The Mad Hatter's Team
At Mad Hatter’s, our staff are highly qualified. We have two members of staff who have a B.A. Hons in Early Childhood studies and a member of staff who has a foundation degree. We also have a practitioner who holds Early Years Teacher Status, a specialist degree in working with children up to the age of 5 years. All other staff hold at least an NVQ level 3 Early years qualification and a wealth of experience overall. All our staff are dedicated to training in early years and along with our high ratios of practitioners to children, we can support children to fully reach their own individual potential.
We operate a key person system, where practitioners monitor the progress of each of their key children throughout the week, and half termly undertake focus week observations on their key children. This information is shared with parents on a regular basis through our online Learning Book journals. Parents also have access to this journal so that we can achieve a profile of the whole child.
All our staff are Social Security registered and all hold current DBS- Disclosure and Barring Service check (formerly CRB police checks). The nursery has been inspected by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) for which we received a good rating in all areas of education and care in 2016. This report is available in the nursery for you to read or online at reports.ofsted.gov.uk
Staffing ratios are: 2 years to 3 years – 1 adult to every 4 children, 3 years to 5 years – 1 adult to every 6 children. We do reserve the right to alter this to 1 adult to 8 children (the government requirement) if necessary, to cover staff illness.
All staff at Mad Hatter’s are qualified in child care and all hold a current first aid certificate.
Meet the Team
Owner and Manager
Many years ago my eldest son started nursery school and after a few months the lady that owned the nursery asked me if I would like to cover if anyone was absent. I said yes, thinking that I probably wouldn't be called upon, but before very long I was a full-time member of staff and both of my children were at nursery with me. Little did I know that my life was about to change so dramatically and that I would fall in love with the children and what I was doing. In those days Ofsted didn't exist and life was much simpler than it is today, (no paperwork), we played all day and the children were happy and had an amazing time. Funny how things come round again.
I worked at Greatham Village nursery for 15 years where I was made deputy manager and took over the running of the nursery. When the opportunity to purchase Bohunt playgroup came about I had very mixed feelings, but it was the best decision I have ever made and Mad Hatter’s was born. I opened the nursery in January 2001 with 1 colleague, two children, a portacabin and a vision. That vision has changed many times over the years and as we accomplish each aspect of that vision it changes again.
I am very lucky to have worked with some very special adults and children over the years and that has in turn made Mad Hatter’s what it is today. In 2002 I was asked to return to Greatham Village Nursery to manage that as well. Luckily, I have amazing staff at both nurseries that has enabled me to achieve this. Over the years I have done copious amount of training, covering all aspects of early years foundation stage education, been through a few Ofsted inspections and learnt so much from the children and adults I have had the privilege to work with. After all these years I am still passionate about the nurseries and what we can do to support families and children alike.
Deputy Manager & Big Hatties room leader
I have worked in childcare since 2002, first as a nanny for 3 young boys and then joined Mad Hatter's as a work experience placement whilst undertaking my Foundation degree in Early Years Care and Education. After graduating, I went on to complete and achieve a 2:1 in my BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies degree. In 2010 I qualified at Chichester University as an official Early Years Teacher.
I have worked for Mrs Chiverton throughout my nursery career, both at Mad Hatter's and our sister nursery at Greatham. In 2008 I took on the role as head of room for the newly opened Little Hatties, teaching 2- and 3-year-olds. In 2011, I also became Deputy manager of Mad Hatter's. In September 2020 I took over the role as head of Big Hatties.
I feel very privileged to have worked with the youngest of our children and to be their very first teacher and I am looking forward to helping and enabling the older children to prepare them for Reception. I enjoy arts and crafts with the children, board games and reading them stories as well as being outside exploring our extensive outdoor area with them. With 2 young children of my own now, life is busy but there's never a dull moment!
Little Hatties Room leader
I have been working with children since 2004. I started my career working in a nursery pre-school and have also been a private nanny and a childminder for many lovely children and their families.
I began work at Mad Hatter's in September 2019, joining the Little Hatties team and in September 2020, I took over from Mrs Killick as Head of the Little Hatties room. My own little girl started Mad Hatter's in 2017 and I have wanted to work there since the first time I looked around on a visit.
I adore working with children and love to see them learn, play and grow. I enjoy crafts and being with the children outdoors, seeing their excited faces explore and play in the wonderful gardens at Mad Hatter's.
My own children have attended Mad Hatter's so it really feels like being part of a big family.
My name is Debs Casey and I am the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at Mad Hatter's. I completed my work experience at Mad Hatter's when I was 15 years old. In 2011 I completed my Level 2 & 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce after I briefly left for maternity leave when I had my son. When I returned, I completed my SENCO training and took on that role.
