As a nursery owner it can be an ongoing challenge to maintain staff motivation and many had commented that they had become overwhelmed by the increasing demands and ever moving goal posts within the industry. We had a disappointing OFSTED inspection in 2018 and while I had full confidence in my management team, I felt that their passion and good practise didn’t filter right through to every member of staff.
We enlisted the help of Vanessa and signed up for the ‘Just Quality’ accreditation.
I can wholeheartedly say that it was the best business decision I had made to date. I believe we already had some strong foundations to work from but taking on Vanessa’s advice allowed us to gain clarity on what needed to change, fully understand why it was necessary and how we could achieve it.
The floor books are a fantastic tool to demonstrate how our thought processes evolve and how we continually reflect on our practise. All delivered in a clear and digestible format that serves to inspire and motivate the staff.
As a result my entire team has united, striving toward a common goal. It really was a pleasure to see.
Happily, in our latest inspection we achieved ‘Outstanding’ and the inspector praised the staff for their knowledge, confidence and tangible passion.
I have no doubt that Vanessa’s support has been paramount in this phenomenal achievment.

— Alexandra O'Rourke, Director, honeysuckle Day Nursery Feb 2019
I wanted to share our experience since we’ve signed up with the #justquality accredited award.

Following an OFSTED inspection that graded our setting as requires improvement, we recognised that we needed to show impact going forward. For us it was all about how can we really show OFSTED what we know we already do well.

I started with a development plan of the recommendations we needed to cover. This is where #justquality has really helped. It’s encouraged us to look at the 6 impacts that basically cover amazing practice. We’ve started with the OFSTED report and then began to work through the specification.

The floor books are the best way of showing our journey. They allow us to be creative while gaining clarity around the changes we’ve made. It’s a whole team effort which has helped to pull everyone together. The staff have said that the floor books encourage us to revisit changes and evaluate if they’re still working for us.

Vanessa’s support during this time has been invaluable. Her passion is so inspiring, it has rubbed off on the staff they all want to impress her and show impact. The stickers in the floor books give us a clear idea of how each development plan meets the specification. This really has shown us that what we do is offer the children in our care the best experience, preparing them for a future of learning. It’s given the staff the confidence that when an OFSTED inspector comes into the setting, we have to be brave and show them we’re amazing.

Incidentally we have now had our latest visit within the last two weeks. I can happily say that we excelled and have been graded outstanding in all areas. During the feedback the inspector actually commented that she’d love her grandchildren to attend.

We now look forward to finishing the accreditation and wowing Vanessa in her last visit, showing just how far we’ve come.
— Natalie Cadman, Nursery Manager Honeysuckle Day Nursery, Feb 2019
Jigsaw Early Years consultancy helped me by ….
I found Vanessa incredibly helpful from my initial telephone conversation with her right through to my post course evaluation. Vanessa was able to accommodate a training session at our setting which helped us with travel arrangements as several of our practitioners do not drive.
The result was ….
Outstanding. Even those who had attended a L3 in the last 2 years took a lot of learning from this course. Vanessa was engaging, extremely knowledgeable, passionate and clearly a highly skilled trainer. Vanessa could adapt her training style to suit the audience from our quiet, lacking in confident junior Practitioners to our experienced, have a lot to say more vocal Practitioners. Vanessa ensured the learning was understood and checked understanding throughout the day.
The overall result was the senior managers updating our safeguarding policy to make our whistleblowing policy clearer, introducing visual aids for of golden rules, introducing question of the day, displaying useful posters and so much more.
One thing I liked was their …
Ability to know when to allow open discussion to validate understanding and when to bring the group back together when discussions began to go off track, thus resulting in the day sticking to agreed timings.

