About us

Welcome to the Ark, a fun and happy preschool with a Christian ethos, where children and their families are at the heart of everything we do.

We strongly believe that children are hardwired for learning and we strive to give them exciting and varied opportunities to do so through play based experiences. We listen to children and plan topics around their interests, we want to inspire curiosity and for them to experience awe and wonder at the little things. Happy and interested children are inspired and motivated to learn after all!

The Ark are passionate about being fully inclusive and fully embrace the uniqueness of all of our children and their families and all that they bring including their personal experience, culture or religion. We have a wealth of experience in helping children that have an additional need reach their full potential. Quite simply we embrace the whole child.

All of the staff at The Ark are a touch on the mature side but very young at heart. We are all parents ourselves which gives us a mass of experience, empathy and understanding in helping children to grow and supporting their families. We nurture both intellectual and emotional development and are passionate about parents as partners in this.

We operate an ‘Open Door’ policy and encourage parents to talk freely to us as we recognise that the smallest change in home life can impact on a childs experience at preschool. We are on hand to offer support and guidance at all times, simply put we consider ourselves as part of your extended family.

Meet Our Staff

Eve James

Manager of the Pre-School, NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education, BTEC level 3 in management, First Aider.

I have worked in child care for 12 years, starting in Play work with older children and moving into Early Years work 9 years ago. I am a mum of 4 children and have lived locally for 14 years. I am a firm believer that parents know their little people best and love to work in partnership with them to help their children reach their full potential. I feel truly privileged to work with this wonderful age group as I get to see them flourish and learn every day.

Dena James

CACHE LEVEL 3 Certificate In work with Children (Early Years), Administration Assistant.

I am the administration assistant for the pre-school, dealing with queries, funding, invoicing and a myriad of other duties! I have over 20 years of experience in the childcare profession, including serving as a room leader, supervisor and manager. As a qualified, experienced practitioner, I also do bank staff cover at the pre-school so you may see me in the setting from time to time! I have a beautiful grown up daughter who is now married, and my partner and I have two dogs who share our lovely home in Goring, and keep us on our toes.

Lynsey Haste

Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator, NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education, First Aider

I have worked with children for 20 years as a nanny, a practitioner and a mother! I thoroughly enjoy my role as SENCO, ensuring every child has their individual needs met in the best possible way. My husband and I have two teenage daughters, one of whom has finished school. I like to spend time with my family walking the South Downs where I live, eating out with friends and camping around the UK.

Chloe Kokkalidis

NVQ level 3 in childcare

I started working in childcare 12 years ago as a nursery assistant and as an after-school club coordinator, in a bilingual school abroad . I moved to Brighton a year ago with my family. I have two children aged five and two. I have always enjoyed working with young children and I am really happy to be an apprentice in The Ark Pre-school as it gives me the opportunity to continue my learning and add a qualification to my working experience.

Cherise Yule

Apprentice, 1:1 worker

I am a mum of two boys aged three and five - one has left The Ark for ‘big school’ and one is still here. I have first-hand experience of looking after children with additional needs and understand the importance of finding someone to unlock their full potential. Working as a 1-1 support worker as well as a general practitioner at The ARK is a privilege and a joy. In my free time I enjoy exploring Sussex with my boys and visiting my family.

Michael House

1-1 Support Worker

I’m a father of a five-year-old daughter who recently left the Ark, before moving to ‘big school’. I have experience of working with children of all ages in children’s club environments and have an understanding of how important early development is for children. I also understand the skills required to develop a child’s understanding academically and in social situations and really enjoy bring the best out of each child.

Danni Smith

1-1 Support Worker and Pre-school Practitioner

I have worked in the early years sector for several years and have been a mum for 12 years; my son is 12 and my daughter is 9. Both my children have, at times, needed extra help and support which is why I love my role as a 1-1 support worker at the Ark Pre-school. My experience has a mum and a practitioner have enabled me to fully understand the importance of understanding each child’s individual needs and supporting them in the best possible way. To relax, I love walking my dogs, Moshi and Ed!

Hannah Fish

Level 3 childminding qualification

Following a career break after having my children I retrained to become an OFSTED registered childminder. I have since cared for children between the ages of 6 months to 4 years as well as my own boys who are 3 and 7. I continue to childmind part time and am delighted to be using my newly gained knowledge and qualifications in a pre school setting. My husband, boys and I are Brighton born and bred and love nothing more than enjoying the beach and surrounding parks at the weekends.

Amy Johnstone

Level 3 childcare qualifications

I have been working in childcare, with younger children, for the past 21 years both in nurseries and as a private Nanny. I now have 2 young sons of my own who attend local schools. I love the freedom of play and how children learn from it with a little guidance. It is both fun and rewarding.

Bank Staff
We have a small number of people we can call on to cover for staff sickness and staff attending courses. We try and keep this to a minimum number of people so the children feel secure and have consistency.

Staff Training

We are committed to staff development and all staff attend up to 4 courses a year. We aim to help all staff attain the highest standards possible for them. All our staff have DBS checks.

Supporting Trainees
We often have students from different schools, colleges and universities who spend time with us during their training. They work alongside us and are mentored by practitioners.Deputising in the Manager’s absence, Lynsey Haste – Wednesday noon to Friday

Pre-School Committee

Our pre-school has a Committee which deals with matters of governance, finance and recruitment. Simon Lewis acts as the Committee Chair.Committee meetings take place once a term, with extra fundraising meetings being called if necessary.Parents are actively encouraged to become part of the Committee. Working in partnership ensures your child’s first educational experiences outside of home are rich and fulfilling.A primary function of the pre-school Committee is fundraising. We are a charity pre-school and depend on fundraising to purchase up to date resources for our children. Parental involvement is vital to the success of enjoyable fundraisers, like our Scooter Scampers, Ark in the Park sponsored walks and luxury Christmas hampers!

Simon Lewis

Committee Chair

I am the Chair of the Ark Pre-school Committee which oversees the direction, staff, facilities and finances of the pre-school. I am a pharmacist and work part-time for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency as well as working part-time at CityCoast Church. I am married to Ruth and we have 4 adult children, two of whom are married. We enjoy walking and visiting historical buildings and gardens.