Laura Barton-Toyne: Igniting Joy in Every Facet of Nursery Life
Laura Barton-Toyne
Laura Barton-Toyne

A nursery is a child’s first formal introduction to the outer world. With the ideal foundation laid by nurseries, children march further through all the layers of formal education and carve a niche for themselves in a competitive world. But irrespective of how their paths and destinies are, they tend to remember their first teacher who helped them take the first ideal step of their lives.

For hundreds of students who graced the Kangaroo Kids Nursery, Laura Barton-Toyne is definitely a name they will recall and have the utmost admiration for the rest of their lives. With her empathetic nature, passion for childcare, and her surroundings which were filled with remarkable women, Laura was destined to enter this field.

Laura’s Journey from her childhood to becoming a Nursery Principal is a manifestation of her lifelong aspirations. She believes the path of childcare chose her than the other way around.

She believes that the sheer joy and fulfillment She got from spending time with children, even in her own youth, has always been a cherished aspect of her life. Laura naturally finds herself taking on leadership roles within groups of peers, instinctively organizing activities and creating a sense of camaraderie.

An Empathetic Leader

As she progressed, her passion for child development only grew stronger. From school to college, Laura excitedly pursued courses and studies that delved deeper into understanding the complexities of nurturing young minds. Eventually, this journey led her to pursue a career as a qualified social worker, specializing in providing support to specially-abled children and underprivileged families. Laura’s experiences have taken her to a variety of settings, from children’s homes to pupil support centers, schools, and nurseries.

Throughout her career, she has continuously sought to expand her knowledge and skills, earning additional qualifications in areas such as Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), adult education, and early years education. Laura believes children can absorb information easily because they view the world around them with an open mind and loving heart and thus, she has always strived to embody this same attitude to learning. Laura has performed various roles within both small-scale childcare businesses and larger nursery groups and has thoroughly enjoyed immersing herself in the world of early years education.

Contributing to the Well-being of Children

Amidst her diverse experiences and responsibilities, Laura has noticed that one constant remains—her dedication to the children and families she serves. She is driven by a genuine love and commitment to their well-being and development. For her, the essence of this work is not in fancy titles or complex organizational structures, but in the beautiful relationships, Laura has built wonderful memories that will last a lifetime and has impacted the lives of people she has worked with.

Laura finds herself fortunate to have gotten a chance to help children take the first ideal step in their lives, which has been her lifelong desire. Her journey into this career path is a result of deep influence by some of the remarkable women in her life—her mother, grandparents, and favorite teachers—who were all shining beacons of inspiration and kindness. Growing up surrounded by their powerful presence instilled in her a desire to give back and make a positive impact on the lives of children and families in the community.

The unyielding support and encouragement given to Laura by her role models continues to fuel her passion for this field. She observed how they dedicated themselves to caring for others with compassion and empathy and she has always strived to replicate their footsteps. Their influence inspired Laura to pursue a career where she could contribute to the well-being and development of children and families.

Igniting Joy and Nurturing the Natural Curiosity

In her approach to childcare, she has a simple aim which is to ignite joy and nurture the natural curiosity that lives within every child. Laura firmly believes that each child is born with an inherent desire to explore and learn about the world around them. As a lifelong caregiver, she sees it as her responsibility to create and encourage this innate sense of wonder.

One of the key ways she accomplishes this is by prioritizing the building of connections with the children under her care. Laura understands the importance of forming meaningful relationships, as it lays the foundation for trust and understanding. Rather than expecting children to conform to her world, Laura makes a conscious effort to step into theirs.

Building a Sense of Community

Building a sense of community has been a labor of love for Laura, and she has dedicated countless hours to bringing the Kangaroo family together. Her tribe emphasizes the importance of unity and support, recognizing that they are stronger together than they could ever be alone. While Laura plays a role in orchestrating these connections, she is acutely aware that it takes a village to make it happen. Laura finds herself fortunate to be surrounded by a team of dedicated educators who share my passion for fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

At her nursery, Laura takes pride in her approach as a boutique establishment. Rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all mentality, she recognizes the unique qualities and requirements of each family. This means tailoring her services to accommodate individual circumstances and preferences, whether it’s adjusting the curriculum to meet specific learning needs or providing additional support where necessary.

