Top Tots has opened its third Portsmouth nursery in Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea, with Sue, who has been at the nursery for 14 years, in charge. She has also become a joint director.
Sue said: ‘I completed my final training at Top Tots over 14 years ago, so it almost feels like a romantic story.
‘Top Tots isn’t just my role any more, it’s like we are a big family. I’m so proud of everything.
‘The endless late nights, early mornings and long weekends to transform Top Tots Goldsmith into a beautiful nurturing environment have all been worth it. It has been exhausting yet so rewarding.
‘Knowing it is for the community, which has been our driving force during the pandemic, made it worthwhile.’
Top Tots started in 2005 inside the John Pound Centre. It was set up by couple Mel, 37, and Steve White, 44. They were inspired to go into business after they found barriers when searching for affordable childcare for their own children.
Sue joined in 2006.
She said: ‘I quickly worked my way into a management role with Mel and Steve where we started our journey to develop a strong team ethos, and what we wanted Top Tots childcare to look like across the city.
‘Eventually we were able to deliver outstanding Ofsted standards, which was always our long-term aim. We have achieved outstanding in all areas of Ofsted inspections across our sites from 2009 to 2020. We are one of the only settings in the south to have achieved this consecutively for over 10 years.’
Sue has seen the business change and expand substantially over the years.
The 32-year-old said: ‘We originally used to operate from one open plan room and now we have three settings totalling over 150 children.
‘Our staff team remains as passionate and positive as it did on day one, however the size of the team has hugely grown from just having six staff members to now managing over 30 members.’
‘But watching babies transform into confident learners is the best part of the job.’
Top Tots now has three nurseries in Portsmouth located in Queen Street, The Mountbatten Centre and Goldsmith Avenue.