Meet the Team

Nursery Manager - Helen Horner

Helen has been the Manager and a partner of Polly Anna's since it open in 1997, and our nursery name Polly Anna’s, taken from Eleanor H. Porters novel of the same name, a story of an optimistic young lady in the US, was her choice as she believe that all children have the right to be cheerful, optimistic and believes that good things are going to happen.

Since then Helen has developed her interest in supporting children with additional needs and has completed accredited training, and a vast range of other specialist training around supporting children who may have a special educational needs.

With an aim of ‘being the best’ Helen’s mission is for Polly Anna’s to provide the best quality childcare and education for families. So, in 2010 after a lot of hard work and commitment Helen achieved a First Class Honours Degree in Educational Leadership in Children’s Workforce. Then with some additional studies extended this to attain Early Years Teacher Status in 2011. Her studies continued gaining a PGCE allowing her to teach early years students at York College.

Helen just loves to share ideas and good practice and loves to move the nursery forward in achieving recognition in all aspects, and was justly proud when Ofsted recognised her achievements by awarding our nursery with their highest grade of ‘Outstanding’

Helen now lives in Strensall with her two teenage children.

Business Manager - Ken McArthur

Ken comes from a hotel and catering management background with a wealth of experience in management. Ken’s main responsibilities are for the administration and financial control as well as overseeing the catering service. Ken has been involved with representing the day nursery sector at both local and national levels, and has been Chair of the local NDNA Network in York and is a member of their National Policy Committee. His work supporting the early years sector nationally was recognised by his peers who awarded him the ‘Most Influential’ person in Early Years 2016. Ken lives locally in Wigginton with his wife Liz who until her retirement regularly worked in the nursery. They have four grown-up children and two grandchildren.

Deputy Manager & Pre-School Manager - Wendy Kersey

Wendy is our longest serving employee, being with us since 1998, starting as a nursery nurse. After our expansion when we opened our Birth to Three building, Wendy was prompted initially to Pre-School Manager and then as Deputy Manager for the whole nursery. Wendy is a highly qualified and experienced Early Years Educator and is our designated Looked after Children lead person. She lives in Haxby and is the mother of two children, one of which is Emma who works in our Birth to Three Unit, she is also 'Grandma' to three grandchildren.

Birth to Three Manager -Lynette Starkey

Lynette has been working in early years education and caresince she qualified at 18. She joined our team in 1999 when she wanted to return to work after her first child. She has a BTEC National Diploma in Childcare. Lynette is our second longest serving member of staff, having worked throughout the nursery with all age group but shortly after we opened our Birth to Three Unit where initially she was Toddler Manager. After returning to work after the birth of her second child she shortly became overall Manager for the Birth to Three area.


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