Our Senior Team

Angela O’Sullivan, Manager

As well as overseeing the running of the nursery, a key part of my role is to protect and keep children safe through providing new and creative ways to help the staff teach and support the children’s learning.  I am always looking at new activity ideas to help with the children development.  I enjoy enhancing both the practitioners and the children’s learning opportunities through reflective practice and positive role modelling to a high standard.

I gained my Early Years Professional Status in September 2013 following my Early Years Degree.  I also hold a Level 3 Forest School Leader qualification and I am a designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)for the nursery. I started my Appletree employment in April 2003.

Angela O'Sullivan

Diana Mitova, Deputy Manager

I have been part of the nursery team since August 2015. I have worked in all rooms, which has helped me to build a better knowledge of children’s development in Early Years.

March 2022, I became Group Leader for Hedgehog’s Room and have led the team, welcomed new children and parents, and made sure the room was running smoothly. Following this, I went on my Second Maternity Leave during which I was successful for the post of Deputy Manager and I look forward to put all my experience and knowledge of working with children into one positive and smooth approach in managing a setting.

I am a qualified level 3 Early Years practitioner and hold a BA in Management. Before I moved to the UK I worked in English Language tuition, helping children to learn English as their second language. I came to England as an au pair for a lovely family and stayed with them for 4 years.

Diana Mitova

Melissa Wilkins, Deputy Manager

My journey here in Appletree began in 1999, I was here for 7 years, working predominantly in Moles and Badgers room. I left in 2006 for an extended mummy break, returning in 2020. Having been in Moles for two years I became the group leader of Badgers in January 2023. Then in October 2023 I successfully became Deputy manager. I have completed my level 5 Foundation degree in Early Years Pedagogy and am currently working towards my level 6 degree in professional practice working with children.

Appletree is a lovely place to come to work every day, we really are like a big family. I am responsible for overseeing staff and the running of the nursery. I am passionate about creating a nurturing, fun and stimulating environment that supports the children as they grow and develop. I want to provide the children with opportunities that sparks their curiosity and embeds a love of learning that they will take with them as they transition on to school.

Melissa Wilkins

Donna Clunie, Group Leader Moles (2/2.5 - 3 years)

I have been at Appletree since May 2005. I started in the kitchen and moved to the moles room in November 2007 where I have been ever since. I am a Level 3 Forest School trained leader, Level 3 qualified NVQ Childcare Professional and I have recently completed training in managing behavior and autism. I am the SENCO having completed my Level 3 SENDCO qualification. I provide support and learning for all ages groups when my Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ESLA) is required and I am a deputy DSL.

Working with the children in moles is different everyday. Everyday we share lots of laughter with the children. We all learn so much from each other and the children motivate me daily to become a better person, children are the most honest and accepting little people.

Helping children and their families is the most rewarding job and I can think of. It is so great to be a part of a child’s first experiences. It is great to see the wonder in a child’s eyes as they explore messy play, a muddy puddle or a spider spinning in its web or a bright shining rainbow!

Donna Clunie

Holly Tanner, Group Leader Hedgehog (3 months - 2 years)

I started at Appletree In February 2005, I came to the nursery after qualifying to level 3 in childcare and education at Nescot Collage. I have worked in all age groups and rooms within the nursery and I am now so happy to be running the baby room.

Children are my passion and being a part of their start in life, helping them to develop and being a caring and affectionate figure is what I strive to be. Partnership with parents is imperative and I will support them in the best way I can. The Hedgehogs room is full of love, cuddles, fun and new experiences. We will make sure your baby has the best nursery start.

Holly Tanner

Charis Meehan, Group Leader Badger (2.5-5 years)

I joined the lovely Appletree family in 2020. Shortly before this, I graduated from University, receiving a BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies. Receiving my Level 6 qualification empowered me with the knowledge and skills, confidence and resilience to act as an advocate for babies, young children and their families. My Appletree journey first began in Moles (toddlers). In July 2022, I then stepped up as Moles room leader for a period of 6 months. During this time period, I also completed my Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) training; I am the Deputy DSL for the nursery and also the first aid officer. Over the past 6 months, I have been working in the Badgers (pre-school) room. I have secured a promotion as Badgers room leader.

I am extremely passionate about making a positive difference to the lives of young people and strongly believe the first 5 years of a child’s development is profoundly important. I find my job very rewarding and enjoy watching the children as they discover new things, use their imaginations and just be their unique, individual, amazing little people.

Charis Meehan

Karen Hornsby, Senior Cook / Housekeeper

I have been at Appletree since 2005 and I am now the senior cook and have an NVQ 2 and NVQ 3 in Catering and Hospitality. I also hold a Food Hygiene Certification. Providing the children with nutritious meals so that they have the energy to enjoy all the activities going on at the nursery each day is a key part of my role. I am also experienced in catering for children who have food allergies. I have two grown up children of my own, so it is lovely spending time with the younger ones on a regular basis. The staff and children all call me ‘Kitch’ - a nickname that started years ago. It is wonderful watching the children grow and become independent little people.

Karen Hornsby

Ellie Cazaly, Office Administrator

I started working at Appletree Day Nursery in May 2023, and have grown to love the nursery’s values, and the crucial role we play in caring for and educating young children. With my background in children’s education I know first-hand what it takes to provide top-notch education and developmental support to little ones and the passion required from staff members to do this effectively and with love.

As the nursery’s administrator my role allows for quite a scope of duties including plenty of gardening and event planning. I love getting the garden ready for the children’s enrichment activities and organising the events for them, my first being the Teddy Bears Picnic. I look forward to many, many more in the future.

Ellie Cazaly