BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Nanny and nursery manager, Jigsaw Day Nurseries, Hammersmith, London

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Nanny and nursery manager, Jigsaw Day Nurseries, Hammersmith, London - Name: Meg Dowdeswell

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Meg Dowdeswell

When did you become a manager?

When I was 17, I got my NNEB and worked as a nanny. At 25, I wanted to do something more with my life. I joined Teddies as a nursery nurse and worked my way up over five years. In January, I became manager of one of Jigsaw's nurseries.

What does management mean to you?

Setting the standard. I'm responsible for 60 children and 22 staff. Time management is crucial: keeping children's records up to date and handling days when the cook's ill, two staff are off and you've got three meetings.

It's about communicating with staff so they know exactly what's going on. With children, it's about reassuring, keying into and meeting their needs. Usually, it's mum who's feeling apprehensive, not child. Before the first week, we make sure mum's seen the nursery, met the staff and is comfortable to leave baby.

What do you love/hate about it?

I adore children's cheekiness and inquisitiveness. The paperwork's there - you have to get it done.

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