Bilingual Nursery Staff – The Most Qualified Team

Our Bilingual Nursery Staff Team….

It’s a little known secret that the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework – the regulation that governs the early years sector – only requires your nursery to have what we consider to be the bare minimum by way of qualifications in order to provide childcare: the Manager “must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification.” That means the majority of nurseries you may have seen would, most likely, have staff that meet this basic criterion. Our bilingual nursery staff team, on the other hand, are more than qualified. We believe they’re the most qualified team you’ll meet….

Bilingual Nursery Management


Barbican Nursery Manager

Cheyenne Edwards
Position: Nursery Manager, Safeguarding Designated Lead, Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), Health & Safety and Behaviour Management Officer, Primary Paediatric First Aider
Qualifications: CACHE Level 3 (Childcare); BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (on-going)
NQF Grading: Level 3 (childcare); Level 6 on-going due next year – Cheyenne can look after 8 children aged 3-5 years old, 4 children aged 2-3 years or 3 children aged 0-2 years old. As the Manager, she is supernumerary.
Training: Safeguarding Designated Lead (L3); Food Hygiene (L2); Epipen; Paediatric First Aid; Prevent Duty
Profile: Cheyenne has been with Hatching Dragons since its inception. Initially working as a Deputy Manager responsible for the pre-2 room, she then moved across to co-devise and develop the pre-school pedagogy before, ultimately, being promoted to the position of Manager, this summer just passed. She has over 10 years of childcare experience in children’s centres and private nurseries and has delivered magic on the floor with the team since taking the lead.


priscilla-chen Deputy Manager

Bilingual Mandarin Speaking Deputy Manager

Priscilla Chen-Chandler
Position: Deputy Nursery Manager & Administrator
Qualifications: BA (Hons) Fine Art: Chinese Opera, Childcare L3 NVQ
NQF Grading: 3 in childcare, Level 6 in Fine Art & Music – areas we think are directly applicable to the early years! Priscilla can look after 8 children aged 3-5 years; 4 children 2-3 years old or 3 children aged 0-3 but is supernumerary
Training: Safeguarding (L2); Food Hygiene (L2); Epipen; Baby Training (L2); SEND Code of Practice; Prevent Duty; Paediatric First Aid (in process)
Profile: Priscilla joined the nursery in early Spring 2016, having worked as a business administrative controller at a small business and as a bilingual childminder for years. She has that unique blend of business administrative and childcare experience that makes her a hugely valuable asset to the nursery, helping Chey with the paperwork and ensuring that things run as they should. Hailing from Taiwan, she’s a native Mandarin speaker and, as a former graduate of Chinese Opera from Taiwan, a keen singer with the children….


Li Jing

Bilingual Mandarin Nursery Team Lead

Li Jing
Position: Mandarin Team Lead & Pre-school Practitioner
Qualifications: MA (Hons) Community Music; BA (Hons) Musical Performance; Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language; NVQ Childcare L3 (on-going); Early Years Teacher Programme, Institute of Education (on-going)
NQF Grading: 3 in childcare, Level 7 in Music
Training: Safeguarding (L2); Food Hygiene (L2); Epipen; Baby Training (L2); Paediatric First Aid; SEND Code of Practice; Prevent Duty
Key children: 6
Profile: Li Jing has worked with Cenn in the formation of Hatching Dragons since before we had a nursery. Together they used to put on Shadow Puppetry and Mandarin Music Performances in cafes and event spaces throughout North London in a bid to build interest in the bilingual and bicultural concept. She has worked underneath Cenn in developing the central pedagogical pillars for the bilingual method at play in Hatching Dragons, utilising her extensive musical and creative expertise and her knowledge of China’s history, culture and arts to develop something that is truly consistently unique. Li Jing still maintains her position on the floor, working with Agnieska, Jojo, the children and other Chinese / non-Chinese practitioners on the development and implementation of our model. She is an inspiration to work with, for and a hugely valuable teacher to the children…


Dragon Flight – Our Pre-school Bilingual Nursery Team

Dragon Flight is the name we use for our pre-school – they’re the children who’re learning to spread their wings a little bit and starting to “fly” so to speak. Children in this room are typically aged two and a half – already verbalising and physically capable to navigate the more challenging parts of the nursery, like our climbing wall, our climbing frames and other more mentally challenging areas – numeracy, literacy and understanding the world / arts.


