Anita McAlinden, 33, is the Manager of Little Rays Nursery Moira branch.
She has worked with children from the age of 18 including during her travels to Australia. Before taking up her current position in 2011 Anita worked in business development.
Little Rays was established in 1993 at its Queensway site by Michelle Rea and has now expanded to include nurseries in Ballymena and Moira as well as running Brownlee Playgroup and a playgroup with funded PEAGs places in the Moira nursery.
I wake up at 6.30am and am usually in the nursery from 7.45am. The first thing I do is check the rooms and take a rota of staff and children. We aim is to provide a homely, welcoming, safe and stimulating environment for children from two months to 12 years. We provide full and part time care, primary school delivery and collection, holiday care, breakfast club and homework supervision too. Once I have done this I will go to the baby room and help out for the first hour. Then I will go round the rooms again taking a register and talking to the staff to discuss the day ahead and any issues they may have.
I will then go to my office and spend and hour or two going through emails and answering queries from parents and new clients. I use this time to do some paperwork and calculate break rotas.
We have a fully trained, professional staff team, many of whom have worked in Little Rays since the mid 1990s. All staff have current Child Protection Training and a high number also have Paediatric First Aid and Basic Food Hygiene training.
The staff looking after the different age groups devise a four week plan in advance and break down each day so everyone knows what the day’s timetable will include. This includes play time, food breaks, outside play and sleep time too for the babies and toddlers. There’s always plenty going on.
Outdoor play forms such an important part of a child’s development and Little Rays promotes this on a daily basis, weather permitting, but we do live in a very wet country so we’re super excited about our new 3G covered outdoor play area which is being developed in 2014.
When the older children arrive after school another register will be taken and I’ll go back to my office and some more work. I really enjoy my work as I know that the children are well cared for and that they receive first class treatment and their parents can be assured that their children are in safe hands. It’s a very fulfilling job and one I look forward to every day!