A dedicated and passionate mum from Beckenham has opened her fourth pre-school in Mottingham.

Josephine Godbold, a single mum who had always dreamed of supporting people in the community, opened her first pre-school Sunny Kids seven years ago.

This was after she studied at night school, college, and then at the University of Greenwich at the age of 30, whilst supporting her two-year-old child and working part time.

The single mum has also opened two pre-schools in West Wickham and Orpington, with her latest one officially opened in St Andrews church halls on Court Road earlier this month.

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Josephine told the News Shopper: “The mayor of Greenwich arrived and held a fantastic speech honouring the new preschool.

“We take children from rising two’s, some still in nappies……

“So, it's one of those things where we have an environment where they learn from their peers, under the zone of proximal development, which is by a theorist called Vygotsky.

“It’s one of the theories that we use here, which is just about being around somebody who has a pot of knowledge, and you might not have that gold coin.

“Playing alongside your peers is crucial to social development and extending each individuals learning journey…..Peer on Peer play!

With previous experience in roles such as a teaching assistant, pre-school practitioner and a deputy manager, Josephine decided to follow her dream and open Sunny Kids, which encompasses her values of high-quality care to children from all backgrounds in the community ensuring that each and every child is given the best educational start in life.

Joephine says she opened her first pre-school in April 2016, after working on the railway and telling herself she has to do something with her life which is “rewarding”.

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Josephine explained: “I wanted to give something back to the community, so I went and studied for seven years.

“I did all my GCSEs, degree, and childhood qualifications - child care and development has always been a passion of mine.

“During the pandemic I opened Sunny Kids in Orpington which could have gone either way – some parents weren’t bringing their children, but also some parents really needed the support during covid.

“But it’s one of the busiest settings for me now.

“For me, it’s those lightbulb moments when you see a child and things fit into place.”

Sunny Kids focuses on “play”, to support children from all backgrounds, provide care for children who may need extra support through the covid period.

The pre-school prides itself on being able being able to identify any needs the children may have and supporting parents and carers by using the Early Years Foundation Stage to enhance children’s learning journeys.

Josephine added: “The timeline of our day is basically welcoming the children and having a ‘small circle’ time where we talk about the weather, and what day of the week it is.

“We implement lots of educational activities and hold questions and explore answers with the children expanding on their ideas and interests at circle time.

“So, we're just at the beginning of those stages of getting them ready for school.

“The children also come in and have free play where we observe them – we pop in our observations on an app called Family which is an app from Denmark that is inclusive and diverse.

“We pop stuff on there for the parents to see newsletters updates, and progress reports.”

The latest Sunny Kids in Mottingham still has spaces available, Josephine says, but the preschool already has 30 children as of now.

“The staff here are amazing” Josephine added, “I will be focusing on the Mottingham nursery for now, but I will be going to all of the pre-schools, doing the 1-to-1s with staff and making sure legislation is up to date."