Room Size – 16


Pre-school Nursery Room Lead

Pre-school Nursery Room Lead

Agnieska Synak
Position:Pre-school Room Teacher
Qualifications:Early Years Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), Department of Education; MA (Hons) Art & Pedagogy
NQF Grading: Level 8 – highest level in education. Allows Agnieska to care for 13 children aged 3-5.
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aid (in process)
Key Children:6
Profile: Responding to the feedback from some parents who wanted a stronger pre-school lead who had an educational background on the floor, we have hired Agnieska who, as a Qualified Teacher in the Early Years, has the highset qualification in the sector. Her background is primarily in the arts and the application of arts in early years pedagogy. She managed children’s art programmes in Dublin and worked with Autistic children in Tower Hamlets using the medium as an educational channel for self-expression and cognitive development. Working under Cheyenne, Philippa (our Pedagogical Director) and with Li Jing, our Head of Mandarin, Agnieska will be part of the team responsible for some of the magic on the pre-school room floor.


Pre-school Nursery Room Lead

Bilingual Pre-school Nursery Practitioner

Jojo (Xiaoran) Zhou
Position:Pre-school Room Practitioner
Qualifications:MA (Hons) Early Years Education; BA (Hons) Teaching Chinese as a Second Language; International Chinese Teacher Certification (subject to UK Naric verification for QTS equivalent status)
NQF Grading: Level 7 but could easily be Level 8 should UK Naric and the Department of Education verify! Allows Jojo to care for 8 children aged 3-5.
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aid; Prevent Duty;
Key Children: 6
Profile: Having worked in the UK as a Chinese language teacher and as a bilingual teaching assistant in early years settings since early 2015, Jojo sought to expand her already comprehensive educational background from her time in China with a Masters in the Early Years from the UK’s prestigious Institute of Education (also the number 1 ranked educational institute in the world). Since graduating with a first class in her dissertation in September, she has worked with us in the pre-school room to enhance the delivery of the Mandarin speaking and bicultural pedagogy that is devised by LJ and Philippa. A keen singer and artist, Jojo brings another element of musicality to the pre-school room floor


Hatchlings – Our Toddler & Baby Bilingual Nursery Team

Hatchlings is the name we use for our toddler and baby rooms – they’re the children who still need the support to learn how to develop physically and may be only just learning to verbalise or speak. Theirs is a world that is more about physical and sensorial exploration, helping them develop the personal, social and emotional foundations and early communication from which all future learning will spring.


Room Size- 12 toddlers and 6 babies



Bilingual Toddler and Baby Nursery Room Lead

Helen Zhu
Position:Mandarin Speaking Room Lead (Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications:MA (Hons) Early Years Education, Institute of Education, BA (Hons) Pre-school Education, Zhejiang University
NQF Grading: Level 7 – Helen can look after 4 children aged 2-3 or 3 children aged 0-2
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Key Children: 8
Profile: Helen is a vastly experienced nursery teacher from China. Having worked in one of China’s most prestigious nursery groups (Fuyuan Kindergarten, Hangzhou) for almost 4 years during which time she managed both the baby and pre-school rooms, Helen moved to the UK in 2009 to further her studies at the IOE’s prestigious early years masters programme. As a grade 8 pianist, she is wonderfully musical and delivers the music pedagogy for the younger children, helping them develop that basic foundation in communication and language…



Degree level Senior Nursery Staff

Shafia Khatun
Position: Senior Practitioner, Toddlers & Babies
Qualifications:BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
NQF Grading: Level 6 – Shafia can look after 4 children aged 2-3 or 3 children aged 0-2
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Key Children: 6
Profile: Shafia joined the nursery in Spring 2016 just as the toddler room started to get full. Having worked at a number of different nursery chains across London for years, Shafia also spent her weekends working as a childminder to further her interests in caring for children. She has worked in a senior capacity throughout, often managing teams of 4 practitioners in the delivery of pre-2 early years pedagogy that focussed on the three prime areas – communication & language; personal, social & emotional development and physical development. She supports Helen in the implementation of the pre-2 bilingual programme, emphasising the non-Chinese aspects of the model.



Nursery Degree Qualified Staff

Kimberley Smart
Position: Early Years Practitioner, Toddlers & Babies
Qualifications:BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, CACHE L3 Childcare
NQF Grading: Level 7 – Kim can look after 4 children aged 2-3 or 3 children aged 0-2
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty; Schema Training for children aged 0-2; Attachment Theory Training;
Profile: Kimberley has always had a passion for childcare. Immediately after graduating from secondary school, she enrolled in her CACHE Level 3 Diploma programme in early years education, a course which she undertook on a full time basis. She then followed this with a full time degree in Early Childhood Studies in order to further her theoretical knowledge but, undaunted by the level of work, she quite rightly understood that she needed to match her theoretical basis with practical experience and so worked as an agency worker in different early years settings across London until she graduated last summer. She works under Helen as key worker to a number of the toddler children in Hatchlings, is a keen poet and periodically puts up her favourite nursery poem in our parent newsletters.



