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In the moonlight is a chance for us to shine a light on the people who make up Banana Moon.

This week we spoke with one of our Quality Assurance Manager Craig.

Starting In Early Years

My early career was in retail management and having achieved numerous promotions and accomplishments, I thought my career was set. Unfortunate, however life-changing – I started getting reoccurring migraines which fatefully started my journey into the wonderful world of early years! After scans, tests, and investigations, I was told I had a large benign tumour in my nose and sinus area. After two, nine-hour operations to remove the tumour and a year off work for recovery brought me to a crossroad; Do I stay in retail management or do I change careers? Life is too short to think “what if” and so I began exploring my options. I had always wanted to work with children and see them grow and develop, so I knew that it was something I wanted to explore.

Beginning this path, I volunteered at a school and soon realised I made the right decision and took to it like a duck to water. I started my early years career as an unqualified nursery nurse or as it was called back then the ‘chief paint pot washer’ and continued on to complete a level 2, 3 and 5 qualifications in early years. Having lots of previous experience in managing, coaching, mentoring, and leading people, I went on to become a room leader of all age rooms and a deputy manager. After a number of years, I wanted to progress further and went on to become a nursery manager of several settings in Nottinghamshire, Doncaster, and Yorkshire. I also co-chaired the NDNA for the Doncaster region which gave me a great insight into what was happening in my local community.

Beginning at Banana Moon

Anyone who knows me will know that I love giving my all to whatever I do , so when I applied for the Quality Improvement Advisor role at Banana Moon and asked to create a presentation as part of my interview – I went to town. I remember Mark came into the meeting to say hello, while I was mid-flow but ended up staying for the rest of the presentation, which meant a lot!  I officially joined the Head office team in August 2018 and over the years I have been promoted to the Quality Assurance Regional Lead of the North and more recently Quality Assurance Manager – overseeing the support of the whole network.

Every day is different – happy days and hard days. It is amazing to see the hard days transition to happy days with the work the team provide. I am loving visiting the southern nurseries which I haven’t seen before and over the next year, my aim is to have visited them all. I joined early years because I was natural with children but have fallen in love with watching my hard work make a difference to the network. Each nursery I visit is full of passion, determination, and smiling children!

Some fun facts about me – at 19 I dabbled in acting (and soon decided it wasn’t for me) the highlight was being an extra in Peak Practice and Hollyoaks. I am a self-confessed Harry Potter nerd, sorted into house Slytherin, and love following and watching tennis! I also have become an avid gardener over lockdown and now can’t get enough. If you want to know how to keep a plant alive, I am your man!

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