Elleni's passion for childcare started in 1997 at the age of 18, working at a Kindergarden in Schreufa Germany. There she worked for a number of years learning a great deal from the environment there, developing her understanding on how young children learn and techniques to allow children to get the best out of their day.
Elleni also studied at college for 2 years in a more academic field, that hard work was rewarded with an accounts qualification. She went on to work for P&G, KPMG and The European Central Bank as well as working with children part-time. Although these were dream jobs and well paid, she still had a passion for childcare.
The Big Step
In 2006 Elleni followed her heart and made the brave step of leaving Germany and pursuing a fulltime childcare career in the UK where there were more opportunities. Work in the UK started at a Nursery in North London where she was quickly identified as having a unique connection with children.
In order to add to her overall knowledge of child development Elleni decided to return to university, taking evening and weekend classes, this meant very long days over 2 years. In 2011 Elleni's dedication was rewarded with a Childcare degree in Early Childhood Studies. During the next few years she added to this knowledge and experience working at different sized nurseries throughout London, being made room leader at 4 different settings.
Time For Change
Elleni gradually became disillusioned with childcare provision at the London Nurseries where she worked. She had so much knowledge and experience to give yet the focus at most Nurseries were more financial and paper work based. Salarys were generally low and in her experience many members of staff did not get the support to progress their academic knowledge and further their own development, although they loved working with children. For Elleni having a mixture of passion and knowledge was important.
The final straw was working at a well-known nursery and experiencing how the pressure for managers to increase profit meant that even the number of wetwipes used for children were called into question weekly. Elleni quit after some tearful soul searching and used the time to reflect on what she would do next and whether she could see herself working for another Nursery setting again.
Inspiration came from her last role at a home based childcare setting in Chelsea, there she experienced how much children gained from being in a smaller group. The familiar relaxed home environment appeared to allow children to settle more easily, prompt and regular attention from an adult also seemed to increase each child’s self-esteem. Staff were actively encouraged to improve their childcare knowledge. This was unheard of in the larger Nurseries where she had worked previously. Elleni took advantage of this to increase her knowledge in other areas of childcare e.g Behaviour Management, Supporting Bilingual Children, etc. Once again she was elevated to room leader where she mentored other staff members within her room. She stayed for 5 years, honing her style of teaching and watching how children flourished under her guidance.
In 2017 inspired with a new vision Elleni created Homely Feeling Childcare, the aim to show how childminders can deliver the best of a Nursery and homebased Childcare. She designed the logo as a symbol of a childminders commitment to providing a safe, fun, loving, nurturing, educational experience for all young children.
Now with 17 years Nursery experience, Elleni is striving to raise the profile of home based childcare by demonstrating how bringing academic knowledge and Nursery experience within a nurturing warm loving home environment can really benefit a child’s development.