Tracey rises through the ranks and is nominated for award
RISING through the ranks of childcare, Gloucestershire nursery manager Tracey Wilce is now in the running for a Woman in Business award.
Tracey, of The Old Station Nursery at Imjin Barracks in Innsworth, has been nominated in the Rising Star of the Year category of the 2012 Citizen and Echo Women in Business Awards.
The nursery, which opened 18 months ago, is for military families moving back from Germany as part of the headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, based at the barracks.
Since taking on the role just before the nursery opened, Tracey has built strong relationships with staff, parents, children and the community.
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She has gained vocational qualifications along the way and now runs the nursery with minimum support from the nursery's head office.
This is the first time Tracey has managed a nursery and her employer Sarah Steel, of The Old Station Nursery Ltd, said she had coped "fantastically" with managing the final finish of the new nursery eco-build, a delayed opening, multinational families and a totally new staff team.
"Tracey has had a very challenging 18 months, coping with many changes and the demands of international military families, including the deployment of many of the fathers almost as soon as families had relocated to Innsworth," Sarah said.
"She has built links with the military personnel, local support services, local schools and has also kept up to date with developments in the Early Years field, volunteering the nursery to take part in a Gloucestershire Local Authority Pilot Scheme for disadvantaged two-year-olds, which will now be rolled out nationwide.
"Tracey has shown her natural leadership abilities and has managed to focus on what is important in establishing a new team and building a really great community environment for children."
Tracey has coped with reducing staff hours to reduce costs, while maximising occupancy wherever possible. Through hard work and use of outreach work and marketing, she has now increased occupancy in excess of 65 per cent and the nursery was trading profitably after 12 months. She is now working on settling down the team, coping with larger class sizes and driving quality forward.
The Old Station Nursery opened in September 2010 with around 20 children on the books. Due to a delayed opening because of late building completion, Tracey ran a creche facility in another building to help parents who had work commitments and no childcare.
She organised a first birthday party for the nursery last year, an example of the community spirit she has fostered. Husbands of staff members ran the barbecue, one staff member's grandmother made the birthday cake and staff children joined in the fun.
Her day-to-day jobs can include changing nappies, cooking lunch, cleaning the bathrooms, showing new parents around and completing payroll details.
â To enter the 2012 Women in Business Awards, visit the website at www.thisisgloucesterhire.co.uk/ wibawards. â For information about tickets to the awards event, visit www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/ wibawards or call Gill Brimfield on 01242 278044 or email email@example.com.