The Journey from Nursery Nurse to Director: Getting to Know Nicky Davis

Nicky Davis, Managing Director of Childcare & Operations West, Bright Stars Nursery Group

15th June 2023

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Come along on my career journey from being a nursery nurse to becoming a director. Explore the story of my professional growth, highlighting the transformative experiences and accomplishments that have shaped my path to where I am today.

My wonderful NNEB qualification (yes, this does show my age!) offered me a secure base to start my early years journey, working my way through various roles within nurseries. My affinity with little people and the joy of everything the nursery nurse role offers, filled my soul and I was lucky enough to have found my vocation in life, feeling fulfilment in my work. I still enjoy that sense of contentment today – lucky me!

That being said, as I moved into more senior leadership positions within various childcare companies, there was a period of time where I became disillusioned with the sector. This was due to how nursery managers and nursery staff were spoken about by the senior leaders around me at the time.  They were discussed in a negative and dismissive manner by these senior leaders which astonished me as it was only a heartbeat ago that I was one of them. Was I discussed and dismissed so readily? I was unable to understand this perspective then, as I am still unable to now.  I found this deeply saddening and can remember the exact moment this first happened and my feelings within that moment.  When did this happen? How did this happen?  The devaluing of the key staff most influential to our little people, our nurseries success, and the future for each of us, rocked me to the core.

I resolved to walk my own leadership path, celebrate whilst valuing nursery managers and nursery staff teams, supporting them in every way I could, to be the very best of themselves. I have found over the years, the approach that every child is at the heart of everything, and the nursery teams cherished, no obstacle is too great, and anything is achievable through tenacity and passion. I am sure that you would agree we are a passionate lot in early years!

Therefore, when I was approached to join Bright Stars as Managing Director of Childcare and Operations West, where the promise of nursery managers being the exalted person in the company, and their nursery staff teams right alongside them in this elevated position, provided me the hope that all was not lost in my precious early years sector.  With a skip in my step, I jumped at the opportunity to work within an environment I had longed for, with other likeminded leaders, really? Was it too much to hope for?

Almost a year and a half later this remains steadfast, and I am both proud and lucky to be part of a leadership team who value the importance of our wonderful nursery managers and staff teams! Each day I work within a leadership team who not just value and cherish nursery managers and their staff teams, but actively get involved in the nurseries. This is not a desk job, it’s an approach of being in the nurseries, asking questions, offering guidance and support, doing everything we can to realise their vision for their nursery. We support them to achieve outstanding care for each child every day, enabling them to create exceptional nurseries through their vision.  I am and always will be a nursery nurse, something which is celebrated at Bright Stars Nurseries, lucky me!

Join Nicky Davis, Managing Director of Childcare & Operations West, Bright Stars Nursery Group in the panel session ‘We’re Not Just Babysitters – Shifting the Perception of Early Education’ taking place at 10.30am on Saturday 1st July at Childcare & Education Expo North, register for the exhibition here.

Why attend Childcare & Education Expo?

Join over 2,500 like-minded individuals from the early years & primary sector who are dedicated to improving their practice and their education settings.

Attend educational seminars and panel discussions to credit your CPD

Meet the experts to have your questions answered

Receive fantastic onsite offers and discounts

Experience expert-led informative hands-on workshops

Network with peers and industry players

Pick up hundreds of new products, resources, ideas and services

And most of all, enjoy a great day out with your colleagues

100+ exhibitors | 1000s of industry players | 100s of experts