By the time I was 12 years old I had lived in 16 countries; mine was definitely a unique and different kind of childhood. In some ways I had to grow up quickly and learn to adapt to big change, get along with new people, embrace different cultures and build a spirit that was both resilient and independent. But I do think my childhood was perhaps more memorable than most, and because of it I do feel a huge natural empathy and understanding for the needs of the children we work with.
My early adult life was, as you might guess, driven by a desire to make a home in one place and stay there! And that place was Glasgow. A wonderful city but one with lots of children whose parents are unable to provide the stability and love they need. So I fostered many children and gave respite care to those with additional needs. After my own two (very wonderful) children were born I decided to start a play group, and also be a child minder. At that stage I was very much a passionate and enthusiastic amateur when it came to child care.
Life sometimes has a way of testing you and at the time it feels like the worst thing that could possibly happen but when you look back you can see that it pushed you in a new direction. Getting divorced was just that. But it gave me a need (to earn more!) and a desire to prove to myself that I could study and become a qualified early years practitioner.
This led to many happy years working with young children in both local authority settings and a Montessori school. The thrill of watching children’s curiosity lead to discoveries and new learning, filled my heart with joy and fuelled a desire to learn more. So I started working as an assessor part time, followed by completing my management qualification and then the last glorious step in this stage of my career was to receive my degree (after a lot of hard work!)
All of these years of experience and study unexpectedly opened a new big door of opportunity when I started working with Alice; delivering training world-wide. It is truly a joy to work with the dedicated, hard-working and impressive practitioners on a daily basis. To see and be a part of their journeys of discovery and know that every little change in their thinking and actions will have a huge impact on the lives of the children in their care.