Alison Midgley – Director / Nursery Manager

Alison is a qualified primary teacher who taught for many years at Steeple Bumpstead primary school. In 2001, she founded the Crocus group, which achieved outstanding Ofsted results at all three of its nurseries, as well as the award of UK Day Nursery of the Year (for which Blois Meadow was also shortlisted in 2014). Alison also teaches and assesses early years practitioners, as well as being an Early Years Pedagogue for Essex CC. Alison manages the nursery and is responsible for operations, quality and staff development. Like Ross, she is a keen cricket watcher.

Ross Midgley – Director

rossRoss is a chartered accountant who spent many years both in practice and as a finance director, before co-founding Crocus with Alison. He recently completed a law degree at Nottingham Law School, gaining first class honours. Within the nursery Ross is responsible for finance, administration, marketing and business development. He also runs our sister company, PBD Early Years Training. Ross plays competitive bridge and enjoys following the England cricket team to exotic locations.

Claire Hackett – Deputy Manager/Room Leader

Claire, who starts maternity leave in March 2017, is Alison’s deputy and who also leads the Buttercups (pre-school) room, has worked in early years since leaving school She has a Level 4 early years qualification and also holds a Level 3 in management. Since moving to Steeple Bumpstead in 2013, Claire has taken up baking and photography: she enjoys a challenge and recently completed the 26.2 mile ‘moonwalk’ in London.

Silvana Schiavi – Senior EY Practitioner

Silvana  has a level 3 early years qualification and has been working in nurseries since 2007.  In Claire’s absence on maternity leave, Silvana is deputising for Alison as well as leading the Buttercups room and running school readiness sessions for children who will leave us in the summer.  Silvana lives locally with her husband and teenager daughter. She likes entertaining and sampling (for quality control purposes) the food she serves. Silvana is often found at ‘silly-o-clock’ in the woods walking her black lab Millie!

Amy Fernard – EY Practitioner/Room Leader

Amy, who is currently on maternity leave, has a Level 3 Diploma in the Children and Young People’s workforce and joined us from the Crocus nursery at Hinxton, which Alison and Ross used to run. Amy is married with a son at school: she enjoys swimming, walking and cooking. Amy is room leader of the Poppy (toddler) room.

Rachel Denby –  EY Practitioner/Room Leader

Rachel-DRachel is the room leader of Bluebells (baby) room,  as well as acting as the nursery’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.  She has a BTec in Early Years and had a career in administration before moving back into childcare.  Rachel’s daughter used to attend the nursery but has now left for ‘big school’.  Rachel lives locally and occasionally escapes for evenings with grown up friends.

Megan Williams – EY Assistant

Megan holds a Level 2 qualification in early years, obtained at Cambridge Regional College. Megan, from Haverhill, has competed in Modern Dance competitions and acted as a mentor for other young dancers.

Carol Donaldson – Nursery Chef

CarolCarol is the nursery chef and prepares all the snacks and meals for the children, all home made!. Carol has over 30 years experience in catering, most recently in a private healthcare environment where she worked for twelve years. Aside from work, Carol’s interests include swimming, reading, spending time with family and geneaology. She also enjoys a variety of crafts such as glass engraving, painting, sewing, knitting/crochet and creating bespoke gifts for baby showers.

Alice Flinn – EY Practitioner

Alice joined the Blois Meadow team in February 2017 and holds a level 3 early years qualification from West Suffolk College.  She lives locally and is often to be seen in leathers on her motorbike.   Alice is fond of cooking (and fruit!) and enjoys exploring London and music festivals with friends.

Sophie Lawrence – EY Practitioner

Sophie holds a level 3 diploma for the children and young people’s workforce.  She has had many years experience working in nurseries and for several years was a preschool room leader.
Sophie’s interests include spending family time with her partner and son, visiting family in Cambridge, socialising with friends, shopping and fashion.

Louise Bacon, EY Practitioner

Louise joined us in February 2017 after working her way through the ranks from assistant to room leader with a large national early years chain.  She has lived in Haverhill all her life and holds a level 3 qualification in early years from West Suffolk College.  In her spare time, Louise likes to spend time with her boyfriend and with friends and enjoys swimming, going to the cinema and scrapbooking.

Emma Ellis – EY Apprentice


Having completed her A levels at Castle Manor Sixth Form, Haverhill, Emma joined the Blois Meadow team to work towards a level 2 early years apprenticeship. Emma is a keen sports player and coach, who has played cricket at county level for Suffolk since she was aged 11. More recently, Emma has also started playing netball for her local club.

Molly Gregory – EY Apprentice

Molly lives in Clare with her family.   She enjoys looking after her young nieces .  Molly is interested in arts and crafts and also enjoys music, often attending musicals and concerts.  After leaving school, Molly attended West Suffolk College to do her first childcare qualification.  She is now an apprentice, studying for her level 2 in early years.