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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 Yasmin, the manager at Banana Moon Day Nursery in Westhill, who won the Management Team of the Year award at the Midnight Moon Awards 2022.

“Winning the Management Team of the Year Award at the Midnight Moon Awards 2022 holds immense significance for us! At Banana Moon in Westhill, we navigated challenging times, rallying together as a management team to set the nursery on a path back to the amazing setting it is today. When our director acknowledged our achievement, it was truly heart-warming, yet receiving confirmation from the Franchise took our emotions to an entirely different level. I vividly recall hoping for any award nomination, never daring to expect one. So, when our name went up on the screen, I was shocked. And when [Banana Moon] Westhill was declared the winner, I realized in that very moment that every ounce of sweat and effort had been worth it. As I stood on that stage, there wasn’t a dry eye in sight – we had finally done it!

Stepping into childcare

It’s surreal to reflect on my current position considering that my initial aspiration was to become a nurse. I even started my journey into nurse training. While I absolutely loved what I was doing, I mainly worked with children when they were sick and found that I really wanted to know what their progression was when they were better and out of the hospital. So, I changed course. That led me to nursery training, and from there, I climbed my way up to a management role. But craving more adventure, I joined Banana Moon at Westhill in 2021. I love working at Banana Moon [in Westhill] as every day is different and exciting. Our team is more than colleagues; we’re a tightly-knit family. We are all united by our passion and care for the children and their growth.

Building back up

Building trust back with our parents was a key challenge for us and we spent a lot of time making sure they felt safe and secure. I stepped into the role of Manager in May 2021 with a vision to make a difference and drive change, and I began to see my vision become a reality. We embarked on transformations within the nursery, reintroducing staff, adding a sofa into the foyer to create a more inviting drop-off and pick-up space, and expanding our stay-and-play activities. Witnessing parents respond positively was truly gratifying; seeing them gather on the sofa, indulging in conversations while sampling new desserts, brought a smile to my face. Evidently, things were falling into place! We also devised straightforward solutions to engage parents more, such as hosting stay-and-play sessions on Saturdays, allowing a broader spectrum of parents to partake in the experience. We make sure the families and children are at the centre of all our decisions and we love hearing the feedback that we are creating an environment that emulates that.

Leading our team

As a leader, I also wanted to make sure that the team around me trusted me to turn the nursery around. Communication became a key factor in this. From keeping the staff informed about my activities in the office to normalizing the acceptance of not-so-perfect days made our team stronger. I recognized that not every day would be flawless, but with the backing of a supportive team, even the challenging days could be made better. Most days were filled with positivity and knowing that a kind word or a helping hand could turn a tough day around made those occasional rough moments feel less daunting. As a team, we are always reflecting on our week and taking the little wins instead of focusing on the big goals. I always like to open this to the team as they will often motivate me.

The future

As a nursery, we just want to continue to become the best we can be. With every step forward, I’m reminded that our shared determination as a nursery team, fuelled by the strong bonds we’ve built and the genuine care we have for our families, have created the safe and secure environment I set out to make back in 2021 when I joined the nursery. I’m reminded that the heart of our success lies in the amazing community that we have built and continue to grow.

Midnight Moon Awards 2024

If you would like to experience the joy of seeing your nursery name light up our main stage, don’t forget to book your tickets to the Midnight Moon Awards 2023! Ticket sales and nominations both close on the 1st of September, so don’t delay – make sure you are part of the action.

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