Fiona Scott Media Consultanccy

The team at one of Gloucestershire's leading early years education providers, Gooseberry Bush Day Nursery, are celebrating the setting's 18th birthday this month.

The celebration is extra special for sisters Holly and Sophie Nesbit, as they both were toddlers who attended the nursery, based near Kemble, in its early days, and now work there as staff members.

Owner Claire Stringer said: "I cannot believe how quickly those 18 years have flown by and how much we've accomplished in becoming an outstanding setting for children aged three months to five years.

"I'd like to thank my dedicated team, some of whom have been here since the start - and of course, two were among the first children to be enrolled!"

Holly and Sophie Nesbit, who live in Chalford, near Stroud, both attended the nursery when they were toddlers. Sophie (17) is now supporting children throughout the nursery from babies to pre-school age. Her sister Holly, now 20, is accounts manager.

Holly said: "I have some childhood memories of being here as a toddler, particularly when one carer was with me and singing the Flying Saucer song - and another memory was being in a toy car with an interactive game where I was driving around an animal kingdom. I even have the DVD which came with it at home today!"

Sophie said: “It's so rewarding to work here, caring for the children and watching their development. Only recently one little boy walked towards me for the first time and it was amazing to watch this important milestone in his life."

The sisters both love working at Gooseberry Bush for another important reason. They are both registered carers for their teenage brother Will, now 13, who has autism, learning difficulty and epilepsy. Both say caring for others is natural for them as they have cared for Will from birth alongside their parents Rachel and Jamie.

"I am a carer for my brother so I’m quite used to looking after children," Sophie said. "It's something I enjoy and it’s what I want to do."

While Holly is at home with numbers and spreadsheets, she says the caring atmosphere is what matters to her the most. "I may have studied business and finance, however this is the type of business I want to work in. The atmosphere is caring and I love being around the children. I feel we all make such a difference to them."

Gooseberry Bush Day Nursery, based at the Cotswold Business Park in Kemble, has seen hundreds of local children pass through its doors.

"There's so much more to come from our team and from the setting we've created here. We're growing as a business and we plan to be pioneers in excellence when it comes to early years' care," she said.

* Picture shows Holly and Sophie Nesbit who both work at Gooseberry Bush Day Nursery in Gloucestershire where they were both toddlers in its early years.

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