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About Sleepy Hollow Group

Sleepy Hollow – the early years

Sleepy Hollow is Northern Irelands largest childcare company. It has been established for 29 years but was bought by the current owners, Nikolai and Diane Koplewsky, in 2001.    Back in 2001 Sleepy Hollow was registered for 35 children.  Over the past 17 years has grown to a chain registered for 545 children across 16 different sites.   Our growth has been to meet the demand of affordable and quality childcare, particularly based on primary school sites.

Sleepy Hollow – growing to meet demand

As the company grew so did the management team.  The company has a strong skills sets of practitioners, managers and senior managers.  Sleepy Hollow continues to be forward thinking in the childcare sector.  We always strive to be creative and top of our field to ensure that we are meeting the needs of working parents.  Our ultimate goal above all else is to provide a high-quality service for the children in our care.

Sleepy Hollow – 2018

Sleepy Hollow Early Childhood Centre is based in Crumlin.  The wraparound after schools sites are in Crumlin, Belfast, Newtownards, Saintfield, Glengormley and Newtownabbey.

About Sleepy Hollow Group

Sleepy Hollow – the early years

Sleepy Hollow is Northern Irelands largest childcare company. It has been established for 29 years but was bought by the current owners, Nikolai and Diane Koplewsky, in 2001.    Back in 2001 Sleepy Hollow was registered for 35 children.  Over the past 17 years has grown to a chain registered for 545 children across 16 different sites.   Our growth has been to meet the demand of affordable and quality childcare, particularly based on primary school sites.

Sleepy Hollow – growing to meet demand

As the company grew so did the management team.  The company has a strong skills sets of practitioners, managers and senior managers.  Sleepy Hollow continues to be forward thinking in the childcare sector.  We always strive to be creative and top of our field to ensure that we are meeting the needs of working parents.  Our ultimate goal above all else is to provide a high-quality service for the children in our care.

Sleepy Hollow – 2018

Sleepy Hollow Early Childhood Centre is based in Crumlin.  The wraparound after schools sites are in Crumlin, Belfast, Newtownards, Saintfield, Glengormley and Newtownabbey.

Meet The Team

Nikolai Koplewsky

Director

Born and raised in France Nikolai worked for the French Government whilst also playing rugby for a leading French Club. Since moving to NI almost 30 years ago he graduated in Museum Studies and worked for many years in the Ulster Museum before evenintually joining Diane in jointly managing the nursery and expanding wraparound units in 2004. Nikolai largely works for Head Office doing administration and running business affairs. He sources all things behind the scences from transport to storage and is a key driver behind alternative thinking and approaches to running the services we have. Nikolai is one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers of the Company. In his spare time Nikolai is still a keen rugby enthusiast having been a coach for a period of time and working part time for FFR – he was Assistant Video Referee in the 2007 RWC for all games including the semi final and finals hosted in Stade De France. He keeps continued links with FFR and has helped with the U20 French and Russian teams when they visit to play in Ireland. He is also a car enthusiast and loves all things motorsport! He also enjoys time spent travelling to visit extended family and long walks on the beach with the two family Labradors - Boris and Yuri. He is also an amazing chef and if Diane and Nikolai hadn’t bought a nursery they were planning to open a restaurant – absolutely no regrets in their choice however! They both love what they do.

Diane Koplewsky

Director

Diane is a business graduate, who also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Studies and also an MBA. She started her working career in a large law practice before spending time as a consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and then Deloitte. Following the birth of her second child Diane purchased Sleepy Hollow which was a small nursery for 35 children at the time. During the past 16 years the chain has grown to the largest childcare chain in NI with 15 wraparound units and a large All Ireland Centre of Excellence Day Nursery. Diane holds level 3 in CCLD and in playwork. She also holds level 5 in CCLD as well as being a qualified Assessor and has also completed a Teaching Certificate in Further Education from University of Ulster in 2016 to be able to deliver training to the Sleepy Hollow Staff Team. Diane is one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers of the Company. Along with Bronagh she has written a Sleepy Hollow Inspired Accredited Qualification. Diane is a past Board Member of Playboard NI and chairperson of the Playwork Education and Training Council NI (PETCNI). Diane continues to sit on the PETCNI committee and is a founding member and treasure of International Play Association NI. She currently chairs the Day Care Owners Forum and is on the Board of Directors of the Early Years Organisation. She also sits on the Board of Governors of a primary school. Diane has attended the international Conference in Reggio Emilia in 2016 as well as many other conferences and professional development days in UK and Ireland. Diane firmly believes that sharing best pratice is important for the Childcare sector in NI and by being involved in committees and through her own CPD this ensures that we are offering the highest level of care and development opportunities for children. Diane is one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers of the Company. Quite simply put she just loves her job and wouldn’t return to a corporate boardroom for anything - working with children and seeing them play, grow and learn is more fulfilling than any other job in the world! Diane is one of the speakers at the Early Years World Forum in Macau, China in April 2019 and also carries out consultancy work on the Sleepy Hollow Inspired Branch. In her spare time Diane is an active Member of Belfast Soroptimist Club – a service organisation which works towards achieving sustainable development goals and to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and now grown up family, visiting extended family who live far and wide and loves nothing more than spending time in her caravan with long walks on the beach along the north coast with her two labradors.