Bilingual Nursery Staff

Rosie (Ruoxi) Chen
Position:Mandarin Speaking Early Years Practitioner, Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications:MA (Hons) Early Years Education, Institute of Education, BA (Hons) Education – Major in Piano & Musicology
NQF Grading: Level 7 – Rosie can look after 4 children aged 2-3 or 3 children aged 0-2
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Rosie has recently graduated from the Institute of Education’s Early Years Masters programme and joined us at the same time as Jojo to add more weight to our toddler room Mandarin speaking team. Rosie has a strong musical background with grade 8 piano and so leads the Mandarin music programme with Helen for pre-2 aged children.


Version 2

Level 2 Nursery Staff

Iman Babi
Position:Early Years Practitioner, Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications:Level 2 NVQ Childcare; Level 3 due imminently
NQF Grading: Level 2 – Iman can look after 4 children aged 2-3 or 3 children aged 0-2
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Iman is the secondary lead practitioner in the baby room, having worked under Helen as the room lead since October 2015. As such, she has received direct mentorship from one of the nursery’s most senior and experienced practitioners and is a hugely consummate baby room professional in her own right. She has been working on her Level 3 for the last year and is due to complete imminently.


sadia-begumSadia Begum
Position:Apprentice (Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications:Level 2 Health & Social Care
NQF Grading: Level 2 but is working towards her level 3 in childcare. Sadia is our only unqualified member of staff
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Sadia joined our apprenticeship programme as part of her Level 3 Childcare NVQ and has been working underneath Helen since she joined the nursery at the end of the summer. She is due to finalise her studies next year to become a fully qualified member of staff who can directly care for 4 children aged 2-3 and 3 children aged 0-3.


Nursery Housekeeping

Rodica Balmos
Position: House Keeper
Qualifications:Level 3 Health & Social Care (on-going)
NQF Grading: Not qualified currently
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Rodica has been the cleaner and the housekeeper at the nursery for almost a year, ensuring that the facilities are kept in clean, hygenic order. She has a keen interest in working with children and you’ll often find her on the floor as well, supporting the staff with the delivery of specific activities. She even got involved with helping children make some cake and bread mix so is known to do some fun activities of her own with the support of the senior staff!


Position: Chef – recruiting!!!

Bilingual Nursery Bank Staff

Like all other settings, it was important for us to build up a “bank” of part time staff who can assist the central full time team when required. We’ve taken our time to choose those who add the most to our bilingual offer…


hangfan-photoHangfan Xue
Position: Mandarin Speaking Early Years Practitioner (Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications: CACHE Level 2 & 3 Childcare
NQF Grading: Level 3 – Hangfan can look after 8 children aged 3-5; 4 children aged 2-3 or 3 children aged 0-2
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Hangfan joined the nursery in the beginning of the summer to provide more Mandarin exposure on the floor of both rooms. Acting as an interim worker, Hangfan supports the toddler room staff as and when required to deliver bilingual activities with Helen


img_hatching-dragons-1Wang Yue
Position: Mandarin Speaking Assistant (Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications: UCL MSc, Developmental Psychology
NQF Grading: Level 7 but not full and relevant for childcare practice – Wang Yue is therefore not qualified to care for children directly
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Wang Yue has worked with Hatching Dragons as a part time worker since before the nursery was set up and was one of the first members of staff when we first opened in 2015. Working as a support assistant to qualified practitioners, Wang Yue complemented her child developmental psychology training from her Masters programme at UCL with practical experience on the nursery floor. Yue offers huge insight into cognitive development of children and works with all practitioners on knowledge transfer…


Julie You
Position: Mandarin Speaking Assistant (Toddlers & Babies)
Qualifications: NVQ Level 2 Childcare
NQF Grading: Level 2 – Julie is qualified to care for children but, as a bank staffer, is not directly responsible as a key worker
Training: Safeguarding (Level 2); Food Hygiene (Level2); Paediatric First Aider; Prevent Duty
Profile: Julie joined the business over the summer to assist the pre-school room practitioners in day to day activities.