Meet the Staff

The staff are all fully committed to ensuring the best of care for all the children in our care, they are all qualified and very experienced. The Leader is Mrs J McKnight and the deputy leader is Mrs C Guard. They are assisted by Mrs H Smyth the Assistant Deputy Leader, classroom assistants Mrs J Lyness, Mrs R Watson, Mrs N McKinley and Ms R Williamson.

The Leader, Mrs Jenny McKnight was appointed from Deputy leader to Leader in 2002. She holds an Early Years Degree in Early Childhood Studies and holds N.V.Q 2&3 in Childhood Studies. She has completed several childcare courses in Special needs, First aid, Food hygiene and is the Designated Officer for Child Protection.

Colleen Guard joined the team in 2004 as a classroom assistant. She was appointed to Deputy Leader in August 2013 and has finished her N.V.Q. 5 as required for the position of deputy leader. She has gained certificates in First Aid, Food hygiene and Designated Officer Child Protection training. She is also the Finance Manager.

Mrs Helen Smyth joined the team in 2013 and was appointed to Assistant Deputy Leader in October 2021.   She finished her NVQ  Level 5 and holds a BTEC National Diploma Level 3 in Early Years. She has completed training in Food & Hygiene, First Aid and Child Protection.

Jeanette Lyness has been working in Little Acorns since her appointment in 2001. She has completed N.V.Q 2&3 in childcare and has completed several childcare courses, First Aid, Food hygiene and Child protection.

Ronelle Watson also joined the team in 2001. She has N.V.Q level 2&3 in childcare and has completed  First Aid, Food hygiene, Child Protection other courses.

Nicola Mckinley has been a classroom assistant since she was firstly appointed in St Andrews Playgroup in 1997, which was then renamed in 2000 as Little Acorns Pre-School when we moved into Clandeboye Primary School 20 years ago. She holds a certificate for N.V.Q. level 2 in childcare and has also completed training in First Aid, Food Hygiene, Child Protection and other related courses..

Rachael Williamson joined the team as a part-time assistant in November 2012. She holds a certificate for N.V.Q. level 2&3 in Early Years and has completed a course in First Aid, Food & Hygiene 2 and Child Protection.