Bronagh Creery

Associate Director

Bronagh has over 24 years experience in Sleepy Hollow having joined as a young student. She has experience working with all age groups from babies right up to teenagers as he ran the local community youth club outside of work. Bronagh joined management ranks in Sleepy Hollow firstly as personnel manager in nursery before setting up Sleepy Hollow’s first afterschools provision and being instrumental in starting and developing the wraparound model which we use in 15 different primary schools today. She manages a workforce of almost 100 people. Bronagh is one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers of the Company. Bronagh holds levels 2,3 & 5 in CCLD as well as levels 3 & 5 in playwork. She has also completed Assessors Awards and Teaching Certificate through People 1st. She has also been a member of PETCNI and is currently the Communications Editor and one of the founding members of International Play Association (NI). Bronagh has also been on an International Study Tour to Reggio Emilia in 2017. She has attended countless other conferences and Professional Development days in UK and Ireland. Bronagh is one of the speakers at the Early Years World Forum in Macau, China in April 2019 and also carries out consultancy work on the Sleepy Hollow Inspired Branch. She wrote a Sleepy Hollow Inspired qualification alongside Diane which all of our staff undertake when they join the company. In her spare time Bronagh enjoys spending quality time with her young daughter and husband or catching up with friends. She also has a caravan on the North Coast and can be found most weekends on the beach or reading a good book.

Pauline Bradshaw

Finance Manager

Pauline Bradshaw (Finance and Regulatory Manager). Pauline has worked for Sleepy Hollow for six years having worked for another large nursery setting in NI and admin/finance roles further afield in UK. She is trained specifically on all SAGE packages we use. She works alongside setting managers in a wide range of matters such as invoicing, preparing accounts for our accountant, petty cash management, archiving records, fair employment, and all things regulatory in the setting. Pauline works for us mornings only and is kept busy with her very sporty son who is both a swimmer and a hockey player. She can be found be often at 5am poolside in both Ards and Bangor, late evenings helping with galas or just being a supporter. She loves to holiday with her husband, son and family friends. She also is Sunday School co-ordinator at her church so like the rest of the management team in Sleepy Hollow she rarely has a spare minute.

Dee Edwards

Area Manager

Dee joined us 12 years ago as a Manager in one of our wraparound units. She has since worked in a lot of our units working alongside new managers or staff. She was promoted to Area Manager four years ago and helps with setting up new settings, supervising and induction of new staff, curriculum planning and overseeing day to day running of afterschools groups. Dee is qualified to level 3 in CCLD and Playwork, has level 5 in Playwork and holds an assessors award. Dee is an animal lover and spends most of her time outside of work caring for animals. She can be found walking her dog along Seapark in Holywood or in any of the parks near her home. She enjoys cooking and spending time with her friends.

Karen Larkin

Nursery Manager

Karen holds level 3 in CCLD and 5 in Playwork. She has worked for Sleepy Hollow for over ten years and during that time worked in rooms before managing one of the afterschools facilities. Karen joined the nursery management team in 2015 and is a very capable and hands on leader. Karen has attended many training programmes and PD days including a recent trip to the Curiosity Approach settings in Birmingham. She is one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers of the Company. Karen spends her spare time caring for her young son, many day trips far and wide as well as catching up with friends.

Amy Brough

Nursery Manager

Amy has worked in Sleepy Hollow for thirteen years having had a couple of career breaks in her time with us to spend time working in the Early Years Sector, firstly in Australia for two years and then followed by a year in New Zealand finishing up with a trip of a lifetime around Asia. Amy has level 3 in CCLD and is undertaking level 5 at present. She is is one of the Designated Safeguarding Officers of the Company. Amy travelled out to Reggio Emilia in 2018 to attend the International Study Tour and is a member of the NI group of Reggio Emilia Pracitioners. Amy has such wide and vast experience in nursery and has a very caring child led approach to management. Amy obviously loves to travel, enjoys cinema and reading. She has many many weekends away visiting family and friends …. She never stops in her spare time!

