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The Windmill Preschool

Bolford Street Hall, Thaxted, CM6 2PY

"Children arrive happy and quickly settle into this calm and welcoming pre-school"

OFSTED, 2018

01371 831457 (session times only)

Meet the Windmill Team

We are very lucky at The Windmill Preschool to have a dedicated and close-knit team of professional staff, most of whom have been with us now for a number of years.  All staff, including the Manager, are Key-Persons, and form part of the staff:child ratios.


Claire Rooney, Deputy Manager

"I began working at The Windmill in September 2015 when my youngest son started school. Prior to this I was secretary of the committee for four years, and both of my children came to The Windmill. I have a degree in Health, Welfare and Social Policy and lots of experience working with people of all ages and abilities. I love working with children and I have recently attained my Level 3 qualification."  

Rachel Kesterton, Assistant

"I have a history degree from Cambridge University and am a qualified secondary school teacher but that was in a previous life! I have four children of my own, which is how I discovered a love of small children. I gained my Level 3 Diploma in Preschool Practice and joined Windmill in 2006. I love every minute but particularly anything sticky, creative or involving the telling of tales, being a passionate believer in the importance of stories not just for children, but for all of us."

Louise George, Assistant

"My son came to The Windmill and I was a volunteer at The Windmill for two years before joining the team in January 2014. I have a Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Childhood Studies (Nursery Nursing). The activities I enjoy the most are creative play and cooking."

Peta Gilbert, Assistant

"I have a background in education and was part of the team that set up the child care voucher system that we all use today. I left London to bring up my family and started at the Windmill in 2010 when my third child started school.  All of my children came to The Windmill and I was on the Committee. I enjoy all the activities, particularly the creative ones, and love our nature walks to the secret garden."

Emma Edwards, Manager

"I’ve been working in Early Years for all of my adult life. Prior to assessing for a local Early Years training provider (which I did for 6 years), I managed Day Nurseries and worked in a range of different Early Years and School age provisions, from Preschools to Out of School Clubs.

It was whilst supporting Claire to achieve her Diploma that I knew the Windmill was the right Preschool for my own Son, and then to learn of the Manager’s vacancy, meant for exciting times ahead!"

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Kelly Grout, Assistant

"I have an open university degree in Health & Fitness and am a fully qualified exercise to music instructor. Alongside this I worked in the care sector for 18 years.

I have 2 children, one of which is currently attending The Windmill and will be until Sept 2019 and the other started primary school in Sept 2017 after also attending. I really enjoy working with the children and watching them grow and will soon be starting my Level 3 Early Years Diploma."

Jo Ray, Assistant

"I have a Diploma in Holistic Therapies and continue to practice. I have had many other job roles over the years, predominantly within the NHS and private care work with adults. I have 3 children of my own of which one is currently attending The Windmill until July 2019 and my older children attended too. I was previously one of the chairs for a year & a committee member of the Preschool many moons ago. I have always had a keen interest in Early Years development and am looking forward to obtaining my Level 3 in Early Years as soon as I can and learning about the individuals that attend the Preschool, I'm sure they will teach me just as much as I can help to support them in their development."

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