Justine and Johnny’s 30th year celebration of running nurseries!

On Wednesday 2nd October 2019 Johnny and I will be celebrating 30 years of successfully running and managing children’s nursery schools in the Dereham area.

This 30-year landmark will be a very special day for us both as this highlights the hard work and total dedication that we have provided to the children and families in the local community.

Detailed below is our story.

In June 1989 we celebrated our marriage together and then on 2nd October 1989, we opened our very first nursery and named this The East Dereham Day Nursery. At that time, the nursery operated from Jentique and Metamec social centre on Norwich Road in Dereham where Johnny would help Justine to unpack the children’s equipment and set up ready for the day before leaving to work in Norwich and at the end of the day would then would collect and help pack all the toys away again ready for the next day. In the July, the following year we were fortunate enough to secure our own premises and we moved our nursery into number 4 Theatre street in Dereham.

Over the next 15-year period we built up and developed the nursery as well as setting up Fun stop, our After school and holiday club.

In the year of 2003, we had the opportunity to bid for a new nursery in Mattishall which we were successful in achieving and we re-opened this nursery and Little Owls Day Nursery was born!

For the next 2 years Justine, managed and developed Little Owls in addition to opening Hoots after school and Holiday club at Mattishall Primary school.

Over this period of time Johnny continued to manage Dereham Day Nursery and we worked separately whilst also bringing up our two children Holly and James.

In 2005, we took the huge decision to sell The East Dereham Day Nursery and concentrate on developing Little Owls Day Nursery and to once again work together.

Although we were based in Mattishall we constantly received lots of requests from families in Dereham to move back to the Dereham area which we successfully achieved in

2008 when we bought 20 School Lane in Toftwood and then commenced the huge task of moving the entire nursery to Toftwood and then re-locating the After school clubs to Toftwood Infant School.

Since 2008 we have purchased 18 School Lane and opened Norfolk’s first dedicated baby nursery named Tawny Owls. We have constantly looked to improve and develop our Toftwood site and have carried out various structural work including enhancing our Snowy Owl’s toddler rooms,creating a bespoke outdoor mud kitchen area, developing classrooms, creating a yoga room as well as extending and opening our Barn Owl’s Yellow pre-school nursery.

Finally, in September 2017 we had the exciting opportunity to open our second Little Owl’s nursery and our lovely little Owls Scarning was created.

Over the past 30 years we have successfully achieved 5 Ofsted Outstanding awards at our Little Owls Toftwood nursery including both of our Hoots after school clubs. We are currently the only setting within the Dereham area to achieve this and are extremely proud of these awards.

We are now caring for children whose parents we cared for 30 years ago which at times can make us feel slightly old! When we set up our first nursery there was Justine, one member of staff and a handful of children. Today, we employ 57 members of staff and care for 257 children.

The secret to our success and to being the most established providers in the area is simple.

Our amazing staff teams, (many who have worked for us between 12 -14 years) constantly developing our nurseries, always putting our children and families first and a strong and healthy marriage to be able to work and live together ( in harmony!!).

The rest as they say is history!!! 😍

To celebrate this huge landmark, we are taking all of our managers out for a lovely meal on the 5th October to say a great big thank you and for our lovely nursery staff teams we have booked and ordered for every staff member employed to enjoy afternoon Tea to say a huge thank you .

For our amazing children, they will all enjoy a special party tea on the 2nd October as well as enjoying party games.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the families whose children have attended our nurseries and after school clubs over the past 30 years for their kind and continued support. Without our wonderful families, we would not have been able to achieve our 30th anniversary, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!

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