The Acorns Team

Professional Management

Acorns Nursery began life in 1990, managed by Company Child Care Ltd,  to provide high quality childcare for children aged 6 months to 5 years. Company Directors Marilyn Randall and Sue Deeks are responsible for the management and continuing development of the nursery and the maintenance of the highest possible standards.

Marilyn and Sue are qualified teachers and have many years’ experience in education, training and business management.  They say, “Acorns is a highly individual nursery, not part of a chain, and as Directors we take a personal and active role in its management and development. Many of our staff have been part of the Acorns team for over ten years, building up a firm base of knowledge, expertise, training and practical experience in child care and education. We regard the quality and professional commitment of our staff team as the mainstay of our provision and what distinguishes us from many other nurseries.”

pic-of-Marilyn2Company Child Care Directors

Marilyn Randall, Director of Personnel, B.A.Hons & Certificate in Education. Marilyn’s professional expertise includes teaching, project management, administration and accounts and she has many years experience as a county councillor and school governor.

pic-of-SueSue Deeks, Director of Finance, B. Ed Hons (Mathematics & Management). Sue has a wide range of skills developed during her career as a reading adviser, Head of Mathematics, lecturer and Head of a local preparatory school.


The Nursery Team

Senior Staff Team

Nursery Manager

Joanne Luffman-Cook, NAMCW Diploma and NVQ Level 3
Joanne is responsible for the day-to-day running of the nursery, supervising staff, health & safety, administration and admissions. She has been part of the Acorns team since 1994 and has an excellent reputation in the field of early years education and nursery management.



Karen-Murray-web-picNursery Practice Leader

Karen Murray, B.A Hons (First Class) in Early Education and Early Years Professional Status

Karen joined the Acorns team in 2016. She has worked for many years in the early years field and is an experienced trainer. She is responsible for developing best practice and for meeting all aspects of Ofsted requirements.





Staff with Extra Responsibilities

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Joanne Luffman-Cook joined us in 1994 and holds a NAMCW Diploma and NVQ Level 3. She has responsibility for organising the delivery of our care for children with additional needs. You can read our full policy on additional needs by downloading the parent information booklet.

Health and Safety Officer

Debbie Barton, joined us in 2000 and holds a Diploma in Nursery  Nursing  (NNEB). She ensures that all health and safety regulations are maintained and makes regular checks to ensure required standards are kept.


Members of Staff

Debbie Barton joined us in 2000 and holds an NNEB Certificate

Sandra Drury joined us in 2013 and holds NVQ 3

Emma Hopton joined us in 2011 and holds CACHE Level 3 Diploma

Claire Jenner joined us in 1996 and holds an NNEB Certificate

Amy McDowall joined us in 2016 and holds a CACHE Level 3 Diploma

Claire Mullane joined us in 2017. She holds a B.A. Honours Degree in Drama, Theatre and Music and PGCE in Early Childhood Education, with Early Years Teacher Status.

Gail Procter joined us in 2001 and holds NVQ Level 3

Sian Puxty joined us in 2017 and holds CACHE Level 3 Diploma.

Sheila Rogers joined us in 2015 and holds NVQ Level 3

Emma Tait joined us in 1992 and holds NAMCW Diploma

Liz Williams joined us in 2009 and holds NVQ Level 3


Support Team

Melanie Soanes joined us in 2017 and holds Pitman Book-keeping and Accounts. She has experience in administraion and staff training.

Sarah Aldridge joined us in 2016. She holds a Food Hygiene Certificate and has also worked as a Nursery Assisant.


Staff Qualifications

Acorns Nursery is staffed by qualified professionals all of whom hold, or are studying for, a childcare diploma or certificate, involving at least two years’ training, and a First Aid Certificate.


Staff Training & Development

Continuous staff development is provided through:

• individual staff supervision sessions with the Nursery Leader
• regular whole-team training meetings arising from needs identified within the nursery
• a whole-staff training and team-building day held annually
• a staff training programme, created on an annual basis using external short courses and devised according to staff development needs

The Directors of Company Child Care hold individual annual reviews with every member of the team. They also carry out observations of staff in action, followed by feed-back sessions so as to be able to support them in continually improving practice.