My SENCO role consists of helping children with additional needs, providing a tailored individual educational plan, working 1 to 1 with children who need me and co-ordinating with other outside professionals such as Portage, Speech and language therapists and physiotherapists. I work in both Little and Big Hatties, providing support for staff. I also run our 'Little Green Fingers' gardening club. I started this in conjunction with our conservation work to provide opportunities for the children to experience our natural world through planting, growing and caring for wildlife.
Outside of Hatties I enjoy my own garden and spending time with my son, our tortoise 'Bolt', cat 'Pepper' and two new guinea pigs 'Buddy and Elvis'.
SENCO and Little Hatties deputy room leader
I have worked in childcare since 2016, after leaving University with a degree in Psychology. I have worked with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers in nursery and also with older children in an after school club where I gained my level 3 childcare qualification.
I joined the Mad Hatter's family in 2019, when I became a member of the Little Hatties team and in April 2021, I was promoted to joint SENCO, working alongside Mrs Casey. I love to do messy play and arts and crafts with the children. If I'm not in the messy area, I can usually be found in the role play kitchen being served a delicious meal and cup of tea by one of the children! I love to work with the toddler age group, helping the little ones to learn and grow and discover the things they love best!
Big Hatties Deputy Room Leader
I started working at Mad Hatter's in 2014 when I was an 18 year old apprentice working towards my NVQ 2 and NVQ 3 qualifications in Children's Learning and Development.
During my time at the nursery I have loved being able to work in both the Little and Big Hatties rooms and from September 2020, I took on the role as Big Hatties Deputy room leader. Before coming into childcare I studied performing arts and I love to join in with the children's singing and dancing games!
I have been working with children in the early years for over 25 years. I trained as a nursery nurse, gaining my NNEB certificate and later achieved my NVQ Level 3 in childcare. I joined the Mad Hatter’s team in 2020. I live locally with my husband and three children who I love to spend time with along with our family dog Teddy.
In my spare time I enjoy walking and exploring the countryside, going to the theatre and eating out with my family and friends. I also have a keen interest in basketball and enjoy supporting the BBL team in Guildford with my family. I enjoy helping children to grow, learn and develop through different activities and experiences we offer…..it keeps me feeling young!
I have worked in childcare since 2011. I completed my level 2 in childcare at Chichester college and this included a placement at Greatham nursery (Mad Hatter's sister nursery) and was then offered a placement at Mad Hatter's for my childcare level 3 course.
In 2014 I took a job as a private nanny where I looked after a lovely family before having a son of my own. After another nanny position I decided I missed nursery work and the time it allowed me to spend with my son and I returned in 2018. Throughout my career I have babysat for lots of families on regular occasions. I enjoy arts and crafts, exploring the garden and reading stories with the children.
I completed my BTec National Diploma in caring services (social care) in 1993 since then I have worked in nurseries and was a private nanny for 3 years. In 2001 I joined the Community Nursing Service in Portsmouth, working with children with complex health care needs. In 2012 I moved to the Continuing Care team where I provide respite overnight care for families with children with complex health needs (Tracheostomy and Gastrostomy children). I continue to work bank days for this team alongside my days at Mad Hatters.
I have worked here since my daughter was a Little Hattie in 2015. I also do regular supply work at Hollywater School in Bordon, again working with children with complex needs. I have to say that I love going to all of the settings I work at and every day is different. Outside of work I enjoy swimming, baking, rock painting and walking- I am proud to have completed 2 overnight marathons
I was lucky enough to start working at Mad Hatter’s nursey school as a college placement student in September 2018 while completing my level 3 extended diploma qualification in Children’s Play, Learning and Development. I then became a member of staff in January 2020.
I knew I wanted to work at Mad Hatter’s from the first day I attended the nursery. I attended myself as a child aged 3-4 years and always wanted to return as staff once I had finished school. Outside of the nursery I love to roller skate, play roller hockey and play music. I am also a Girl Guiding young leader and help to run one of Liphook’s Brownie units. I enjoy passing on these hobbies to others and helping them to improve their skills in activities that they enjoy.
I myself attended Bohunt playgroup, now Mad Hatter’s, 27 years ago. When it came time for me to choose a nursery for my own daughters, there was no other place I’d rather them be. From the first day my eldest started at the nursery, I have always appreciated the kindness and hardworking staff at Hatties and the happy environment and so I decided to ask Mrs Chiverton if |I could become part of the team (family!) To my joy, she accepted me and my hopes are to continue with my childcare career and qualify fully over the next few years with the Hatties team.
The children are a pleasure and it makes my day coming in to work and seeing all their smiling faces ad knowing that I’m part of such a hardworking, loving team.