Baby Bear Staff 

Tilly Thorns-Hartley.

Baby Room Leader.

"I'm Tilly and I have been working at Stepping Stones for the last 3 years and have recently achieved my Level 3 qualification and also been promoted to become Baby Room Leader. I love working at Stepping Stones because it is amazing to watch how the woodlands enhances the children's imaginative play".

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Kharinna Brooks.

Early Years Practitioner.

I'm Kharinna and I have been dancing and working with children for over 7 years. I am currently doing my Level 3 qualification in Early Years and I love that I can share my passion for dance with the children and teach them how to express themselves through movement and music".

Little Bear Staff 


Sarah Duester.

Little Bear Room Leader.

"I have been at Stepping Stones since 2002 and worked predominantly in Little Bear room for 19 years. I hold an NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Early Years Care and Education and also currently hold Paediatric First Aid, Safeguarding, Prevent Duty and FGM certificates. I enjoy helping the children to reach their developmental milestones as well as encouraging them to be happy, confident and independent". 

Esther Watts. 

Early Years Practitioner. 

"I joined Stepping Stones nursery in March 2020 and have a BTEC National Certificate in Childhood Studies (Nursery Nursing). I have over 30 years experience working with children and their families. I believe that every child matters and deserves the best educational journey that can have".  

Marnie Nixon.

Early Years Practitioner.

Pooh Bear Staff 

Hollie Cyphus

Pooh Bear Room Leader.​

"Hello, I'm Hollie! I am a qualified Level 3 Early Years Practitioner and working towards my Level 6 at Oxford Brookes University. I have been at Stepping Stones since September 2017, where I worked up to become Pooh Bear Room Leader. Being a Room Leader has allowed me to create fun and messy craft and sensory activities to encourage the children to express themselves through a range of media".

Paddington Bear Staff 

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Emily Woodward.

Nursery Manager and Paddington Room Leader.

"I have been part of the Stepping Stones family since January 2020 and have loved every single minute of it! I currently hold a BA Honours Degree in Early Childhood Studies (Level 6) and have recently undertaken specialist training in Leadership and Management. I have worked with children from the age of 17 and believe that I was always meant to do this. Everyday I enjoy watching the emotions on children's faces when introducing them to new and exciting activities and helping them to achieve their own personal goals. My favourite things to do with the children are scientific experiments, baking and creating adventurous role play scenarios in the woodlands, using our natural world to support our children's imaginations".

Supporting staff

Emilia Wilkins

Early Years Practitioner.

"I'm Emilia and I'm a nursery assistant here at Stepping Stones and currently working towards my Level 3 qualification. I adore working here for numerous reasons such as the beautiful woodlands, the delicious food served by Silvia and the high staff morale we have from our amazing team! But most importantly, I adore watching the children learn and grow into little people."

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Sarah Kitching.

Early Years Practitioner.

"I have worked with children and in Early Years Settings for over 17 years and been at Stepping Stones Nursery for the last 7 years. I have a Level 3 diploma in Childcare and Early Years. I love to see the children learning and exploring the wonders of the natural world and believe that all children are special and individual and deserve the best possible start in life".

 Kitchen Staff 

Silvia De Martini


"I joined Stepping Stones in April 2014 and hold a Level 2 certificate in Food Hygiene training. Before becoming the nursery chef, I started working in the Baby Room and was an early years practitioner for 3 years. I love that I can share my food with the children and can happily say that everyone can now speak some Italian."

Ella Wilsdon

Early Years Apprentice.​

“Hi, I’m Ella and I joined Stepping Stones in October 2020 for my work experience placement, but I have now decided to start an apprenticeship here to complete my Level 3 qualification. I look forward to coming to the nursery each week and cannot wait to complete my Level 3".