Home from Home
Choosing a nursery for your children is a tough decision.
"Finding the right nursery for your child is a bit like buying a house...it is a massive, massive commitment and when it comes down to it you will now when you find the right one. It's just a feeling," says Emma.
Victoria agrees: "You have to love the place, find a connection with the people there, and you’ll just know.
"We believe that a nursery should be welcoming and offer a home from home experience.
"It shouldn’t be clinical and should include everyday things for their children to do."
For Little Lane, size is important. Victoria and Emma believe being small allows them to offer children that all-important‘ home from home’ experience.
"We wouldn’t look to grow any bigger than we are currently because we like the size we are, and the number of children we have," explains Victoria.
"It’s important that the number of children per room stays at the same level.
"Legally for pre-school one staff member is required for eight children, but we maintain the one-to-four ratio for that age group, so we have twice as many staff.
"We tend to split them so that there is only ever eight children in the pre-school room, while the rest attend Forest School.
"This gives staff the ability to take the children out, and to have that freedom to do more of the things you would do in a home environment."
Although Victoria and Emma are very different personalities, as mummies themselves, firm friends and business partners they work extremely well together.
Victoria, a former business administration professional looks after the day-to-day management and has a keen eye on the detail. Keeping up standards is key.
"I'm a stickler for things looking beautiful. I walk around the nursery with ‘parents' eyes’ on, and as soon as something looks tired, I’ll change it," she says.
Emma, on the other hand, is a qualified nursery nurse and Victoria describes her as a ‘mother hen’ with a 'natural way’ with children.
"Emma is always in and out of the children’s rooms and they gravitate towards her, she will quite often be sitting in our office with a child asleep on her lap.
"She just loves them, and the children pick up on that."
Recruiting friendly, approachable, caring and understanding staff is key to maintaining high standards.
"There are some things that you just can't teach people when you work with children; there has to be some natural flair and that will show regardless of whether you are nervous at an interview or not.
"If you’ve got it, it will shine," says Emma.