I strongly believe that anyone that works with children should attend this course. The more people in the world with the knowledge that Vanessa has to offer WILL result in better protection for children.
— Julia Lymbery Director Whitchurch Montessori and Forest School Ltd. March 2017

‘Jigsaw provided a well delivered course with all the information I needed to ensure I am confident should I ever have to put my safeguarding policy into practice

I liked the trainer’s friendly approach’
— - Lynda Hall, Childminder Basingstoke
Jigsaw has helped build my confidence in dealing with safeguarding issues
- I feel I have updated my knowledge on Prevent Duty and learning about FGM

The trainer was approachable and warm with not an easy subject to discuss
— Karen Percy - Childminder Basingstoke (January 2017_
Yesterday’s course was great. Thank you. Definitely the best child protection course I have been on.
— Kate Houghton ~ Childminder in Fawley (January 2017)
Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy helped me by providing a well planned course with clear information. The tutor was very knowledgeable and explained things very well.
I feel well prepared to safeguard the children in my care. I would recommend Jigsaw to people who need to attend a training course that is tailored specifically to early years and meets our needs well
— Rebecca Bundock - Poppies Pre-school, Chandlers Ford (Jan 2017)
Jigsaw EYC has helped me increase my knowledge on case reviews, processes and actions I am responsible for. This will support my assessing students. I liked the mixture of resources, feedback and informative discussion. Valuable training to anyone in Early Years
— Amanda Prentice ~ Workplace co-ordinator and Assessor in early years
Jigsaw EYC helped me by refreshing my memory and teaching me about the changes in Safeguarding to enable me to protect children. Vanessa has knowledge and confidence in this area and it was great to see such enthusiasm from a teacher
— Emily Warren ~ Childminder in Netley
Vanessa’s natural way of interacting with us as a group made the experience fun when the subject is hard to talk about. She is professional and friendly
— Lisa Butcher ~ Childminder in Netley
We heard good feedback about how interesting and informative the courses are that will benefit us and our setting. Jigsaw helped us understand ‘All about Schemas’ and how important they are in expanding children’s learning and the importance of Maths and how to embed in every day practice. The experience was really helpful and has helped us think outside the box.
Vanessa has sparked my passion and we have come away with so many new ideas to enhance childrens learning.
— Star Nursery, Basingstoke
June 2017
Attended this yesterday.. Brilliant 😊 Highly recommended!! Simple & comfortable training!! You’ll come away with great ideas! 😍😆
— Naomi Blandford ~ Wind in the Willows Pre-school, Durrington
July 2017
First of all sorry for the long post - but its the truth (i haven’t been bribed into anything - its from the heart)
I can’t recommend Jigsaw Training enough. I do owe a lot to Vanessa. Thanks to her awesome training and signposting I managed to achieve “Outstanding” in my inspection last week. I was really craving an outstanding grade this time, as previously had 2 “Good” inspections.
The first training I attended was “Safeguarding” run on a Saturday. It was affordable and location was perfect. Having enjoyed the training and the way Vanessa makes quite serious topics interesting and engaging - I booked onto another training session in Gosport for Characteristics of Effective Learning, British Values and Everyday Maths. CoEL and British Values were topics I just couldn’t get my head round. Having attended the training all was crystal clear and I implemented these “new found” topics into my practice. It was at this particular training that something stuck with me. The talk was about having a “Good” grade and how far and wide this grade can be but why not aim for an “outstanding”. Those words just stuck with me. Why not???
Another training i attended was a Webinar on “Are you ready?” - this was also very helpful when i had the call from the inspector. I remained calm and asked all the questions I wanted to prior to her arriving. I would recommend this particular training especially if you are due an inspection, all you really need is covered within this topic.
No doubt I have booked onto Autumn training too which the OI was happy to see in my CPD folder.
Its affordable, informative,fun and full of passion - not a moment to be bored whether it be something important like Safeguarding or something fun like Everyday Maths.
Thanks #jigsawconsultancy #awesometraining #youarethesource #SoWhat
— Maimuna Khan ~ OUTSTANDING childminder
Had my first ever webinar with Vanessa today Vanessa talked me through the PowerPoint, pointing out all the key information needed when completing a sef, I have gained so much from the webinar and am actually excited to do it now not like before. Vanessa is a very knowledgeable lady who is definitely an asset in all early years settings will definitely be doing it again for more guidance in other areas, thank you again Vanessa
— Gem Burrows-McKeaveney ~ Star Nursery, Basingstoke (August 2017)
I have attended a few of jigsaws courses this year and always come away with so many new ideas on how to improve my setting .... Vanessa goes above and beyond what she advertises and is always at the other end of the phone when your in a panic (even when she is on holiday ���) I would highly recommend jigsaw for all childcare related training and advice ..... can’t wait for more course in the future ��� ( she even makes the SEF look easy)
— Mandy Liotta , Childminder, Gosport October 2017
Just got home from Vanessa’s course curiosity ignites learning, wow fantastic, I’m so curious now there is no chance of an early night for me! I can’t wait to get to a car boot sale and start collecting bits to ignite the curiosity in our children. Vanessa has brilliant knowledge and teaches with enthusiasm and passion she is truly inspiring and has inspired me, thank you Vanessa Dooley I will be looking to do another course 👍🏻⭐️
— Lorraine Hartley, Little Angels Preschool, Fareham. October 2017