Rachel McCartney

Projects Manager

Rachel worked for Sleepy Hollow in 2015 as part of her gap year whilst undertaking her degree in Education with Business. She was instrumental in introducing My Nursery Pal during her placement year and also completed level 3 in CCLD during that time. She returned to work for Sleepy Hollow in the management team to lead project work alongside Diane and Bronagh when she graduated. She is currently undertaking level 5 CCLD with Amy and travelled with Karen to Birmingham recently to visit the curiosity approach nurseries. Rachel loves to travel and has visited many fun places with family and friends. She enjoys the gym and socialising with friends.

Lisa Logan

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Crumlin IPS

Lisa is one of Sleepy Hollow’s longest serving members of staff. She has worked as Assistant Manager in our Day Nursery before being promoted to Manager. She has worked in our facilities in McKinney PS & Crumlin IPS. She is one of our leads on our trips and outings. She is qualified to Level 5 in CCLD and continues to strive to further her studies. Lisa enjoys working with school age children and discovering different personalities that the children she works with. Every day brings something new she says. She mostly enjoys summer scheme and her highlights have been the ‘human hungry hippo’ game and the five trips she had to Sheans Horse Farm in Armoy all in the one week. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her daughter Catherine and husband John, and they love nothing more than travelling round the island of Ireland!

Lauren Prior

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ St Ita's PS

Lauren is one of our longest serving Managers. She started out working in our nursery setting and having completed a Level 5 qualification went on to manage our facility in St Ita's PS when we had just 30 children in that unit. It has grown substantially in the past few years and we are now registered for 78 children every day. She manages a workforce of ten playwork professionals and runs an extremely efficient setting. She also works in St Ita's during the mornings so knows all of the children, families and staff at St Ita's so it is a lovely transition and great working partnership for everyone involved. Lauren ensures that our facility is play based and that the children are fully involved in the planning and evaluation of all of our activities. She is a real asset and dynamic member of our team In her spare time Lauren loves scrapbooking as well spending time with her family and friends. She loves animals and has a tortoise called Timmy. She can't wait to finish her Early Childhood Studies course this year and hopes to go on to do a PGCE. With her limited spare time she is having way too much fun planning her Florida wedding. You never know she may need a party of 78 children, a support team of 10 and a couple of senior managers to help her out in Florida for the big day!!

Lisa McAleenan

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Strandtown PS

Lisa has been with Sleepy Hollow for over five years. She joined us from managing a large day nursery in Liverpool. She was moving home to get married to her then fiancé. She has been life long friends with our nursery Manager Karen and when Karen mentioned Lisa was returning we held a telephone interview with her and invited her to visit nursery on her return home. We were delighted when she accepted the post of Manager in St Itas PS. She worked there for a couple of years before moving over to Strandtown to manage the busy facility there. She is mega organised and is a great Manager. She is a real asset to our team. During the mornings Lisa is kept busy looking after her young son and helping her husband in his business. In her spare time Lisa loves to spend time with her husband and young son at her caravan.

Julie-Ann Price

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ McKinney PS

Julie Ann joined Sleepy Hollow when we opened our facility in McKinney PS, so was instrumental in setting up this facility. She was already working in the school when we established our facility so it was a great transition for the school, parents, children and ourselves. She undertook her level five qualification at record pace, even submitting work twice a week when she was on maternity leave. She is such a loyal member and highly thought of member of our management team. In her spare time Julie Ann is kept busy with her two young children both of whom also attend Sleepy Hollow.

Brona Keenan

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ St Therese of Lisieux PS

Brona has worked for Sleepy Hollow for three years. She also works in St Marys on the Hill PS in the mornings. Her and Deborah both work so well as a team and run a very happy unit over in St Therese of Lisieux. The team are really creative and we enjoy seeing 'whats coming next' in terms of their creations each time we visit. Brona is working her way to completing her level 5. Brona loves spending time with her husband, family and friends in her spare time. She loves nothing more than going on long walks with her dogs. She is also about to become a Mummy for the first time very soon so has lots to look forward to in the next couple of months.

Alex Henry

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Forthill Integrated PS

Alex has worked in our Day Nursery for four years and was a dynamic Early Years Practitioner who showed real playwork and management potential. She has just taken on the post of Manager in our new facility in Forthill IPS and continues to work in the mornings in our Nursery. She has taken to management every bit as well as we expected her too and will be finished her level 5 in no time at all. Alex has just returned from an amazing trip of a lifetime following her recent wedding. She is enjoying decorating her house, cooking and socialising with friends and family. She enjoys walking and going to the gym.

