The Tops Team

Each Tops Day Nursery prides itself in offering a happy, stimulating and secure environment for your children. With trained and qualified practitioners passionate about nurturing all children in their care, each nursery is fully supported to ensure quality is maintained at all times.

Our nurseries are supported by our brilliant Head Office & Operations team! Find out more about the team below…

The Directors

Cheryl Hadland

Managing Director

Cheryl Hadland founded Tops Day Nurseries in 1990 when she was 30 years old and a mother of 2 small boys. She had been a volunteer committee member and pre-school assistant in a playgroup with her 3 year old, whilst attending a pre-school leaders course. Cheryl decided that opening a day nursery that was open all day rather than just mornings was needed in the area, so she reduced her workload at her scuba dive centre and opened the first Tops Day Nursery, Tops Parkstone in Herbert Ave, Poole.

Cheryl completed a 2 year course with the PPA (now called the Pre School Learning Alliance), a Montessori correspondence course, and then the NVQ3 in Early Years Care & Education. Over the following 10 years she completed her Certificate of Education, Degree, and Masters Degree in Education at Southampton University.

Read more about Cheryl Hadland

Sam King

CEO

Maria Thomas-Luker

Director of Central and Customer Service

Andrew Dearsley

Finance Director

Micah Faure

Legal Director

Charlotte Percival

HR Director

Harriet Pacey

Sales & Marketing Director

Diane Wycherley

Director of Early Years Quality

Jo Penn

Director of Facilities

Paula Phillips

Director of Quality and Audit

Sam King

CEO

I joined Tops and Aspire in November 2020 as the Operations Director. While I had had a long career in operations, I was new to the early years sector having spent my career in the NHS and then the senior care sector. I have had the privilege of leading various operational roles and witnessing first-hand the positive impact effective operations can have on individuals' lives.

When the opportunity arose to join Tops and Aspire, I embraced the challenge of transitioning into a new sector. The early years industry presents unique opportunities and challenges, and I have been invigorated by the chance to apply my skills and expertise to this vital field. The dedication and enthusiasm of our team have been truly inspiring, and I am grateful to work alongside such talented individuals.

The Tops Day Nurseries Quality Team

Diane Wycherley

Director of Early Years Quality

Vicki Sedgwick

Regional Manager

Katarzyna Stunt

Regional Manager

Jessica Beach

Regional Manager

Amanda Vardy

Regional Manager

The Central and Customer Service Team

Maria Thomas-Luker

Director of Central and Customer Service

I joined Tops Day Nurseries as a Nursery Assistant back in 1990 at our very first nursery, Tops Parkstone.

Since joining Tops I have achieved my Levels 2, 3 and 4 in Childcare and my Level 7 in Management and Leadership. I really enjoy working for Tops as I love being part of such a fantastic team. After 18 years of working at Tops Parkstone I transferred to our central office to cover a maternity leave post, I loved being able to support all of the nurseries when I was based at our central office and despite it being a hard decision to make I decided to leave hands on early years and permanently move to our central office, now called The Hub.

We all have such amazing strengths as individuals but together as a team we achieve so much and I’m always so proud to say I’ve worked for Cheryl for over 30 years. It’s like being part of a very special family.

The People Team

Charlotte Percival

HR Director - CIPD L7 in HRM

Charlotte is responsible for the developing and implementing HR initiatives in line with organisational objectives, leading the organisation’s HR department in regard to recruitment, on boarding, employment compliance, inductions, job descriptions, performance, benefit and reward, appraisals, employment law, company culture, colleague communication, engagement/relations/feedback, project and change management, TUPE, HR policies and procedures and department IT infrastructure.

Liaising directly with the board and senior management team and is accountable for the performance of the HR function as well as providing strategic counsel on all colleague matters, Implements the HR Strategic planning whilst ensuring HR function adds value, delivers, and aligns to the needs of the business. Translating key data into an effective and commercially focus way, to the Board and Operational Team, to then work with senior management to challenge, influence and implement actionable initiatives.

The Sales and Marketing Team

Harriet Pacey

Sales & Marketing Director

I joined Hadland Care Group as Business Development Manager in 2017. I hold a Masters in Early Years Education and have Early Years Teacher Status. Prior to joining Hadland Care Group, I had worked in various roles in the Early Year sector, including owning/managing a nursery and being a management consultant for a number of other settings.

My first degree is in Business Studies; how businesses work have always interested me greatly and I think it’s really important that those involved in the Early Years sector have a good understanding of the business model it’s built on and what’s required to keep it sustainable.

The Accounts Team

Andrew Dearsley

Finance Director

I joined Hadland Care Group as Finance Director in December 2019. I was new to the Early Years sector as I had previously spent time working in the manufacturing, waste management, utilities, construction and aerospace sectors. I'm responsible for making sure the company meets financial and legal obligations as well as being the head of IT. I ensure that we maintain the best practices in reporting, procedures, policies, business strategy, risk and compliance with the support of a fantastic accounts team.

Since joining, I have learned a great deal about the complexities and the quality of early years education, I have had to develop a greater understanding of sustainability, and achieved certification in sustainability for finance so that I can support the company's sustainability goals.

Legal team

Micah Faure

Legal Director

I started at Hadland Care Group as a General Office Assistant, whilst studying at university. After I finished my 2nd Degree in 2012 in Law, I came to Head Office to work as Employment Law Advisor within the HR Team. I then went to Cape Town that year to complete my 3rd Degree in Employment Law at University of Cape Town.

During this time, I completed an internship for Price Waterhouse Coopers where I learnt a valuable motto from my supervisor, which was “Always volunteer to do stuff you don’t know, test if you can learn it and if you can do it, people will trust you more”. This is why when I initially started working at Head Office, I volunteered to support HR, Administration, Finance and Property. I was then quickly promoted to Legal Advisor.

I have also volunteered with the Free Rep Unit doing Social Security and Employment Law Cases. Due to my good working relationship, and the years of trusted advice I offered her, Cheryl offered me the position of Legal Director in 2017.

Early Years Audit and Training

Paula Phillips

Director of Quality and Audit

I joined Tops in June 2021 after being a Senior Leader in Early Years for 18 years. I have a Masters in Early Years Education and Early Years Professional Status.
As Director of Quality and Audit, I lead the curriculum and pedagogy in the nurseries, ensuring we are providing children with a broad and balanced range of experiences that they are interested in, and which supports their learning and development in all areas.

I am Company Designated Safeguarding Lead and also Company Lead for Special Educational Needs/Disability. As Nominated Individual for Ofsted, I work with all departments in Tops to ensure we are meeting Statutory Requirements and work closely with the Regional and Quality team, coaching and mentoring staff to ensure we are aiming for Good and Outstanding Inspection outcomes. Although, as we always say….. we do what we do for all our children every day, not just on Ofsted day!