Wow. What an inspiring and fun morning. Had the lovely Vanessa at my setting today, to run a session about Curiosity and inspiring children. So motivational. All my staff have told me how much they enjoyed it. We have spent the rest of the day changing our environment to encourage exploration. Our heads are buzzing and we are really excited to continue with this journey. Thank you Vanessa. You’re a gem! ��� x
— Tracy Griffiths, Director Stepping Stones Nursery, Totton. October 2017
November 2017
Vanessa is very professional, positive and shows her knowledge and expertise strongly.
Our setting had a Quality Improvement Inspection (sometimes called a ‘Mocksted’, but don’t tell Vanessa I said that) by her, and felt very confident in her feedback - she built us up, but pointed out what we needed to do clearly and positivity, leaving us feeling excited and enthusiastic about setting her ideas and recommendations into motion.
We have been really inspired and enthused and are ready to attack our action plan with gusto!
You are amazing!
Thank you very much Vanessa, we thoroughly recommend you!
— Charlotte De Lacey ~ De Lacey Montessori, Isleworth, London
November 2017
Vanessa spent a full day at our nursery and I can honestly say it was the most interesting, beneficial experience we have ever had. Vanessa has to be one of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals within the early year’s sector I have ever met. She simply oozes with passion and to quote Vanessa herself, she very definitely has ‘fire in her belly’ for everything early years.
We gained so much from Vanessa’s visit, she gave us lots of useful pointers and ideas to enable us to further improve some areas of our practice. Most importantly for us though, she boosted our confidence in the work that we have been doing surrounding loose parts and evolving our learning environments to continue to inspire our children’s natural curiosity.
Thank you so much Vanessa, spending a day in your company was for all of us truly inspiring.
— Jane Broughton, Manager of Tinkerbells Bridgeinn Day Nursery, Preston, Lancashire
November 2017
After attending one of Vanessa’s webinars I approached her to carry out some bespoke support and consultancy at my setting, which has taken place every month for the past six months. The support she provided ranged from our planning processes to parental partnership and staff management to our SEF, amongst many other things.
I carried out my research, Vanessa had experience of working as a group manager of a large number of nursery settings, she is a lecturer for the foundation degree and, at that time, was inspecting for Ofsted. She was the perfect person to come and help me!
At our first meeting I was apprehensive, to say the least! I didn’t quite know what to expect, but Vanessa put me at ease immediately. She was approachable, friendly and a great listener! She took a great interest in what our setting was currently working towards and began setting targets of how we could improve and further raise outcomes for children.
As a nursery owner and employer of a large team of staff, I don’t often have the opportunity to receive feedback on my own performance and I found Vanessa did this well. She was very honest and provided clear recommendations about the changes I needed to make and then followed up on these during her next visit.
During the past six months Vanessa has helped me to be confident in the aspects that we are doing well and understand the areas that could be better. I have gained so much from our sessions and feel quite sad that the support has now ended, although unfortunately for Vanessa she can’t get away that easily as I have just booked her for the next six months to provide coaching sessions for my nursery managers!
I cannot recommend Vanessa highly enough!
— Lucy Price, Owner, Woodentots Nursery, Fareham
As a trainer and advisor, Vanessa works in partnership with Paint Pots Nurseries, Southampton to support our continuous improvement. Vanessa’s knowledge, experience and expertise in Early Years practice makes her a valued member of our extended team, providing “critical friendship” through the eyes of an external consultant in response to our specification of requirements. As a childcare provider, we appreciate her honest candour and focus on the best outcomes for our children and the families we serve. Vanessa contributes to both the maintenance and the raising of standards across our teams, providing professional development and quality assurance. Vanessa is also a nice person! We are very happy to recommend Jigsaw consultancy.
— David and Anna Wright, Paintpots nurseries, Southampton
I first “met” Jigsaw online on one of her webinars. Was very impressed; firstly with her knowledge, secondly with her friendliness and straightforwardness. She makes you feel at ease and able to ask the questions you feel everyone else knows the answers to.
I went on to sign up for her training in Chandlers Ford. Fab location and easy to get to. Was lovely to meet her in person and initial impression was correct.
Being a childminder for 14 years, I had exhausted local authority training and wanted something more inspiring to use up my cpd hours. Sooo glad I found Vanessa ... I leave her training either inspired to try something new, tweak something I already do or add new knowledge to policies and practice.
So glad I found Jigsaw and I recommend you to anyone who will listen
— Debbie Hunter, Childminder, Southampton
Well I would like to thank Vanessa for her inspiration!! She helped us with our mock inspection giving us the vision to bring our 2 settings together !
And with this we have received an outstanding grade - yes we smashed it !!
I cannot recommend Vanessa enough !! Let’s her see your environment with a fresh pair of eyes - a new perceptive !
Cheers 🍸🍸
P.S she does great training too 👍
— Wendy Hamley, Manager of Courtmoor playschool, Fleet
Jigsaw Early Years Consultancy helped me by doing a quality assurance inspection at my setting. Vanessa was very knowledgeable and gave us confidence in advance of our first full inspection which took place just 1 month after she visited!
I would recommend Jigsaw to anyone looking to improve their overall practice.

