Newly Appointmented Childcare Centre Manager Goes Full Circle After Taking Charge of Facility Where She Trained.

A NURSERY school manager has gone full circle after taking charge of the facility where she trained.

Kelly Hodgson has been appointed manager of the nursery at Darlington College where she was a student two decades ago. She replaces Andi Brennan who once trained her.

A former pupil of Heathfield and Eastbourne Schools in Darlington, she studied L3 childcare at Darlington College before studying a foundation degree in early years provision and a BA honours degree in education studies.

“I have been working with children for the past 20 years and I love being able to make a difference to their lives by enhancing their learning,” she said. “I love watching them grow, from crawling to writing their names for the first time. You need patience and empathy, but it’s so rewarding.”

Kelly has already launched a parent group at the nursery, which provides 47 places from babies to the age of eight. The group is designed to keep them informed about forthcoming events and fundraising ideas.

“It’s great to have parents involved and we have staged craft sessions, afternoon teas and are planning summer events,” she said. “It is all about having consistent communications.

“The pandemic interrupted this with two-year-olds the worst affected in terms of their personal and social development. We are nearing the end of our COVID recovery plan and we have a specialist to lead to help with any issues we may still find. Nurseries are invaluable in helping children develop the independence and skills they’ll need to start school.

“We have proper meal times where the children sit at set tables to eat their food and socialise. We are also planning workshops for parents on storytelling, singing and simple cookery to help with the transition from weaning to normal foods.”

The nursery will continue to take college students on work experience to prepare the next generation of practitioners, both in childcare and other subject areas such as catering.

It will also continue its programme of outings to venues including the Hullaballoo theatre, South Park, the beach and farms. “This will give the children real life experiences they might not otherwise be able to enjoy allowing them all too overcome any possible barriers to having the best start to life,” Kelly said.

An open event will be staged on Tuesday, April 18, from 5.30pm-6-30pm. For more information on Darlington College’s nursery visit their webpage or enquire via tel 01325 503144 and email

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