Stepping Stones Nursery

110 West King Street

Helensburgh

G84 8DQ

Our Team


Stepping Stones has an existing team of four dedicated team members who have proved to be very successful over the last few years, and this team will be added to as the nursery expands. We have maintained a high level of parent satisfaction, with parent expressing that the nursery has given their children the best start to their education thanks to the high quality pre-school education offered. The team works hard to ensure a creative and stimulating environment, which enables children to have exciting adventures in play and learning.


Owner – Mrs Karen MacDonald


I am the new owner of Stepping Stones and am very excited about taking over the nursery. I am married and am mother to 5 gorgeous children, Hannah, Natalie, Caitlin, Findlay and Ruairidh, the girls having previously been students at Stepping Stones when they were younger.

 I have a variety of experience working with children, starting as a nanny, followed by working in a creche before following a career in the NHS in which I looked after children with complex needs, worked in a surgical ward and then within the nursing team of a local GP practice. Unfortunately an accident 7 years ago resulted in me becoming a bilateral above knee amputee in 2018 and left me looking for a new career direction. 

A chance conversation led to me finding out that Stepping Stones was up for sale and the rest as they say is history. I have done various Continual Professional Development courses in preparation, and have just completed my HNC Childhood Practice, graduating with an A, and I am now planning on continuing to complete my degree. 

I am very excited about the plans I have for the expansion of Stepping Stones and the future potential of the nursery.


Manager - Mrs Maureen (Mo) King


After gaining my geography degree in 1996 I struggled to find a career which inspired me. It was only after moving to Helensburgh in 2006 and volunteering with my sons’ nursery that I found my vocation. 

Since then I have gained practical experience and qualifications and have recently returned to Glasgow University to gain my Masters of Education in Childhood Practice in which I graduated with a Distinction. 

I have a passion for play and firmly believe children should lead their own learning. Out with the nursery I am heavily involved in the local rugby club where I have been treasurer for the past three years.


Practitioner – Mrs Andrea Green


I am married with 17 year old twins and I got into child care when my children started primary school. I was helping at a local nursery school which I really enjoyed and luckily after a couple of years a position became available for a play practitioner which I applied for. Thankfully I was successful and this started me on my new journey which resulted in me completing my college course and becoming a qualified practitioner. 

Ten years later and I still have the same passion for teaching that I had all those years ago. I

 attend regular training in all areas of the curriculum to maintain my Continual Professional Development to ensure my practice is current. Shaping the lives of the next generation is a privilege that I embrace.


Practitioner – Mrs Linda Smith

I started working in the Early Years 25 years ago when my daughter started playgroup, and I was asked if I was interested in a managerial position as they recognised that I was able to relate well with the children when carrying out my duties as a parent helper. 
I then moved onto a more permanent position with another nursery where I worked full time for 16 years whilst studying to obtain my Level 3 SVQ. During this time my husband was posted to Gibraltar with the navy, and we finally joined him as a family for three years, and my career direction changed from caring for children to caring for animals at a local sanctuary and veterinary surgery. On our return I secured a job at my previous nursery and managed to complete my Level 4 SVQ, before moving to Stepping Stones.

 I continue to attend courses run by Early Years providers as I am passionate about children’s learning and how we best support their time in childcare. 

I have loved working at Stepping Stones for the last 5 years and feel that it is a great environment for children to thrive and succeed. I take great pleasure from watching them grow from tiny 3 year olds into confident and outgoing 5 year olds.


Practitioner - Miss Zoe Robinson

I have worked at Stepping Stones for almost four years as an early years practitioner. I am outgoing, fun and passionate about my job. Out with work I enjoy sailing and regularly compete around Scotland, England and Ireland. I have my RYA RACE coach qualification and teach at Cove sailing club. I have also qualified in powerboat 1&2 as well as RYA first aid. 

I love helping the children to grow and gain confidence as they prepare for a happy, positive transition to school. Watching them achieve their individual potential and flourish into confident, eager learners is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.


Practitioner – Miss Jody Hopper


I am mother to 4, now adult children. When my kids were wee I was a childminder, and completed a home learning course and got my qualification as a Nursery Nurse. The next 12 years were spent in childcare, 8 of these at Stepping Stones. 

I am also a qualified yoga instructor with an additional qualification with rainbow kids and family yoga. 

Recently I have been a support worker for a woman with Down Syndrome, which has given me a fantastic opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of adults and children with special needs.

 I am so excited to come back to Stepping Stones and am really looking forward meeting this year's new arrivals.



Practitioner – Mrs Annette Goram


I am delighted to be joining the wonderful team at Stepping Stones as the banking/volunteer early learning practitioner. I have a son, a daughter, two grandsons, a dog and a chicken. 

I am a keen gardener and I have a passion for the outdoors and a windy west coast beach! 

Previously I worked as a private nanny for a local 1yr old girl until she started school after completing my SNNEB ( Scottish Nursery Nurses Education board) then Lomond School Nursery for 25 years during which time I worked on gaining the Nursery/ primary green flag status followed by 6 years in the Helensburgh Waitrose where I continued to work with local schools implementing the grow and sell initiative.

Practitioner – Ms Ellouise Stanley


From a young age I have always wanted to work with children. My passion started by watching my mother and helping out in school with the younger children. I got to experience first hand how much play can help with a child's development. 

 Once my niece was born, I knew I wanted to work in the early years to help give children the best start in life.

Completing my NC and HNC in Childhood Practice only made me more sure I had chosen the right path. I love being able to help the children learn new things in fun ways and seeing them grow into individuals with unique personalities, ready for their next steps in life.

In my free time I love to relax with a variety of different books. I also enjoy going on walks with my many dogs or even by myself, where I can discover new areas and paths I've never been on before.

Outdoor Technical Adviser – Mr Uisdean MacDonald


A former Sergeant Major with the British Army serving a total of 30 years, who specialised in Adventurous Training with a career culminating in establishing an adventure training centre for the Royal Army of Oman. Currently I am employed by the Outward Bound Trust – Locheil Centre, the leading provider of outdoor education for young people in the UK. My main role is to develop staff as well as advise on technical aspects of adventure pursuits. I am fully committed to the benefits of exposing young people to the outdoors and the learning that it provides; letting the young person face controlled risk, overcome personal challenges, develop communication, and be made aware of their potential and ensure they achieve it. I look forward to working with Stepping Stones and being able to offer unique opportunities that outdoor education offers in the development of young people.



Recruitment  

All staff go through a rigorous recruitment process and are recruited in guidance with the Governments national guidance Safer Recruitment Through Better Recruitment (2016). This enables Stepping Stones to meet existing legislative and regulatory requirements in relation to safer recruitment and selection to ensure all skills, experience, qualifications, criminal records, identities and values of existing and future staff are fully checked and referenced.