Company Directors Annie Silcock and Ros Faulkner have a wealth of qualifications, experience in the childcare sector, plus extensive business, training and people management knowledge and skills. They established Smartpractice as a joint venture in 2011 with the aim of working with start-ups and helping established settings deliver outstanding practice, effectively manage their staff and ensure they maximise profitability.

Between them and their team of specialist childcare consultants, including an Ofsted inspector, a previous Ofsted Safeguarding Officer, Health and Safety experts and outstanding Educational Practitioners who have previously worked in an extensive range of environments within the nursery sector, they ensure exceptional results.

Annie Silcock

Annie Silcock

Annie has owned and managed Smarties and Smartcare ltd for 30 years, a nursery which has been awarded UK Nursery of the Year in 2018 by the National Day Nursery Association and ‘Outstanding in all areas’ by Ofsted for over a decade. She currently employs over 50 members of staff and has built her setting in Chester, Cheshire to provide care for 140 children.

Annie is highly motivated and has acted on a consultancy basis for developers, financial investors and owners in the nursery sector. She regularly runs training courses for nursery owners, managers and practitioners and has spoken at the NDNA conferences on the subject of ‘How to become an Outstanding Setting’ and on ‘Self Evaluation’ and has written several articles for nursery publications.

Smarties Nursery and Smartcare Holiday Club has gained:

  • Overall Winner of the NDNA UK Nursery of the Year Award 2018
  • Continuous Outstanding inspection reports in all areas from Ofsted, 2005/2006, 2009/2010, 2015/16 and 2017/18
  • Quality Counts accreditation to Platinum in all areas (Highest grade achievable)
  • Millie’s Mark accreditation
  • Platinum Eat Well award by Chester City Council.

Annie’s Career history:

  • Business degree in management
  • Qualified teacher
  • 2 years experience in recruitment consultancy
  • Over 30 years experience in the childcare sector
  • Director of Smarties and Smartcare ltd – nursery care for over 100 children and a holiday club for 40 children

Delivers consultancy specialising in:

  • Business development and nursery operations
  • Financial planning
  • Nursery design
  • EYFS training and outstanding practice
Ros Faulkner

Ros Faulkner

Ros is an experienced business consultant, trainer and coach with many years’ experience in the childcare sector; she has supported Annie for over two decades to grow Smarties into the highly successful nursery that it is today. Her sound management knowledge and drive to get the best out of people and their practice shines through at all times.

Ros has a track record of inspiring individuals and teams within organisations resulting in significant personal and business performance improvement. She is qualified to Masters’ level in Early Years and also has a very strong background in business, people management, PR, marketing and communications. She is an excellent trainer and facilitator and regularly runs courses for nursery owners, managers and practitioners as well as providing business consultancy.

Ros fully appreciates the demands and challenges that owners and managers are faced with in the childcare sector. She has worked extensively with Smarties Nursery which has consistently grown in size and profitability, whilst also delivering exceptional quality care and achieving Ofsted outstanding.

Ros’ Career History:

  • 5 years experience running PR and Marketing Consultancy
  • 4 years experience as a Business Manager
  • 5 years experience as a TV Producer/Director (ITV & Channel 4)
  • Qualified and experienced Teacher with a B:Ed 2:1
  • Masters degree in Early Years (Merit)
  • Practicing Business coach with a PGCert Business & Personal Coaching (Distinction).

Delivers Childcare Consultancy specialising in:

  • EYFS training and Outstanding practice
  • Business Development and nursery operations
  • Operational and People Management
  • Marketing and Communications

Between them and their team of specialist childcare consultants, including an Ofsted Inspector, a previous Ofsted Safeguarding Officer, Health and Safety experts and outstanding Educational Practitioners who have previously worked in an extensive range of environments within the nursery sector, they ensure exceptional results.