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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 19 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 – 2020

Sleepy Hollow Early Childhood Centre is a social economy run day nursery facility and eager and able to learn 2-3 year old programme which is based in Crumlin.

The wraparound after schools sites are in

  • Crumlin,
  • Belfast,
  • Lisburn
  • Dunmurry,
  • Glengormley,
  • Newtownabbey,
  • Carrickfergus

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 19 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 – 2020

Sleepy Hollow Early Childhood Centre is a social economy run day nursery facility and eager and able to learn 2-3 year old programme which is based in Crumlin.

The wraparound after schools sites are in

  • Crumlin,
  • Belfast,
  • Lisburn
  • Dunmurry,
  • Glengormley,
  • Newtownabbey,
  • Carrickfergus

Meet The Team

Diane Koplewsky

Managing 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

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

Regional Manager for NI

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 Macartney

Area 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!!

Kalyani Yadav

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Strandtown PS

Kalyani has taken on a managerial role with us on her return from Maternity Leave. She is mum to a young daughter. She is completing her level 5 in Playwork and is enjoying the new challenge.

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Forthill Integrated PS

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.

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ St Bernards PS

Kristina has been long standing member of staff and was Manager in Gilnahirk before moving over to St Bernards. She is Mum to Danny and Hayley. She holds level 5 in CCLD and is a passionate playwork practitioner at heart. She won the play worker of the year at our bi annual staff awards ceremony

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Greenwood PS

Megan Carson

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ St Josephs PS

Megan joined Sleepy Hollow as a playwork practitioner in St Itas PS before moving over to manage the facility in St Josephs PS. Megan is a natural leader and has stepped up to the role with enthusiasm and ease. Megan is undertaking level 5 Playwork

Caitlin Duffy

Manager - Sleepy Hollow @ Our Lady Queen of Peace PS

Caitlin joined management following a career in Early Years Management both within Sleepy Hollow and in other private settings. She started her first playwork management in our setting in St Marys on the Hill PS before taking on the manager role in our newest unit Our Lady Queen of Peace. Caitlin also now works in the school in the morning

Manager - Killowen PS

Joanna Davey

Manager - St Therese of Lisieux PS

Joanna managed a Day Nursery before coming to work for Sleepy Hollow. She is so enthusiastic and has taken to her role with Sleepy Hollow with such ease and enthusiasm. She holds level 5 in CCLD but is a natural play worker as well. She is Mum to Holly

Leigh Hunter

Manager - St Marys on the Hill

This is a new role for Leigh who joined us from an Assistant Manager in a Day Nursery. She works in a nursery in the mornings before joining us in the afternoon. Leigh is undertaking her level 5 in Playwork

Joanne McKinnon

Manager - St MacNissis

Joanne managed a Day Nursery and held her level 5 in CCLD prior to joining the playwork heights in the hills of Glengormley with Sleepy Hollow. Such a lovely little family orientated unit over at St MacNissis PS which reflects with ethos of the school. Joanne is a jet setter and enjoys city breaks to New York with her daughter.

Enrol now for 2020

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