— Mary Brosnan, Storybook Montessori, Ascot.
April 2018
Background to visit. After a very disappointing Ofsted visit, needed a thorough rethink. I was made Early Years Lead in February and began to analyse how the department could be improved. My own personal remit was to make it an ‘outstanding’ provider.

I had already started to implement changes but the enormity of what I had taken on was beginning to become apparent. Endless nights of trawling through Government requirements, joining chat groups for Early Years practitioners, visiting other providers…...I needed help, support and guidance.

Late one night I came across a competition for a QII and entered. Blow me down, a week later I received an email to explain that I had won! I never win anything. Thinking this could possibly be some kind of hoax, I phoned Vanessa at Jigsaw Consultancy. It wasn’t a hoax. She really wanted to help. Vanessa listened to the background of the setting and wanted as much information as possible before her visit.

On the day of the visit, Vanessa arrived and immediately I could see her quietly assessing every aspect of the department. She spoke to staff in what appeared to be a very informal manner, but she was consistently acquiring an overview of the areas that needed to be addressed. As we talked throughout the morning I made notes of her recommendations (5 pages!). However, at the end of our meeting Vanessa bought up every single point I had noted and also made more suggestions.

I had been ‘Jigsawed’! I had a list the length of my arm. However, Vanessa followed up her visit with friendly emails to ensure that I was dealing with issues in a systematic and achievable way.

I have recently written a list of changes that have been implemented following her visit and I could now see that the department had changed and was moving forward in the right direction. There is still a lot more work to do, but Vanessa helped to shape these changes in a manageable way.

We are due a monitoring visit from Ofsted and also Vanessa is coming back to help some more!

P.S. Vanessa is now known as my Fairy Godmother
— Juliette Pierce - Early Years Lead
I attended with my deputy, so that we are both fully trained as DSL. The training was bespoke, specific to Hampshire providers, detailed, precise and thorough. All topics were clearly and methodically covered, with procedures explained extremely well and examples or case studies to work through. There was opportunity for peer discussion without losing focus on the task in hand; it was very reassuring to go through the whole process, to discuss it in relation to practice and to feel secure in how we would act should this situation ever arise. Thank you, very much, from both Louise and I - we both thoroughly enjoyed it, understood it all, had opportunities to ask questions should we need to and have left with a clear plan of what we need to put in place at our setting. We will certainly be booking with Jigsaw again!
— Nicola Facey, Childminder with assistant , June 2018
Vanessa is experienced, professional and insightful. Her ideas and advice are delivered constructively and have positively impacted all of our nurseries. Our staff thoroughly enjoyed her training which was engaging and targeted specifically at our needs. We look forward to working with Vanessa in the future to continue our development.
— Briony White, Director of Egg Day Nurseries