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31 January 2023

Long-service award: 25 years at Complete Childcare

Long-service award: 25 years at Complete Childcare

Here at Complete Childcare, providing our staff with opportunities for progression and growth is top of our priority list. Staff training in nurseries is crucial for ensuring the quality of care for children and for promoting a safe and healthy learning environment. Committed to investing in the growth and development of our staff, we create a positive work culture, fostering a sense of well-being and loyalty.


This month we spoke to Nicky Houghton from Smart Tots Day Nursery and Pre-School in Banbury to find out more about her recent long-service award in recognition of her 25-year dedication to childcare.


How did you get into childcare?

My first job was as a care assistant in a care home. It was so rewarding and helped me to realise working in care was a good fit for me. I’d always wanted to work with children so when I saw the vacancy at Smart Tots, it appealed to me because I could use some of my care skills while learning more about children’s development.


What is your favourite part of your role?

I love my role at Smart Tots and I feel privileged to work alongside such an inspiring team. The children in our care always make my day - watching them grow up and seeing the positive impact we have on their social and emotional development is so rewarding. No two days are the same and it’s true what they say – time really does fly when you’re having fun!


Tell us more about your time at Smart Tots

During my time at Smart Tots, I have completed my NVQ Level 3 in Childcare, progressing from a nursery assistant to a deputy manager. My role has changed lots over the years as I’ve progressed through different jobs and held different responsibilities. One thing that has remained consistent is the focus on providing outstanding care alongside a safe and nurturing space for children to learn and develop. As a deputy manager, I lead the staff team and work in partnership with parents to make sure children are on track to achieve their development goals. It is so varied and seeing how much children flourish during their time at Smart Tots never fails to amaze me.


What are your top tips for a long career in childcare?

Identify and develop your skills. Pursuing continuous learning and development is the key to an exciting, dynamic career. Being well equipped with knowledge, skills and practical examples means you’re always up to date with industry trends and advancements and can be confident you’re doing a good job. Most importantly though, do what you love doing.


How do you manage your work-life balance?

I’m a really organised person so having a schedule helps me to achieve and maintain a good work-life balance. It means I set boundaries and plan in some of the things I love most – socialising with my friends and family plus trips to the theatre. At Complete Childcare, we’re encouraged to look after our wellbeing and ask for help when we need it which really helps to keep work-life balance at a good level.  



To enquire about a role in childcare, contact Complete Childcare on

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