Our Staff

Jeff and Deirdre Mickleright

Trained, experienced staff

The owners and operators of Woodpeckers Private Nursery are Jeff and Deirdre Micklewright.

Our staff range in age and experience. Jeff is a trained teacher with many years experience in Primary Schools. In his last school he was Deputy Head before setting up the nursery with Deirdre. Deirdre also has experience in Primary school, as a teaching assistant, and with other staff has a level 4 qualification, as well as starting a Foundation degree.

Our staff have been chosen for their caring personalities and aptitude for working with children. Many of us have also had the experience of raising our own children, and even grandchildren.

Many staff have now completed NVQ level 3 training through West Suffolk College whilst working with us, and others are training at present.

Early Years Teachers

Two valued members of our staff; Emily Porter-Howe and Hannah Castle both hold degrees and are now qualified in the Early Years Professional Status. Their knowledge and training is a huge asset to Woodpeckers Nursery.

The Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) programme is a training programme set up to help practitioners become excellent graduate leaders in the Early Years sector. EYPS is the only professional graduate accreditation for the Early Years workforce, endorsed by government and increasingly recognised as the credential for leading practice in Early Years provision

Woodpeckers Nursery Staff, Sudbury, Suffolk

Special educational needs coordinators

The role of the SENCo is crucial for early years settings in supporting early identification and intervention for children with special educational needs.

The SENCo is responsible for maintaining a setting's recording and documentation process with respect to special educational needs, liaising and working with the parents, securing training for workers and liaising with outside agencies with respect to a child's special educational needs.

We have two dedicated staff who are SENCo trained.

Health, safety & child protection

You can rely on Woodpeckers Nursery to provide day care and after school care in a safe environment.

All staff hold First Aid and Food Hygiene certificates, and undertake child protection training.

All staff and volunteers are checked through the Criminal Records Bureau with enhanced disclosures before being able to work at Woodpeckers.

Students also have a similar check through the college before training with us and are constantly supervised.

Key Practitioners

Every child at Woodpeckers is allocated a Key Practitioner.

Suffolk County Council supports the development of high quality early education in a variety of ways. This includes support, advice and guidance from the area educational teams and comprehensive training programme. A number of practitioners have been identified who have strengths in a particular area, these are called Key practitioners. We use elements of their good practice to share with colleagues.

The Key Practitioner meets the needs of each child in their care and responds sensitively to their feelings, ideas and behaviour. The Key Person will offer security, reassurance and continuity, and they will usually be the one to feed, change and soothe your child. They are in the best position to understand your child's individual needs and to share information with you about your child’s experiences in nursery.

The Key Practitioner will help each of their children to develop relationships with other members of staff and children. They will observe them in their play so that they can plan future opportunities and experiences that best meet their needs and interests.

  • Jeff Micklewright

    Manager and Proprietor

    Jeff set up Woodpeckers Nursery, with his wife Deirdre, 16 years ago. Jeff holds a teaching certificate and has 27 years experience in schools, the last 7 years as deputy head in a Primary School. Jeff has always loved children and wanted to teach, and has now spent a lifetime doing so. 

    In his spare time Jeff enjoys golf, gardening, time with family and his grandchildren and holidays when possible.  

  • Deirdre Micklewright

    Manager and Proprietor

    Deirdre set up Woodepckers, with her husband Jeff, 16 years ago. Before this Deirdre worked in primary schools and has completed her level 3 and 4 in childcare. Deirdre began by settting up and leading the baby room at Woodepckers, instilling a family, home from home feel to the environment.

    Deirdre enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren. She loves days at the seaside and walks with her family dogs.

  • Hannah Fraser

    Assistant to Management and Early Years Teacher.

    Hannah has worked at Woodpeckers since May 2018. Hannah holds a degree in primary teaching and has specialised in early years education. Hannah has previous experience of teaching in early years settings, as well as working as a Deputy Manager for another nursery. 

    Hannah is passionate about providing a stimulating learning environment to engage and stimulate little minds! As part of her role, Hannah enjoys welcoming new families to the nursery. 

    In her spare time, Hannah enjoys days out with her family, baking and reading. 


  • Emily Porter-Howe

    Deputy Manager and Early Years Teacher

    Emily has worked at Woodpeckers for 7 years. Emily has previous experience nannying, and working as a TA within a specialist school for children with behavioural and learning difficulties. During her time there Emily completed a BA (Hons) Sociology and Psychology degree and went on to complete her Early years teacher status.

    Emily adds to the 'family' ethos of Woodpeckers by joining her Mother, Deirdre and step-father, Jeff in managing the Nursery. Emily joined the Woodpeckers team due to her passion for teaching. Emily has taken time instilling the principles of the EYFS curriculum through play and setting up a 'home from home' environment to nurture and support children in their development.

