Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

Renfrewshire Council is recruiting for Depute Heads of Centre and Heads of Centre jobs in nurseries across the area.

Ashleigh Carson has worked in the nursery sector for more than 17 years and says becoming a depute head has been the most rewarding experience yet.

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

She said: “I didn’t start out wanting to work in a management role but having been given the opportunity to work in the role temporarily, I soon realised I was made for this.

“Being a leader is about supporting your staff to grow in their roles and giving them the opportunities to develop. Trusting staff to take the lead and to make a contribution is just as important as being open and transparent as a leader. I always want my team to feel like they can have ideas, develop them and see them flourish into great projects and experiences for the children. If I ever need to say no to an idea, I always explain why so the team understand the reason.

“Making sure every member of staff feels part of the team and takes on responsibility within the centre is at the heart of how our management team functions. When it comes to developing the centre’s vision, we sit down with the team and we talk about what we want the nursery to achieve and what it should be like for our children such as engaging, exploring, investigating and fun, and then pull those ideas together to consult with parents and children. The end result means that we are all working together to a shared vision and everyone feels a part of it.

“Motivating people is a huge part of the job, especially on a dreary Monday morning, but the benefits of working as a leader in early years far outweighs any rainy day. Training is a significant benefit to working within a local authority nursery. Since I first joined Renfrewshire Council, I’ve completed a PDA in Early Childhood Education, my BA, post-grad and masters in Childhood Practice and more recently an Aspiring Leaders Programme and a Development Centre to support me as a centre leader.

“I love working with children, it’s what I wanted to do when I left school and I’m glad my career has taken me where it has. I’d recommend taking on a leadership role in a nursery to anyone who is already working in the field and is ready to take that next step, or for anyone with qualifications and a lot of determination to dive in and empower teams to do what they do best create better outcomes for children and families.”

To apply for a Depute Head of Centre or Head of Centre job, visit