Our Team


Sonia Hawthorne

MANAGER
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Childcare is Sonia’s passion; she loves to see happy children engaging in the amazingly inventive play opportunities provided by her wonderful team of early years practitioners, to observe their personalities develop and to listen to their chatter from babble to full blown story telling.

Having gained her NNEB in 1984 and more recently a BA (Hons) degree in early childhood studies and an Early Years Professional Status, guiding and supporting the team is Sonia’s priority. Through sharing her years of knowledge, understanding and experience Sonia ensures that everybody involved in the setting has the same vision. The vision to facilitate learning in a safe, resource rich, caring and supportive environment with practitioners who understand both how and why it is important to give children time to speak, to play, to think, to listen, to be spontaneous but most importantly, time to learn.

Josh Hawthorne

TRAINEE MANAGER
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Josh is Sonia's eldest son and was at Sunshine on day one as the youngest child in attendance. This solid foundation that Sunshine provided has allowed Josh to pursue and further his own education; gaining two masters degrees and working towards a Ph.D which he'll be completing in September of this year. Josh will bring his passion for learning, teaching, team-work and research with him when he starts with us full time following the completion of his studies.

Josh has always taken a keen interest in Sunshine and the early years sector in general and been involved in a number of capacities over the years. From October, Josh will be starting full time as trainee manager with a view to taking over as manager from next year; helping to guide and support our staff with continuing to provide fantastic care, support and education.


Tracy Jones

DEPUTY MANAGER
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Tracy is our longest serving member of the team and has been at ‘Sunshine’ since our first year of opening. In her time here she has worked her way up from part time practitioner to unit manager and progressed to be our Early Years Professional and Deputy Manager.

She has a wealth of knowledge and experience and uses this within her role to guide and support her team in order to provide a safe, caring and fun environment in which the children in our care can enjoy and flourish from their learning experiences.

Tracy is always ready with open arms to give and receive hugs from our ‘little rays of sunshine’.

Emma Williams

BABIES
Emma Williams

Emma is a hardworking and valued member of the team here at Sunshine who will always welcome you with the biggest smile and good morning cheer to put you in a happy mood for the day. With her approachable and welcoming attitude, and over 20 years experience, she makes our Baby room a warm and inviting environment where children can thrive, learn and develop.

Emma has been with Sunshine since achieving her BTEC National Diploma in Childcare, and is the joint room leader of our Baby room. She believes that a child's learning and development needs are best achieved through play, both planned and spontaneous. 

She feels the most gratifying thing about working with children is seeing them progress as individuals and receiving those big, wonderful, wrap-around hugs.


Rebecca Todd

BABIES
Rebecca Todd

Becky believes in giving the children in her care a safe, warm and welcoming environment where they can learn, explore and develop.

Her core goal is to ensure that all of the children in her care have wonderful experiences at Sunshine, which are fun, interesting and engaging whilst also catering to their individual needs and with a foundation degree (Level 5) she is well equipped to do so.

Becky trains modern apprentices and students thoroughly and with admirable patience and dedication to ensure that we are able to sustain the high quality in practitioners here at Sunshine. 

Rachel Hierons

TWEENIES & DEPUTY MANAGER
Rachel Hierons

Rachel has committed herself to Sunshine and the children in our care since 1996 and gained the experience she needed to further her education throughout this time achieving a foundation degree in early childhood studies in 2009 Rachel loves being around children and watching them as they progress throughout their childhood, always providing support and encouragement Rachel will always put the children’s needs before any other.

She believes that children develop at their own rate; and that as practitioners we are present largely to facilitate their learning through our knowledge of 'where they are at' thereby providing opportunities for their further development.

Rachel’s knowledge and understanding of all of the children within her unit mean that she is able to plan and create activities which are tailored to their individual needs and current learning goals. Her leadership skills ensure that this planning is consistent across the unit and that all members of staff understand how, why and when to promote different aspects of development.


Haylea Petford

PRE-SCHOOL
Haylea Petford

Haylea’s key aim for the preschool unit is to provide a stimulating environment where the children in our care can flourish, grow in confidence and learn British values. Through working at sunshine, Haylea was inspired to further her education and achieve a foundation degree in early childhood studies. Haylea loves working with children because every day is different and she finds it very rewarding to watch a child grow in their development, knowing that what she has planned for every different day has contributed to this. 

Anna Nicholson

AFTER SCHOOL CLUB
Haylea Petford

Anna’s aim is for the children in the after school club to have a wonderful relaxing experience within the setting after a hard day at school. Anna provides diverse and fun activities where the children can unwind and socialise, in our indoor and outdoor spaces, with some of the friends they may have grown up with throughout their time here at Sunshine.

As well as the socialising aspect, Anna provides a homework, reading and spelling club where herself and the other members of our team provide support and encouragement to aid the children in furthering their learning and development, supporting what they do at school.