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Our Staff

We are owned by Horsham Parochial Church Council (PCC) who appoint a governance panel to support the staff. Janet Palmart is the chair of this panel and the Reverend Lisa Barnett is the "Nominated Person" on our Ofsted registration. Most of our staff are parents themselves and many have had their own children pass through the Pre-School.  




Lai & Karen manage the pre-school together. Lai is responsible for the day to day running of the pre-school and gets to know each child really quickly and remembers details about them which surprise all of us. She has 29 years’ experience working with children at a variety of settings and as a childminder and she has a Level 3 childcare qualification. Lai has been a part-time foster carer for special needs children and she has experience of working with children with a wide range of additional needs and working with other professionals to support the children and their parents.



Jane is our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator. She is a trained primary school teacher, has Early Years Teacher Status well as and has a wealth of experience working with children of all ages and with a variety of needs. Jane has also been a tutor for Early Years Studies in a local college. Jane supports families and other staff in planning and caring for the needs of children with special educational needs or disabilities and even likes form filling!




Karen is responsible for policies and procedures and the development of the pre-school but much prefers the outdoors and anything messy including, of course, the forest school sessions. She has worked in Early Years since 2006 and has Early Years Professional Status and is a qualified Forest School Leader.


Early Years Practitioner and Bursar

Stacey has been part of the pre-school team since 2018. She is skilled at making and mending and has lots of creative ideas. Stacey has recently taken on the Bursar role and is great at finding ways to make us more efficient.



Supervisor, Student Co-ordinator

Hazel is a qualified teacher who has been working at St. Mary’s Pre-School for 12 years. She has also been involved with the NCT facilitating courses and as a mentor. Hazel facilitates the parenting courses which we run from time to time in conjunction with St. Mary’s Church. She also supports the many students who come to our pre-school for their practical experience.



Early Years Practitioner

Karen has been working at St. Mary’s Pre-School for four and a half years and has another 8 years’ experience working with children in another pre-school, a school and childminding. She has 2 level 2 qualifications in childcare. Karen likes the outdoors and physical and creative activities and when the children are keen on aeroplane role play has to join in re-enacting her cabin crew experiences from pre-childcare days.



Early Years Practitioner


Kim started working for us alongside another setting with which we had good links but which is sadly closing down. She started working in childcare in and achieved her Early Years Teacher Status in 2019. Kim loves the outdoors and is always found deep in play with the children bringing added inspiration and energy to the play wherever it is needed. She will be working alongside Jane over the coming year in the SENCO role, having previously been the SENCO in the other setting where she worked.


Early Years Practitioner


Karis started with us in 2021 having worked as a nanny and in a day nursery before having her own children. Karis is skilled at adapting her practice to the specific needs and interests of the children she is working with. She enjoys Forest School, arts & crafts and messy play but you will also often find her playing with small world toys or reading stories too.



Early Years Practitioner


Zoe joined our team in 2021 with 10 years of experience in a day nursery. Zoe brings lots of new ideas and activities which build on the interests of the children and is very good at helping the quieter children to build confidence and feel settled. She particularly enjoys supporting role play …but maybe not when the children decide to put rollers in her hair!!



Forest School Practitioner

Karen joined our forest school team in 2018 having been a very keen and committed volunteer while her own children were at the pre-school. Having completed her Forest School Leader qualification, Karen went on to complete the Early Year Teacher Status qualification. Karen is very creative and always coming up with ideas that she wants to implement. She is particularly skilled at working with children with behavioural needs and provides ideas and tools for other staff to use.



Early Years Practitioner


Keighley brings with her 12 years of experience working and taking a lead role in a day nursery, including experience supporting forest school sessions and has a Level 3 childcare qualification. She is energetic and keen to bring fun and enthusiasm to this role while keeping the children’s safety and wellbeing paramount. We are looking forward to finding out the ideas and insights she will bring from working in a different style of setting.  



Early Years Trainee Teacher


Beth is with us for a year while she completes the Early Years Teacher Status. She has a degree in Primary Teaching and Educational Studies and experience of working with early years and primary aged children. Bethany has lots of energy to inspire children’s play but is also good at staying calm at crazy moments! We are hoping that she can bring lots of good ideas from her previous course and the one she will be doing in the coming year.



Admin Assistant

Alex has been our admin assistant since 2018, sorting out all the registrations, sessions, funding, uniform etc. Alex will also willingly step in if we are short of a volunteer at forest school.

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