Our Team

The aim of our staff at Sunrise is to be a group of caring practitioners who work as a team, accepting and practicing an agreed educational philosophy, and collectively expressing one clear concern; the total welfare of all the children in their care.  We aim to create an environment where continuity for children and parents is priority and, therefore, we operate a ‘key person’ system. The key person works with parents/carers toplan and deliver a personalised plan for your child’s well-being, care and learning.

Every member of our staff are carefully selected to ensure their suitability to work with children; all key staff are first aid trained and we, therefore, have a minimum of 1 first aider in all rooms at all times. Our team is fully committed to the Sunrise ethos and some have been with us since opening in September 2011 and others, for as long as 15 years, who joined us from our sister site at Langley. We also support the development of new practitioners and provide the opportunity for apprenticeship vacancies.

Our Nursery Manager is Sara Forster.  Sara has experience as a manager and has been an owner manager at a setting in Sandwich. She has come to us from working in senior management for a nursery chain in Birmingham. Sara successfully took over the large project of implementing all the learning and development and took all three nurseries from an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted rating to a ‘Good’ rating within 6 months.


Cara Bannister leads our Baby Room full time and is part of the leadership team as Deputy Manager; Cara holds a Level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education, is our designated Behaviour Management lead and has been with Sunrise for over 8 years. Cara is currently supported full time by Sarah Byfield, a Level 3 practitioner and part time by Gill Ryan who is a Level 2 practitioner.

Vicky Whitfield is deployed full time as the lead for our Tweenie room. She holds a Cache Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education. Vicky began at our Langley setting in January 2013 and transferred to Harrietsham in January 2017. Vicky is supported by Tonia Bentley. Tonia joined us in October 2017 under the Modern Apprenticeship scheme and is due to complete her Level 2 by May 2019.


Sarah Simmons joined our team in May 2018. Sarah shares the leadership of our Nursery room and holds a Level 3 Early Years qualification. She is also one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads.  Sarah is supported part time by our level 3 practitioners, Natalie Gowdy and Alyssa Fagg.  Natalie joined us in October 2018. Alyssa joined us full time in January 2015 and returned part time after having her son in March 2019. Alyssa is also our second Designated Safeguarding Lead.  Emma Clark joined us in January 2015 and worked within our baby room until January 2019 when she was promoted to the room leader of our younger nursery room children. Emma holds a Level 3 Early Years qualification and Level 3 Health and Social Care. Emma is supported by Kayleigh Fuller who trained at our Langley setting and moved to Harrietsham as a Level 2 practitioner in January 2019.

Linda Soutter completes the team and she holds an NNEB qualification.  Linda joined Sunrise in 1998 after working with special care babies and as a nanny. Linda mainly supports our Nursery rooms; she also supports other rooms when required.


Sharon Laker joined us in March 2015 after 10 years early years experience as a childminder.  Sharon is also our setting SENCo. Sharon  is supported full time by Victoria Fraser. Victoria joined us in January 2019 and has a wealth of experience and an Early Years degree. She has previously worked for 11 years in an outstanding nursery setting.


We have a group of unqualified staff who assist us during our lunch periods and are also available to cover in the event of staff absence or holiday.  All our support staff are DBS checked.


Billing and payments as well as general nursery-related email correspondence is dealt with at our Langley site by Joanne White, PA to Julie Starns, Nursery Director. Please contact the Langley office on 01622 861325.

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