    In her spare time Emily enjoys days out and breaks with her husband and children,  and fitness classes (when she finds the time!).

  • Tina Head

    Acting Lead Practitioner

  • Zoe Milburn

    Nursery Practitioner in the Bright Butterflies Preschool Room

    Zoe started at Woodpeckers in May 2018 and holds a degree in Primary Teaching. Zoe has been teaching for nearly 20 years, with a specialism in Early Years Education. She has always wanted to teach and loves sharing children's enthusiasm for learning.

    In her spare time, Zoe loves baking and eating cakes! She also volunteers at Kentwell Hall for their Halloween and Christmas events. Zoe has a passion for kayaking and archey which she enjoys with her eldest son, as well as walking her Labradors.


  • Carol Searle

    Senior Practitioner in the Bright Butterflies Preschool Room

    Carol has worked with us at woodpeckers for 13 and a half years. She has an NVQ 2 and completed a diploma level 3. Carol works in childcare because she enjoys working with children and supporting them in their learning and development. 

    In her spare time Carol enjoys gardening and zumba.

  • Pat Schroeder

    Nursery Practitioner in the Bright Butterflies Preschool Room

  • Amelia Wade

    Acting Lead Practitioner- Senior Practitioner in the Curious Caterpillar Toddler Room and SENCo

    Amelia has worked at Woodpeckers for 1 year. Amelia was previously a room leader at another Nursery in Suffolk, has 11 years experience, level 3, and SENCo qualifications.

    Amelia decided to pursue a career in the childcare sector because she loves the fun atmosphere and being in a caring environment.

    In her spare time Amelia enjoys baking, spending time with her son Rory, and is a huge Harry Potter fan!

  • Andrea Adams - Nursery Practitioner

    Andrea Adams

    Nursery Practitioner

    Andrea has worked at Woodpeckers for nearly 4 years. Andrea trained in another Private nursery where she completed her NVQ level 2 and 3 in childcare and development. At Woodpeckers Andrea has continued with her professional development completing her SENCo qualification.

    Andrea has always enjoyed looking after her nieces and nephews and comes from a big family. Andrea finds her role at Woodpeckers very rewarding when seeing a child reach their personal goals and being part of their learning experiences. Andrea likes helping children in collaboration with parents.The recognition from parents gives her role real worth.  

    In her spare time Andrea enjoys spending time with her animals and going to horse shows. Andrea has just become a Mummy and looks forward to lots of fun family time with her son.


  • Sarah Morris

    Lead Practitioner in the Little Ladybirds Baby Room

    Sarah has worked at Woodpeckers for 12 years. She holds a level 3 in childcare and education and also completed playworker training when running our afterschool and holiday club.

    Sarah pursued a career in childcare due to the caring and friendly atmosphere. Sarah enjoys fitness and has recently completed her first 10k event. Sarah enjoys running and is now training for a half marathon. In her spare time Sarah enjoys reading books, cycling and running. 

  • Megan Schmidt

    Nursery Practitioner in Little Ladybirds.

    Megan started at Woodpeckers in 2016 when she began her apprenticeship here. Megan has since qualified as a level 3 practitioner in childcare and loves helping to develop children's understanding and learning. 

    In her spare time, Megan enjoys trips to the beach, baking cakes and going to the gym. 

  • Emily Rayner

    Nursery Practitioner within the Little Ladybirds Baby Room


  • Hannah Castle

    Lead Practitioner in the Busy Bees Baby Room and Early Years Teacher.

  • Emma Worley

    Senior Practitioner in the Busy Bees Baby Room.

    Emma has worked at Woodpeckers for 1 year and holds a level 3 in Childcare along with a level 3 in health and social care.

    Emma enjoys working in childcare due to its happy, welcoming and homely environment. Emma likes to look after and nuture others.

    In her spare time Emma enjoys drawing, reading and going on holiday/ travel. 

  • Lorraine Dickson

    Catering Manager

    Lorraine has worked at Woodpeckers for 2 years 4 months. She enjoys making healthy meals for the children.

    Lorriane is married with two teenage boys. herhobbies include reading and hill walking.

  • Sophie French

    Nursery Practitioner

    Sophie has worked at Woodpeckers for 4 and a half years and began as a student and now holds her level 2 quaification.

    Sophie loves being around children as she comes from a big family and does babysitting for families in her spare time. 

    Sophie enjoys baking and is currently learning to drive. 

  • Georgia O'Hair

    Nursery practitioner

  • Beth Hubbard

    Nursery Practitioner


    Beth began her journey with us at Woodpeckers 6 years ago when she began her apprenticeship. She has gone on to complete her level 2 and 3 in childcare. 

    Beth is a very friendly individual who enjoys socialising with her friends. family is very important to her. 

    Beth pursued a career in childcare as she enjoys looking after children and likes to see how they develop and learn.