Meet … Michelle Cogger

3rd October 2016

Michelle Cogger is our wonderful Nursery Manager at First Steps, Chichester. She is shortly moving to our Bersted nursery to cover for their Manager Becky whilst she is on maternity leave. We therefore thought it would be an excellent opportunity to find out a bit more about her so have asked our own questions, along with a few more taxing ones on behalf of the children!


How long have you worked in Childcare Michelle?

28 years


And how long at First Steps?

At the time of typing this 18 years, 5 months, 5 days, 5 hours and 17minutes!


What do you enjoy most about your job?

The smiles and cuddles!

As a Childcare Practitioner – watching the children move through the nursery, growing and developing into confident independent little people and knowing I’ve been a part of that.

As a Manager – watching the staff grow and develop within their careers into confident, professional childcare practitioners themselves and again knowing that I have been a part of that.


Can you outline a typical day as Nursery Manager for us?

No, there’s no such thing as a typical day!  Jack of all trades, one minute I can be in the office, head buried in occupancy and budget figures; the next, cuddling a baby, feeding a toddler, digging in the garden or having my hair re-styled in the pre-school room!

To sum up, the role involves supporting in the rooms as and when needed, meetings, organising staff rotas, holiday allocation, occupancy and budget records, student placements, staff reviews and appraisals, resources and supplies, liaising with external professionals, training, staff meetings, organising events, showing visitors and potential new families around.

I oversee the day to day running of the nursery, dealing with any problems that arise and ensuring the fantastic staff team have everything they need to provide the children with the best possible learning environment and experience.


What’s your proudest moment in your career to date?

When I volunteered and spent two weeks working in Kenya in 2013.


What do you think makes First Steps special?

It’s staff team


What’s the funniest thing a child has ever said to you?

On encouraging a child to eat their carrots, I told them it would help them to see in the dark, to which they replied, I don’t need to eat carrots to see in the dark, my daddy’s got a torch.


How do you relax when you’re not at work?

Gardening and playing badminton


What’s your favourite film?

Dead Poet’s Society


We’ve seen you riding the exercise bike at nursery as part of a fundraising initiative. Do you cycle?

Yes. I spent my very first set of wages from my Saturday job in Habitat on a racing style bike, which I still have.


What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Anywhere that’s hot with a pool and a beach!


Where were you brought up?

Canterbury in Kent


Do you have a favourite childhood memory?

Waking up to a snowy Christmas morning


And here are those more grilling questions on behalf of the children:


Do you have any pets?

Yes, 3 Goldfish called Squidge, She and Pete


What’s your favourite meal?

Roast Dinner with Yorkshire pudding, followed by chocolate fridge cake


What colour is your car?

 Officially moondust silver but basically dark grey!


Who do you prefer: Peppa Pig or Bob the Builder?

 Definitely Bob the Builder, he’s much more useful than the pig.