About Us

Senior Personnel

Mrs. Jane Laycock

Lisa Boniface - Area Manager

Before starting Merry Poppets Nursery, I worked for many years in a small local lower school with ages ranging from 3 to 9 years, this is where my passion for working with children started. Before having children of my own I had experience of working in nursery settings, playgroups and crèches. During this time I gained a valuable insight into the early stages of child development and the benefits of encouraging children to become independent learners. I continue to work closely with local lower schools and the Central Bedfordshire Children Services team to ensure every child who passes through Merry Poppets is fully prepared for full-time education.    

I have a huge amount of understanding in Lower School education and as you will notice from my experience, I have undertaken further education courses to better my knowledge.

I have raised two daughters that I am immensely proud of. My eldest daughter is a Junior Doctor and the youngest is a Paediatric Nurse, who now supports me at Merry Poppets as a senior team member, whilst continuing her nursing profession. Having taken an active part in their education by sitting on committees for both playgroup and school. I have been on the board of Governors for their lower school as well as PTA Chairperson and PTA member for their local Middle school. I have also assisted with their sports and outdoor activities, such as athletics, netball, and rounder’s clubs.

Taken classes of children on three-day residential trips having co-ordinated the excursion. This involved parent liaison, venue planning/coordination, scheduling and risk assessment duties. I have a great deal of experience with outside agencies for those children with special needs liaising with Central Bedfordshire Children Services team, Child Protection, Emotional Behavioural Disorder and speech therapy advisors.

In my previous employment within the Lower School involved planning and organising the daily running of classes, assisting individual child’s and whole class learning, always ensuring intentions are understood and shared with the children. I have worked with class Teachers to develop and revise planning and evaluation pro formas. Working in any lower school requires adaptability and teamwork. I have undertaken various tasks when staff have been ill this included: -teaching whole classes and cooking for the school, covering lunchtime supervising and maintaining good hygiene standards.

As Senior Higher Level Teaching Assistant I worked with other members of staff throughout all age phases, working with individual groups, whole classes/groups and training new members of staff. I championed a new Special Needs programme that ensures continuity of information (as highlighted in an OFSTED inspection for this school) helping new members of staff reliably assess a child’s needs.

I regularly liaise with Central Bedfordshire Children’s Services at Priory House Chicksands, therefore if you would like any independent advice or information about Merry Poppets you can obtain it from this department on 0300 3008000.

My Experience

  • Qualified Nursery Practitioners (trained at Dunstable and Barnfield College)
  • Teaching Assistant Experience
  • Higher Level Teaching Assistant Qualification (Qualified by the Teacher Training Agency)
  • First Aid Trained
  • CPR Trained
  • Behaviour Management Trained
  • Challenging Behaviour Understanding, Assessing and Promoting Positive Behaviour
  • Child Protection Trained
  • Health and Hygiene Certificate
  • Health and Safety Certificate
  • Management of Medical Conditions and Administration of Medicines Qualified
  • Numerous Curriculum Based Courses Which Include Numeracy, Literacy ICT PE and Special Needs
  • Working With Looked After Children
  • Speech and Language Trained
  • A course taken on working with children with Autism
  • Working with Special Needs Children
  • Advanced DBS Cleared
  • COSHH Training

Lisa Boniface - Area Manager

Lisa Boniface

Area Manager

I started with Merry Poppets in 2006 as a volunteer on work placement, whilst studying for a qualification in Childcare. Once qualified in 2009 I held a Room Leader position in the Babyroom for two years, leading and supporting a small team of practioners.
In 2011 Merry Poppets opened in Westoning and I was given the opportunity for promotion to Deputy Manager, and I held that post for 6 years before being promoted again to Senior Area Manager in 2017.

Active roles held within Merry Poppets
  • Part of the Senior Management team
  • Advanced safeguarding and Designated Child Protection Lead.
  • Recruitment and Professional development
  • Multi Agency working
  • Advanced Child development
Previous Experiences
  • Mother of Twins
  • Worked in the community as a home carer for the elderly and Vunerable adults administering medication and reviewing care plans with Social Services.
  • Studied whilst living abroad for 10 years and gained qualifications as a Sports Injury Therapist, whilst working alongside a Osteopath and Physiotherapist.
  • I also worked as a nannie looking after twins whilst living abroad and was fortunate to travel/ visit various places.
  • I also volunteered in a children’s rehabilitation centre and gained experience working with child psychologists and a Art therapist
  • I studied at Barnfield College and gained a BETEC National Diploma in Art and Design and also hold a Diploma in child Psychology.

Mrs Paige Banfield -Area Manager / Paediatric Nurse

Mrs Paige Banfield BSc (hons) Nursing (children's)

Area Manager / Paediatric Nurse

I have worked for Merry Poppets for several years. Whilst completing my level three in childcare I progressed through the nursery from afterschool helper to Baby Room Leader.
Following this I went to Bucks New University to study Childrens nursing. After a successful 3 years at University, I attained a BSc Honours degree in Childrens Nursing. Subsequently I held nursing posts for a combined 7 years at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the Childrens Palliative care unit at Keech Hospice. I returned to Merry Poppets in 2020 as Area Manager and continue part-time as a Paediatric nurse. Recently, I completed a Level 3 Award in Education and Training and Licenced Instructor in Basic Life Support and First Aid. I instruct and keep the Merry Poppets Team up-to-date in Paediatric First Aid.

Active roles:
  • Advanced safeguarding and safeguarding lead.
  • Recruitment and Professional development.
  • Paediatric Nurse support for allergies, illnesses and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo).
  • Part of senior management team.
  • Travelled the world.
  • Caring for elderly and disabled.

What The Parents Say About


Our daughter has been attending Merry Poppets Henlow for over a year now and we are thrilled with her care and development. We truly feel like the MP staff are an extension of our family and when we drop her off we know she will have exceptional care whilst also progressing through her development indicators in a fun and interactive way. We get regular updates telling us what the week in store holds, then photos and catch-ups daily to keep us informed on how our daughter's day has been. We honestly spent so long choosing the right local nursery and we are greatful to be part of Merry Poppets Henlow.