A truly inspirational story

How creating family centered child care developed
in the Heart of West Bridgford

A new beginning

Back in 1993, days after their son Ed was born, Ian found himself redundant from his role in the property surveying sector. Helen, whilst on maternity leave, had new intentions of teaching rather than her role in the financial sector. Faced with a major change in prospects, it was time to sit down and make a plan. How could they manage with two small children, everything financially stacked against them and looking at prospects of a new career?

Helen returned early to her financial services role full-time and studied for two A’ Levels in the evening, to get her onto her first degree. Ian stayed at home to look after the children whilst completing his surveying diploma by correspondence course. Enjoying the role of primary childcarer, Ian registered as a childminder with Helen supporting when not at university.

wboosc Opens

They were very popular child-carers and within a short time, not only worked closely with Nottinghamshire Social services to support children with Special Educational Needs, but in 1994 West Bridgford Infants’, and then 1995 West Bridgford Juniors’, asked them to set up their kids’ club in school – these were the first in the Rushcliffe area and still successfully operate today, providing school age children with care before and after school and in school holidays. In September 1995, a lease was achieved with Notts County Council and the Studio was built. The interior was designed by the children of wboosc who were the first children to feel ownership and control of their own care.


The Playroom Opens

In January 1998, Helen and Ian, opened the Playroom. A tired but delightful Victorian property central to West Bridgford. Ian used his surveying skills and property renovation abilities, to develop the whole building into the lovely nursery environment for the small children that we have today. This has, over the years, been an ongoing project and now encompasses three floors dedicated to providing the best possible support for children and the team. As the numbers of children grew, so did the ideas and plans to support their development, with the most recent being the wonderful 60 square metre, pre-school garden room, with free-flow to the outside play area. The playroom opens its doors at 7am which enables any wboosc children needing an earlier start to be accomodated there.

Over the years, both Ian and Helen, continued to work with the children and study, whilst balancing their own home life and family responsibilities. Ian changed his career, becoming a qualified teacher at both primary and secondary level and Helen developed her skills, working across both kids club and nursery, gained many childcare qualifications leading up to her Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) and Masters degree. She became a successful trainer and assessor in NVQ playwork, and assessor for Northampton university Early Years Professional status candidates. In 2020, her massive efforts in training staff and successful development in children’s learning, were recognised by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth with an M.B.E. for services to children and families in Nottingham.


Despite all this considerable hard work, family has always been the essential focus with many shared experiences. The outdoor life holds great importance with cycling, camping, skiing being woven into the family calendar. Back in 2009, the family took a year out and back-packed around the world – at the point of leaving the UK, Ed was 15 and Milly 12. The experiences these young people had in countries such as Vietnam, Australia, Canada, Laos and New Zealand have inevitably given them huge insight into how to help others be the best they can be.

Inspired by their parents zest for life, hard work and success and dedication to providing the best opportunities for children, Ed has become our wboosc kids’ club manager and Milly our Playroom manager.

Ed is overall in charge of the day to day running of wboosc kids’ clubs, working closely with Helen who is the operational planner and financial organiser for wboosc. Having attended wboosc and the playroom from a young age, he worked at the playroom from school age, washing pots after school and supporting a child with additional needs, he has developed his passion of working with children. His own intellectual development has lead to him with qualifications in a level 5 leadership & management diploma, level 3 early years qualification and a degree in business management (innovation & enterprise). He is a talented individual, keen on sports having been a ski instructor in Austria for a number of years, working with schools to both teach skiing and support evening fun activities. With a love of driving, Ed passed his PSV license to ensure that the playroom and wboosc children could enjoy the wider environment of play off-site.

Milly is our Playroom Nursery Manager, working closely with Helen on stategic and operational matters, she is responsible for the day to day care learning and play of the children in our care. Having qualified with a Batchelors degree in Music, Milly developed her knowledge and understanding of children through gaining her Early Years Teacher Status before completing a Masters degree in Early Years Education. Milly is passionate in ensuring that all children access the best possible care, learning and play opportunities. As our playroom SENDCO, she has gained considerable experience in working with and ensuring the right level of support, for children with additional needs. Like her brother, Milly has also taught skiing for secondary school children as well as working as a sailing instructor, teaching all ages. Milly is an active Army reservist and utilises her knowledge of the outdoors and spirit of adventure in nursery, combining this with her Forest School Teacher qualifications to regularly plan activities to support children’s learning both inside nursery as on our outdoor adventures.

Childhood is forever! Let’s make sure that together we get it right

How we can help

Before School Care

We prepare children for a busy school day, with a healthy nutritious breakfast to give them energy and focus.

After School Care

After a hardworking day, we believe that children need to relax, have enjoyable, stimulating experiences in safety with their friends.

Holiday Clubs

A club that offers extensive full and part-day, off-site activities, to exciting destinations and full of breath-taking opportunity?


What Our Families are Saying

Helen, your philosophy and unerring belief in making this such important phase of child development fun, stimulating, challenging sets a remarkably high benchmark and results in positive, happy and considerate children who are not only kind and confident but also eat an amazing variety of vegetables and claim that white bread is not bread at all!

In addition the personal touches, reassurance at parents evenings and Christmas presents which perfectly suit, have made the experience feel special, integrated and kind.  A place where S always wants to go and I feel assured he gets all the cuddles and support he would at home but offers him beyond that, the opportunity to socialize and interact with others. (Kim)

Just want to say again, how thankful we are to everyone at the nursery who helped us with the kids over the last few years.  You were all so friendly when we moved back up to Nottingham, it meant a huge amount to me and Bri.  You have a fabulous team, second to none! (Kate).