By embracing inclusivity as a guiding principle and actively collaborating with families, the nursery creates a nurturing environment where every child feels seen, heard, and valued.

The primary goals and vision of Kangaroo Kids Nursery revolve around three core principles: Connect, Protect, and Play. Firstly, the nursery aims to foster connections within the community, creating a warm and welcoming environment for all. Whether it’s dedicated staff, children, their families, or the broader community, Kangaroo strives to give a sense of belonging to everyone. It firmly believes in the proverbial “it takes a village,” recognizing the importance of partnerships and collaboration in nurturing healthy and thriving communities.

Secondly, the nursery is committed to protecting the well-being of children and the world they inhabit. It promotes positivity and kindness in all aspects of interactions, instilling in children the values of respect and care for both each other and the environment.

Through play, Kangaroo Kids Nursery creates an environment where children feel safe, secure, and empowered to explore their interests and express themselves authentically. In essence, its primary goals and vision revolve around creating a nurturing and enriching environment where children can thrive, connect with others, and develop into confident and compassionate individuals.

Building Lifelong Relationships

Kangaroo Kids Nursery has received numerous awards and recognitions, such as being voted the number 1 nursery by parents in Ed Arabia. Additionally, it was honored to be both the first Curiosity Approach accredited setting and the first Hygge in the Early Years accredited setting in the UAE.

Beyond these accolades, what truly fills Laur’s heart with pride are the countless beautiful children and families who have graced Kangaroo’s doors over the past 18 years. Their trust and loyalty mean more to the nursery than any award or accreditation. It’s the relationships the nursery has built and the memories it has shared that define its success.

Looking back on 18 years of cherished memories, Laura and the entire community feel grateful for the opportunity to play a role in the lives of so many wonderful families. Each child who has walked through its doors has left an indelible mark and Kangaroo Kids Nursery is blessed to have been a part of their journey.

Keeping the Essence of Childhood Intact

In her previous nursery leadership role, Laura was also incredibly grateful to be a part of the team that was awarded the “Top 10 Nurseries in the UAE”.

At the core of her philosophy is the belief that play is not just an activity used to pass the time or distract children, but the very essence of childhood. Laura wholeheartedly embraces this principle and deeply understands that play is a vital component of children’s development. She makes it a priority to immerse herself in the child’s world, honoring their innate curiosity and finding joy in the simplest of moments.

Laura is passionate about championing the importance of connecting with the natural world and incorporating natural elements into every facet of nursery life. In a time when technology often dominates, she strives to provide opportunities for children to engage with the tangible and natural aspects of their environment. By stepping away from a synthetic childhood and embracing real experiences, her nursery is able to create a deeper appreciation for the world and all its intricate wonders.

Enhancing the Reach of the Community

The nursery’s journey of growth and learning is never-ending, and it is firmly committed to maintaining a flexible growth mindset as it continues to evolve and improve. This means embracing new opportunities for learning, staying open to feedback, and constantly seeking ways to enhance the practices.

At the heart of Kangaroo Kids Nursery’s mission is a dedication to being the best, not just for itself, but for the families and communities it serves. The Nursery understands that its success is intertwined with the well-being and satisfaction of those it supports, and it is determined to always exceed their expectations.

Looking ahead, Laura is excited about the prospect of welcoming more families into the community and expanding its reach across the UAE. She believes that every family deserves a warm and welcoming environment where they feel valued and supported, and Kangaroo Kids Nursery is committed to providing just that. By expanding its reach and deepening connections within the community, the nursery hopes to create an even stronger and more inclusive environment for all.

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