Karyn Lorimer

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Academy PS

Karyn joined us when we took over Academy PS afterschool. She's such a lovely person and has taken on her role with ease. She is in her final year of completing her level 5 and has also a Foundation Degree in Early Years. Karyn enjoys spending time with her family, reading and geneaology.

Agnes Dienes

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ St Marys on the Hill PS

Agnes joined us in September 2017. She is undertaking Level 5 qualifications and has worked in lots of our units to gain experience working along side our other Managers. She has now progressed to managing her own unit in St Marys on the Hill PS . She works in St Itas PS in the mornings. Agnes is such a bubbly and happy person. She is a Mum to four children so between working two jobs and her family she doesn't have a lot of spare time!

Claire Johnston

Manager - Gilnahirk PS

Claire has worked with us for many years. She is first and foremost a fab playworker. She is such a loyal and reliable person. She is currently undertaking her level 5 and manages our busy unit in Gilnahirk PS. In her spare time Claire is a volunteer with St Johns ambulance. She is also a youth work volunteer. She enjoys football and shopping.

Mila Burrows

Sleepy Hollow @ Victoria PS

Mila managed our unit in Crawfordsburn PS and left to go back into language teaching. We were delighted when she applied to return to us and she now manages our unit in Victoria PS where she is ably assisted by Rebecca. Mila loves reading, walking on the beach, travelling and spending time with her family.

Carol McKinney

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ St Bernards PS

Carol is a mega organised Manager. She works over in our facility in St Bernards PS and also is completing her level 5 qualification. She has had two new assistants joining us this year in September and Carol's forte is in induction, formation and leadership of her staff team. Carol's hobbies include yoga, oil painting and archery. She has two beautiful daughters and loves nothing more than spending quality time with them.

Liudmila Kondronova

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Greenwood Infant School

Liudmila has worked with us for over ten years starting out as an Assistant in Greenwood PS. She now manages that facility and the transition to Management has been a very easy one for her. She is such a caring and creative person. In her spare time she makes cakes - we would encourage anyone to order them! Liudmila is such a hard working person and is highly thought of by each and every person in Sleepy Hollow She spends all of her spare time going over to visit her Mother and Daughter in Russia. She loves nothing more than having her Grandson Matthew come over to visit from Russia and he has spent the past two summers coming to Sleepy Hollow summer scheme. She delights on his progress in English each time he comes over and we just love having Matthew join us.

Enrol now for 2018

16 Locations across Northern Ireland

Sleepy Hollow is an All Ireland Centre of Excellence accredited childcare provider. We are also Investors in People accredited and were winners of NI4 Kids Awards 2017 and runners up in the Nursery World Awards in London 2018.  We have also won some awards at local and community levels

Our Day Nursery caters for children from 6 weeks to 12 years. We are based in a wonderfully rural purpose renovated setting on the outskirts of Crumlin Village. It is situated within a couple of minutes drive from 6 primary schools, all of the commercial and industrial businesses located in Nutts Corner, Crumlin & Antrim with our largest local employers being Randox Laboratories and the International
Airport.

We operate a unique Reggio Emilia Inspired Curriculum in our Early Childhood Centre and an Eager and Able to Learn programme for our two year old room. See seperate tabs for indepth information on both curriculums.

Sleepy Hollow have been specialising in school age childcare for 15 years operating on school premises.  We work with leading and dynamic schools who are forward thinking in order to meet the needs of their pupils and families.  We have carried out a lot playwork research and feel this model of childcare best suits school age children.

Professor Peter Gray, Boston University recently addressed the International Play Conference in Limerick in 2018, stating that schools should offer play opportunities and provisions which aren’t solely based on extra curricular competitive sports or exam based music tuition.  He said that this model of wraparound care in schools is the way forward and linked more play opportunities to the wellbeing of children as they become young adults.  He personally congratulated us in being leaders in our field.

Sleepy Hollow provides out of school camps during all school holidays and exceptional closures.  These are available to both our regular clients and those who just need holiday or temporary childcare.  The camps are much more than holiday schemes.  We follow fun curriculums and ensure each day is made up of play activities, baking, sensory play, group games, creative activities as well as the opportunity for child led play.  We also offer fun and exciting trips during summer periods.  Schools come together during holiday camps so its a fun way to get to make new friends and for partnerships in the community.

Awards & Recognition