Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Hi, My name is Lauren and I am the founder of Poppins Penguins.
I am Poppins Penguins; Mary Poppins was always such a huge figure for me growing up. My mum said I wore VHS tapes out watching it every day. The main character listened to the children but still gave the children structure and a choice, Mary Poppins showed the parents what the family needed and helped them all work harmoniously together. This is what I do. I see the whole picture, I listen to you all. I work with you, not against you. Nothing is too small and nothing is too big. Something I taught my staff over the years, ‘Why are you panicking, has the ceiling fallen down, has anyone died, ok, calm down, lets fix it’ Yes, things are sent to try us, but there is nothing I have not found a resolution to. So take a deep breath, it will be ok.
I started out in childcare at the young age of 18, not sure what to do with my life but I had come from a family of Special education teachers, accountants and builders. At 18 my dad found a training college in Bournemouth all about Montessori teaching methods. I read up on it and I was hooked. Natural learning, following the child's interests, and teaching them life skills. I was in. I was the youngest, most of the students were re-training in childcare, whereas I was fresh out of 6th form with a GNVQ that I had hated studying for.
As I was due to graduate I got a job offer from a Montessori nursery school in Palm springs America, accommodation paid for as part of my salary and the ‘dream’. But it wasn’t my dream. I stayed in Dorset and worked in local nurseries. I remember sitting in the car park one day waiting to go into my current job when I heard about 911, that fateful day when life as we knew it changed. I remember having training about how to get the children to safety if a gunman approached the setting, how would we survive, where would we hide, what were our options. Could we save everyone? I was mortified, Childcare was changing day by day with new regulations, curriculum's, expectations and now this. I was determined to enable children to stay children. I didn't hide any information from them, but I educated them. If they needed information I gave them facts, not mine/ others opinions.
I had a couple of nursery jobs, some better than others, and I vowed that I would never be someone in childcare that didn’t care. I had some tough bosses and some horrendous jobs from cleaning their garages (the bosses) to looking after their pets, I was a glorified dog poo picker at one point, but I loved my job, the staff I was with, the children and the parents and if I had to pick up dog poo and do the bosses washing up before the children came in so they wouldn't see it, then I did it. Every day I went home knowing I had made a difference in someone's life... after I had fed and cleaned up after the owner's dogs of course.
I have looked after some High profile singers children and also met some fab mentors on the way that shaped me into how I teach.
Fast forward many years, I had learnt so much more than can ever be taught in a classroom.
-I learnt how to soothe each child to sleep in a calm way, (fourteen 2 year old's in under 25 minutes was my record that no-one ever beat).
-How to entice a child to have a bottle when they were solely breast fed, but no longer able to because mum HAD to go to work at 4 months old.
- How to listen to their needs by reading their emotions.
- By listening to what they were not saying.
- Learning how to help the parents understand this new ‘communication’ too.
My ideal dream and huge gift. In the middle of everything I gained my BA Hons Degree in Early Years as well as many other courses and met more fantastic people and lecturers that still inspire me.
Yes, in the last 20 years I have been bitten, stabbed with a fork (by a three-year-old), needed stitches and tetanus jabs for numerous things, had things thrown at me, including chairs (again, by a child), threatened with a knife by a parent in a nursery (Yes, everyone was safe and that adults behaviour still baffles me), been vomited and pooed on more times than I can count, unclogged toilet drains with my own hands, wiped tears, dealt with fairly horrendous injuries, small fires and highly emotional parents.
So why do I do this? Because I care, because this was MY dream. To make a difference, to make someone else’s day better, to reassure, to understand, to care and to enable parents. To make childcare fun again. Yes, I love splashing in a puddle as much as the next 2 year old, but I teach them where the puddle came from and what effect a ripple can have. A drop in the ocean might not do much, but the ripples it sets in motion can be huge. So, yes, I am one person, who wants to help parents to be the best parents they can and in their own way.
I can help if you want to breast/bottle feed or do controlled crying or hold your baby 24 hours a day. I will help you to understand what your child needs and why they behave like they do.
If you are looking for The 'Super nanny' then keep looking, no offence intended but I do things differently, I am more in tune with the families needs, I don't just follow a text book. But I do what you, the parents need and wants, not what a text book says. If you have no idea, I work out what you actually do want and help put that in place. I listen, and adapt a way to work for the individual family.
I have now been in this career for so long that children I ‘taught’ have taken their A-Levels and are at university. Someone I looked after as a young child I have recently trained in childcare and is absolutely flourishing and is the next ‘teacher’ to a younger child that someday they may be training in childcare, a profession that is so hugely underrated. But you all remember that ‘one’ teacher. We are that teacher!
I have over 20 years experience in childcare, Poppins has now been going for over two years and I run groups out in the woodland weekly for walkers and non-walkers and offer home -based consultations to help you. Have a look at our events and ask me anything!
The dreams we have come true, if you just believe, so, this is me. Slightly older, modern day Poppins, and I love what I do, I am just missing the talking parrot umbrella! Drop me a message, send me an email, call me, whatever you are comfortable with. I look forward to hearing from you.