Maureen's Blog For Ask Askew

 My blogs aim to provide childcare business owners and managers with relevant business and childcare related information.

I am a Business Consultant specialising in the childcare sector. I am an active member of the Chartered Management Institute, Institute of Consulting, Federation of Small Businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.

I have been a Chartered Manager since 2007 I am also a 4Children Business Champion. I write feature articles for 2 childcare/family magazines, on issues that are of interest to families and childcare providers. I have been involved in childcare for over 35 years.

A life time ago starting with my NNEB training, I then became a registered Childminder, owned and managed pre-schools and full day care, worked as a paid employee and volunteer for the Pre-school Learning Alliance, delivered qualification and short childcare courses in FE colleges across Lancashire and North Yorkshire and worked as part of the early year’s teams at Blackburn with Darwen and Bolton LA for over 15 years. 

I started Ask Askew in 2011, although I mainly work for myself, I do work as an associate for the NDNA, CBIS and EYalliance (previously the Pre-school Learning Alliance). 


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Mentoring what it is and is not

As a nursery owner or manager you may have wondered if engaging a mentor to provide you with support in moving your business forward; or for personal support;  would be a good investment, but don't really know what mentoring is all about and whether it would be right for you and your business.

1 Mentoring is NOT coaching and is NOT counselling and is NOT training…but at times can incorporate elements of the above. Traditionally mentoring is a one to one holistic relationship focussed on helping individuals grow, mostly on a personal level that also helps with business issues.    

2 Mentoring can take you from GOOD to GREAT.  Mentoring is at heart an empowering tool that enables individuals to tap into their potential and achieve their best.

Mentoring is also about having the opportunity to ‘blue-sky’ in total confidence and safety. In a mentoring relationship mentees should feel free to ask any questions, think beyond limitations and boundaries and deploy all kinds of scenarios. It is often from these apparently ‘impossible’ discussions that very ‘possible’ ideas begin to emerge.


3 Mentoring comes in many shapes and forms. Traditionally Mentoring is a face to face and one to one relationship, however telephone and skype are all very easily used in mentoring. This flexibility works very well for example for busy managers and owners meaning the mentoring can take place in line with the needs of the business and is both time and cost effective.  

Whichever way you look at it, mentoring is hugely beneficial to individuals and to teams. Whether your purpose is performance, engagement or empowerment, mentoring can support your aims!