Our Staff

We are proud of our high ratio of adults to children, which we aim to maintain at one adult to six children for children over the age of 3, and one adult to four children for under 3s. This ensures individual attention to the needs and development of each child. Our Rainbow pre-schooler sessions are limited to a maximum of 24 children, while we limit our Sunbeams sessions to 16 children.

We have nine permanent members of staff, all of whom are qualified and experienced in nursery education or are working towards a suitable qualification. All staff regularly attend training courses as part of their continuing professional development. In accordance with OFSTED regulations, all of our members of staff are employed subject to all of the relevant checks.


Manager: Allison Tomlin

Allison joined the Rainbow team in 1997, taking a year out at one point to enjoy being a grandma. She is an experienced practitioner, who is also a mum to three boys, three step children, and six grandchildren.

Allison has a diploma in Preschool Practice (DPP) and an NVQ Level Three in Early Years Education and Childcare. Allison is Rainbows Health and Safety Officer and First Aider.

Allison has a natural ability to communicate with children on their own level, and firmly believes that learning should be fun and exciting experiences. She believes that children of a preschool age have ‘minds like sponges, ready to soak up the rich environment and activities around them’.


Deputy Manager: Caroline Kingman

Caroline has been at Rainbow since 2003. She is a qualified practitioner, with an Early Years Foundation Degree (level 5). Along with her role at Rainbow, she also works at Shelford Primary School in the Teaching Assistant team.

Caroline is the Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator, and a First Aider at Rainbow. Caroline enjoys getting active with the children in the PE sessions.


Senior Practitioner: Lisa Humphray

Lisa joined Rainbow in 2015. She has a Level 3 Diploma in Preschool Practice. Lisa has over 5 years experience providing 1:1 support for children with special needs, and is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at Rainbow. Lisa is especially interested in food allergies, and intolerances, as well as encouraging healthy eating.


Practitioner: Marie Baker

Marie has worked at Rainbow since 2005.She has many years of experience working with children in other settings, including the Wacky after school club. Marie has early Years ‘birth to 3’ and ‘encouraging positive behaviour’ training, and has a certificate in ‘working with parents’.

Marie loves working at Rainbow, and particularly enjoys dancing with the children. 


Practitioner: Julie Nicholas

Julie joined Rainbow in 2013.Before this, Julie was a familiar face around Shelford, working as a registered childminder.Julie enjoys arts and crafts activities with the children, and is a keen gardener, who looks after our plants, and gardens.


Practitioner: Peggy Emmerson

Peggy started at Rainbow in 2016, and works as a 1:1 practitioner with our SEN children. Peggy is trained in Makaton sign language, and has attended the Positive Parenting Programme (PPP).


Practitioner: Sarah Bullock

Sarah began at Rainbow in 2017.A former Chair of the Rainbow Committee, Sarah brings a wealth of experience to Rainbow, where she is currently working on a 1:1 basis. Sarah has begun her Level 2 qualification, and is a member of the Shelford School Governing Board.


Assistant Practitioner: Jenna McKinney

Jenna began at Rainbow in 2018, and is a wonderful addition to our Sunbeams room. She has begun her Level 2 qualification, and is enjoying her time with the children.


Practitioner: Caroline Sullivan 

Caroline came to the preschool in 2016. She has begun her Level 2 qualification and also works as a Teaching Assistant at Stapleford Community Primary School.