Meet Simon, Senior Nursery Manager at Tops Portsmouth. Simon joined the Tops Family back in 2018 after working in the early years sector for 14 years.
Simon has achieved a number of qualifications over the years, including his Foundation Degree in Working with Children, and a BA in Education and Training where he received a 2:1. He completed a level 3 course in Leadership and Management, and is currently working towards his level 3 qualification in Customer Service. Simon also gained a level 2 qualification in Supporting LGBTQ+ in the Workplace.
In 2013, Simon was awarded the NDNA Practitioner of the Year Award, after being voted for by parents; and in 2020, he received the Tops Inspirational Manager Award. In 2021, he was shortlisted as a finalist for the Children’s Champion Award, and was also awarded the Tops Quality Award.
We asked Simon some questions about his role at Tops, check out his answers below!
What key skills do you think are needed for your role as a Tops Senior Manager?
“Key skills for my role as a senior manager are to be someone who is approachable, passionate about what they do, and someone who wants to help teach and build not only the children in their care, but also their staff team. You need to be someone who is calming and respectful to all those that work at and use the nursery, and someone who has the drive to motivate your team and strive to make the nursery the best that it can be”.
Do you feel challenged at work? Are you still learning new things?
“Every day is a learning experience. No two days in childcare are the same, and this means my job as a manager is constantly changing and adapting: one minute I could be in a nursery room doing yoga or reading a story with the children, and the next I could be in the office coaching staff and teaching them new skills. I feel like an individual who never stops learning and you need to learn new skills as things change in the sector.”
What would you say is your superpower at work?
“I think for me, my superpower at work is building up a strong team. I feel I am good at supporting my staff and listening to them and then, in turn, able to coach and mentor them to help them become the best in their role. I also feel as a manager it is important to spend time with the children in the rooms and build up relationships with them and their families. I ensure that 50% of my working hours are spent in the rooms with the children and helping them grow and develop and enjoy their time at work. Over my four years at Tops I have worked with a number of different teams, starting with my original team at Winchester. I also spent 3 months at Poole before moving to QA in Portsmouth. I feel I have really helped build up the teams, which has lead to the improvement the quality of care and education in the setting. I feel like I am a manager who staff can talk to and we have mutual respect for each other. My office door is always open if a member of staff a parent needs to talk.”
We are incredibly proud of Simon and his achievements, and he has become a highly valued member of the Tops Family. We would like to thank him for all his hard work and efforts, and his motivation and determination is inspirational to those he works with. We also spoke with some of the team at Tops Portsmouth to hear their thoughts about Simon, they said “Thank you for helping our team meet and exceed our goals. You make our workplace a little bit brighter and a whole lot more fun”