Sutherland - Level 2 Nursery Practitioner

I joined the Apple Tree team in July having completed my Level 2 qualification at Chelmsford College. I currently work full time in the Apple Blossoms room and look forward to completing my Level 3 qualification.

Freya Cox and Katie Twin - Nursery Practitioners

We both started at Apple Tree as students and have been given the chance to complete our Level 3 qualification whilst working at the nursery. Freya works full time within the Apple Blossoms and Katie works full time in the Apple Seeds room.

Part time & support staff

Amanda Baker - Level 2 Nursery Practitioner

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 five afternoons a week within the Apple Seeds room during term time.

Leeanne Winning

I started at the nursery in June and currently work within the Apple Seeds room. I have a two year old who also attends the nursery.


Dawn Watts - Nursery cook

I have worked at the nursery for 8 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 18 years ago as lunch time assistant/cook. I was given the chance to work with the children and now I cover staff lunches in all 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.