Meet The Team
The ADO Mini-Explorers team is part of the ADO Academy which is supported by the experienced team behind Animal Days Out C.I.C.. Let us have a look at our team on the ground.
Alice Pinwill – Preschool Manager
Alice has over 10 years experience working with children and young people as well as leading and managing staff in Early Years Settings. She is passionate about outdoor learning and holds a Forest School Leader qualification (Level 3) alongside a degree in Education and a Diploma in Childcare and Early Years.
She has a love of being outside, in and around nature and animals. As a young child she spent most of her time in the garden and at local parks having adventures with her family. This love of nature and the outdoors has been recently rekindled since working within a Forest School setting and she has seen the benefits of this style of learning and the benefits it can give to young children. Alice joined ADO in September 2015 and have quickly become ingrained in this friendly busy team and is looking forward to growing the ADO Mini-Explorers Preschool and meeting some of your children!
Miranda Hamill– Deputy Preschool Manager
Miranda has over two decades experience in caring for children in the early years environment. She is qualified to Level Three in Early Childhood Learning and has run her own home based childcare business for nine years, in addition to roles working in childcare management and education roles. Further experience comes from parenting two energetic children, a rescue greyhound and a cat. These experiences enable a very down to earth and practical approach to all areas of child development and learning.
Miranda has always had an passion for the outdoor environment, and the need to promote an interest and respect for nature has been key throughout her career and personal life. Miranda has a wealth of experience in engaging children to see the 'treasure trove' of experiences that a natural environment can offer for learning and play opportunities in the early years. Miranda is a keen gardener and advocate of grow - at - home and seasonal eating; this coupled with a love of cooking and preserving offer another range of skills and learning opportunities that she brings with her to the Mini Explorers and Animal Days Out teams. Miranda undertook bushcraft practitioner training in May 2017. In addition to her experiences Miranda sits on the committee for a number of local charity and community ventures.
Miranda looks forward to undertaking a formal qualification in forest school learning, to underpin her extensive experience and welcoming your children to Mini Explorers very soon.
Eloise Greenwood - Outdoor Leader
The team are ably assisted by Eloise Greenwood at the preschool. Eloise holds a Bsc degree in Media Technology and has many years of experience as a nanny to young children locally and a wealth of extended experience in childcare with our Young Explorer groups with our After School and Holiday Clubs. She worked in our operational team for two years, administrating our After School and Holiday Clubs, ensuring that customer communication and relationships are key to success. Eloise is an important part of the team with the experience to ensure that Early Years technology and media can be seamlessly implemented to work within an outdoor learning environment. She is undertaking her Level 2 Introduction to Early Years Education and Care with us and she undertook bushcraft practitioner training in May 2017.
Amber Downs - Outdoor Leader
Amber is training in Level 3 Childcare, she is highly creative and runs an Art Club for the children every week. Amber has been volunteering and working with ADO since she was at school, assisting and running parties and taking part in the after school and holiday clubs as a young leader. She has developed knowledge and experience in the Forest School Approach as well as Animal Handling. Amber says ‘I love that I get the opportunity to be with nature everyday and see all of the children grow within it. I believe its the best way to learn and develop.
Victoria McHolland-Pilcher - Education & Therapy Director
The ADO Academy is headed by Victoria McHolland-Pilcher, our Education and Therapy Director. Victoria also leads our ADO Therapy teams and has over 15 years Project Management and Business Consultancy experience and qualifications working for large firms in London and across the country. Victoria's life history includes a lifelong love of supporting youth and community programs and with a family heavily involved in youth and community, spent many summers supporting holiday schemes for deprived children and young people. Victoria has undertaken both the Forest School Leader Level 3 course and is also a Bushcraft Practitioner with several years experience of implementing these programs within our existing childcare clubs. Victoria also holds qualifications in Animal Assisted Therapy, finalising in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and currently studying Relaxation Therapy. With a therapy team on hand, we are in a strong position to support children with SEND requirements where required.
The ADO Team
Some other members of the ADO Team may be at the preschool at various times whilst your child is attending the setting. They are there to help support the preschool and assist with upkeep and maintenance. Please check the parent noticeboard by the entrance gate for the staff sheets which have images of all staff involved with the preschool. All staff involved with the preschool have enhanced DBS checks. The whole operation is backed by key staff at head office where our operational team are the cogs in the machine that make our Mini-Explorers Preschool tick. We have 8 years of operational experience running after-school and holiday clubs for young children and young people. Not forgetting our wonderful animals that we regard as being part of our team and the animal care team that looks after them. Our team operates across many areas of the business supporting our animal, wildlife, nature and outdoor activities for all our brands and services. The ADO Team partner with Kylanja Ltd T/A Animal Days Out, with over 25 years of operational experience working for large companies in the London West End and City. The ADO team and partnership ensure that their is full support behind growing our Preschool.
As a not for profit Community Interest Company, we could not achieve all that we do without our wonderful volunteers that support many of our programs including our after school clubs, holiday programs, community events and therapy. We encourage volunteers to help in our preschool and are always looking for reliable volunteers who have experience in childcare settings, young people on work experience, parents wanting to get back into work or those wanting to undertake childcare placements with us. We also work with the Apprenticeship scheme across our company. All Preschool volunteers will require reference checks and an enhanced DBS check.
We have various education session workers in our team who will support the preschool who are multi trained in delivering educational animal encounters, animal handling and animal therapy to childrens centres, schools and nurseries who are on hand as needed.
We will at various times of the year require additional qualified Preschool staffing to cover holidays, absences and growth. We are especially looking for session workers with Childcare Level 2 and 3 to be on our books planning ahead for our growth. If this is you and you love the outdoors - get in touch!