WMB Childcare Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by WMB Childcare Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from WMB Childcare Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.wmbchildcare.co.uk

15WMB CHILDCARE LTD |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
WMB Directors Olusola and
Folake Omole
WMB Carisbrook Day
Nursery team
WMB Childcare Limited was founded in September
2013 by former childminders who had little experience
in “proper” nursery management. In spite of this,
founders Olusola and Folake Omole and their team have gone
on to build six thriving nurseries in just five years. Three of these
have been graded as “outstanding” by Ofsted, another as
“good” at its first inspection and the two remaining ones, which
opened this year, are yet to be inspected by Ofsted. Olusola tells
The Parliamentary Review
that building a phenomenal nursery
business is almost impossible without a group of committed and
loyal staff, and explains more about how such a team has come
to drive and underpin everything the WMB Childcare does. 
When we first opened WMB, five and a half years ago, we were arguably lacking in
experience. While we had a long-term vision in place, which has always served as a
guiding light for our growth and development, historically, we operated as a childminding
setup. Most of our business came from word of mouth during these early days.
As we became more experienced and began to establish more formal nurseries,
we suffered staffing challenges – especially a high turnover of individuals. We
discovered our recruitment drive had been based on need, rather than the long-
term vision and USP we set out to achieve.
Aside this, many of the staff we employed didn’t believe in us or our overall vision,
and we didn’t find ourselves supported by external agencies – it seemed everybody
was waiting for us to fail, and nobody expected us to thrive in such a competitive
marketplace.
FACTS ABOUT
WMB CHILDCARE LTD
»Directors: Olusola Andrew
Omole and Folake Omole
»Established in 2013
»Based in Manchester
»Services: Daycare, before
and after-school childcare,
emergency childcare and
holiday club
»No. of employees: Over 70
»WMB have opened six
nurseries in five years
WMB Childcare Ltd
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
16 | WMB CHILDCARE LTD
Turning things around
Our long-term vision kept us focused.
Our aim was to inspire dedication in
our staff and employ only those with
the right skills and expertise. Our
core team saw beyond the issues we
faced on a day-to-day basis, and that
has come to govern every area of our
recruitment strategy.
Having learnt from our mistakes, we
set about streamlining and refining
the way we hired staff. We found
and recruited key personnel to drive
the company, and its ethos, forward.
We are now operating our initial six
nurseries and have a committed and
dedicated workforce – which most of
our competitors could only wish for.
During this time, our initial vision has
been key in inspiring and transforming
every single member of the team. This
is best illustrated in our “Vision 2020”
– a statement setting out our intention
of opening a nursery a year until 2020
– and at the same time collaboratively
developing any potential new initiatives
at every level within the company. We
recognise the importance of good staff
teamwork – and it is one area in which
we do not compromise.
Loyalty, investment and
diligence
We started with just five members of
staff in 2013; two of these still work
with us today, and the other three
keep in touch. Their dedication and
enthusiasm were so important – they
saw the business as a family, and their
committed nature taught us a lot
about how and who we should recruit.
We discovered that one of our most
important attributes was our relationship
with staff – the more involved, trusted
and informed they are, the more they
contribute value to the business.
Each of our coaches – the term we
use for managers – sees their setting
as their own. They work with a sense
of investment and ownership not seen
anywhere else in the childcare sector.
In effect, their nursery becomes their
own, and many of them take work
home and undertake extended research
to further develop theirnurseries.
Ensuring commitment at
every level
While there seems to be a widespread
belief across the childcare sector that
pay is the root of all issues, in our
experience, if employees are properly
invested in the nursery they do not
consider money to be everything.
Far more important are a sense of
belonging and continued development.
Formal training certainly has its place,
but we find the best developmental
tool to be an environment that
promotes honest communication,
candour and feedback.
Another important factor is having the
opportunity to speak to employees
regularly on a one-to-one basis. This is
motivational, inspiring both confidence
and trust. People need to know that
you are there for them when they
need it, and exercising such empathy
is something we have found to be
of paramount importance. Staying in
constant communication with regard
to vital issues is so important.
We also have short weekly meetings
with all the members of our
management team and a dedicated in-
Cross-section of WMB
staff team
Our core team
saw beyond
the issues we
faced on a
day-to-day
basis, and that
has come to
govern every
area of our
recruitment
strategy
17WMB CHILDCARE LTD |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
house onboarding and training process
for new starters. This helps employees
to feel welcomed in their role and
to settle in much faster. Formal and
online training is all completed at
an early but appropriate stage – this
equips every member of the team with
the skills they need to help take WMB,
and themselves,forward.
Demonstrable performance
Such outstanding dedication is easy
to recognise and measure. We can
tell when a staff member has the
potential to perform from day one.
From this point onwards, we ensure
that they do not lose their way – this
can happen quickly in childcare – and
we provide them with the focus and
support they need to thrive and grow
in their roles. Often, this takes the
form of a small individual project,
providing them with an integral sense
of ownership.
While we also carry out management
supervisions and appraisals, in addition
we use a WMB-exclusive app known
as WMBEYE. We believe that the
best performance indicator is client
feedback – and the app records just
that. Developed internally, WMBEYE
allows us to monitor performance in a
diagrammatically presented format for
easy interpretation.
The state of the childcare sector
As a visionary company with an
outstanding and dedicated team, we
are leading the charge in professional
and empathetic childcare in all aspects
of the pre-school experience. Our
experience is unusual in the sector –
there are endemic issues in childcare,
from recruitment and remuneration
through to the ever-changing funding
framework. Further attention by
central government will undoubtedly
be necessary if childcare is to thrive in
the future.
Many owners seem to get into
childcare for money, rather than
passion, and that makes a real
difference. Passion should come first –
one should want to help children and
their parents, and the income becomes
a happy consequence. We know
from our own experience that having
this attitude across the top level of a
management structure affects every
other area of the business.
For other companies hoping to grow in
the sector, we would suggest primarily
concentrating on building the right
team. Once assembled, if you put the
children, their parents and your staff
at the heart of what you do and help
people to be who they are meant to
be, you can’t go far wrong.
WMB group staff team
We recognise
the
importance of
good staff
teamwork –
and it is one
area in which
we do not
compromise

www.wmbchildcare.co.uk

This article was sponsored by WMB Childcare Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister