Markenfield Nursery, Woodbridge
Our Management Team
Leanne Ellis, Manager
With children of her own, Leanne is a childcare expert with qualifications in childcare and early years management along with considerable experience as a nursery practitioner since 2002 and in management since 2008.
Leanne wants children to have fun, and directs activity in the nursery to encourage exploration and investigation wherever possible. She is a proactive leader in a busy environment, mentoring staff and encouraging their personal development, and at the same time closely connected with every child in the nursery.
Chrissie Sanders, Deputy Manager
Chrissie is a parent and a qualified childcare professional with experience in early years care since 2014 and part of the management team at Castle Daycare since 2020. She is interested in furthering her knowledge of different childcare educational methods and has a qualification in Montessori theory and practice.
Chrissie is an advocate of ‘The Curiosity Approach’ and is constantly reflecting on her practice and adapting to the needs of children in her care. She is naturally very creative and enjoys nothing more than getting stuck into those ‘messy’ moments of creativity with the children.
Michelle Smith – Regional Manager
Michelle is a highly experienced professional in our family of nurseries having managed teams at several locations since 1995 before moving to supporting a larger number of nurseries with her valuable expertise. She has a degree and a masters degree in early years education.
With children of her own, her love of early years and parenting drives Michelle’s commitment to deliver a high quality childcare experience within our nurseries, both as an overwatch to ensure best practice within the nursery, and to provide support and training for managers and their teams to maximise their opportunities for creative education.
Natalie Chrystie, Operations Manager
As the Operations Manager for Childcare And Learning Group, Natalie has responsibility for supporting and developing the nurseries and pre-schools within the group, including Castle Nursery in Shamley Green.
Natalie is a qualified childcare specialist with over 40 years experience working in the childcare industry including many years running individual nurseries for the group. Leading a senior team of three regional managers and a special projects manager, she ensures that nurseries have the facilities, support and training required to meet the group’s own high standards for best practice in childcare.
“Your child’s education and future start with us… It is important to us that you and your child are both happy throughout your time with Castle Nursery & Pre-School”
“Our children have both loved going to Castle Nursery Markenfield. The Pre-School really helped our August born daughter prepare for school. The extra activities for example Forest school and Custard Music are well planned and a lot of fun. The staff are friendly and professional, the facilities are clean and tidy and our queries were answered immediately. I have recommended this nursery to a number of parents.” – Ruth Fenton
“We could not be happier with our choice of nursery for Sienna. Having initially looked at a couple of others in the area, it struck us when we first looked around Castle at Markenfield how warm and friendly everyone was and we felt there was a lot of love in the air, which we hadn’t got so much from the other nurseries we had looked at. Sienna took a little while to settle in to her surroundings which was to be expected, but even during that sometimes difficult process, we always felt confident that she was being cared for in the right way and that it was just a matter of time before she was as happy there as all the others clearly were around her. It is now evident to us in so many ways that Sienna loves it at nursery; she gets excited every time we arrive at the door, never wants to leave when I collect her and chatters away once she is home Clearly filing me in on her exciting day! I see the lovely sight on many occasions of her voluntarily giving cuddles or kisses to her key person or other girls working in her room which is very reassuring. Aside from seeing her happy, we feel that her overall development has really improved since being at nursery; she is independent and confident and learning so much at great speed and we feel a lot of that has to do with her time spent at nursery. We cannot thank everyone enough for providing such a safe and loving learning environment For our daughter and l00k forward to her advancing up through the classes.” – Carina
“Castle Nursery was recommended by two different friends, both of whom had their children at the nursery. Anna has been attending the nursery since September 2013. She is a shy child so we appreciated being allowed to sit in the room with her for the first few days. Anna LOVES attending the nursery three afternoons a week. The staff are kind and gentle and genuinely interested in the children. We are confident that Anna is in safe hands. I am self-employed and appreciate the flexibility of the nursery allowing Anna to have more hours occasionally has been wonderful when I am trying to meet deadlines. We have really enjoyed the Christmas pageant for the past two years.” – Gillian & Rick Mills