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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."  


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 have now started 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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Kath Shanks, Assistant

"My eldest loved attending The Windmill and my youngest has just completed her first fantastic year. I have a B.Ed Primary Education degree and have been a primary teacher for 14 years. I know the importance of Early Years education and I enjoy creating exciting learning opportunities for every child. Working with children means it's different every day and being able to observe how they develop during their time with us really is a privilege."

Jo Badley, Assistant

"I have spent a large amount of time working with children in school, at a holiday club and at Tumble Tots for over 5 years. I started at Windmill last year as part of my work experience for my CACHE Level 2 Early Years qualification which I have now completed. I love Windmill preschool, staff and especially the children, I have been very lucky to continue to work here.

I am a mother to two children and enjoy everything that children bring to everyday."

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!"