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March / April Spring Newsletter

"Children want the same things we want.
To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." 
Dr Seuss

Welcome to the March/April edition of our newsletter. 

  • Mothers Day
  • Nannytax salary survey results
  • Dates for your diary
  • Childcare Expo
  • Nannies and pensions
  • Recipe corner
  • Updates
  • Mums in business...........monthly interview
  • Easter fun!
Mother’s Day

This Sunday, 6th March is the day to spoil all the mummies.
Need some inspiration? visit our blog to find beautiful things to make, eat and write!

This weekend, 4th & 5th March it’s the Childcare Expo in London.
An inspiring and informative FREE event for all those working in the early years sector.
Lots of resources, products, suppliers, workshops and networking opportunities.
Book your ticket here

If you are going we would love to hear from you.
New Blog Post
Nannies and pensions - auto enrolment, what does it all means.......
Easter Fun!
We have put together some ideas for you to enjoy during Easter and half term with your little ones.

Easter Crafts
From gorgeous clay bunnies to fluffy chicks in baskets, find some cute and really simple Easter crafts for children here - Netmums and Activity 
Days out over Easter
From 19th March – 10th April at the Centre MK - children can enjoy an interactive 45 minutes with the characters of the much loved story book.

Waddesdon Manor
Good Friday 25 - Easter Monday 28 March 2016
10am - 4pm, last trail at 3.30pm
Help Bunny find the missing eggs and earn a Cadbury chocolate prize as a reward.

Roald Dahl Museum Easter Fun
Lots of activities going on including;
* Whipple-scrumptious Easter egg decorating
- * Wonka Egg Cups
* Crodscolloping chocolate decorating

Easter Activities at Odds Farm
Easter Trail around the farm, plenty of cute Lambs to Bottle Feed, Tractor & Trailer Rides and fun in the Giant Indoor Playbarn.
Goodnight Mister Tom at Oxford Theatre

Fancy going a bit further afield!
  • Land of Lions attraction at London Zoo – a huge new enclosure home to a pride of Asiatic Lions
  • Disney on Ice celebrating 25yrs with a tour of all your favorite characters – Donald, Mickey, Goofy and Minnie plus The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Frozen.
Saturday 30th April 2016.
Suitable for nannies and nursery nurses.
Thame. Â£70pp
Contact us to book your place.
From April;
*The tax code changes to 1100L.
*National Living Wage of £7.20 is introduced, applying to those aged 25y+.
A dedicated area on our website for childcarer's and parents alike.
Support, information and resources relating to, childcare, employment, training and more!
Dates for your diary
1st March - St David's Day
2nd March - Dr Seuss's Birthday
3rd March – World Book Day
6th March – Mother’s Day
17th March - St Patrick's Day
24th March – Wear a Hat Day
25th March – Good Friday
27th March: Easter Sunday
28th March – Easter Monday
2nd April - International Pillow fight Day
22nd April - Earth Day
23rd April - St George's Day
Recipe of the month!
Hot Cross Scones
by Beverley Glock

These are a scone version of Hot Cross Buns, very quick to make without needing to prove the dough, serve warm with butter
Ingredients: for 12 small scones
300g self raising flour plus extra for dusting
75g butter, diced
pinch of salt
50g light muscovado sugar
75g mixed currants, sultanas and raisins
35g mixed peel
½ tsp ground mixed spice
2 large eggs
3 tbsp buttermilk plus a little milk for glazing
Ingredients: for the crosses:
50g plain flour
a little water
caster sugar for dusting
You will need … Weighing scales  medium bowl   sieve  measuring jug  fork  table knife  rolling pin   flour dredger baking paper   baking tray   palette knife  piping bag timer  an adult
How to make Hot Cross Scones…WASH YOUR HANDS
1.         Ask an adult to preheat the oven to 220oC/gas 7/AGA roasting oven.
2.         Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it looks like breadcrumbs
3.         Stir in the salt, muscovado sugar, mixed fruit, peel and mixed spice.  Crack the egg into a jug and add 2 tablespoons of the buttermilk, beat with a fork and add to the breadcrumb mix.  Mix to a soft dough with a table knife until it forms a ball, adding the extra tablespoon of buttermilk if if’s too dry as the dough should be soft and slightly sticky.
4.         Sprinkle a little flour onto your hands and split the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.  Gently roll each piece into a ball, flatten the top and bottom, making sure they are around 3cm thick and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.  
5.         To make the crosses mix the flour with 1-2 tablespoons of water and stir until it becomes a thick paste, roll it out and cut into strips or make a it little thinner and pipe it onto the top of the scones in a ‘cross’ shape.  Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk.
5.         Ask an adult to bake the scones for 10-15 minutes. (AGA: roasting oven, shelf on middle set of runners and cook for 8-10 minutes).  The scones should have risen and be a light golden colour. Ask an adult to remove the baking tray from the oven and using a palette knife transfer the scones onto a cooling rack.   Serve warm with butter.   

What inspired you to start your business? I’ve always had an interest in photography since I was a child - my dad is a graphic designer and had his own studio with darkroom. I spent many hours in there and my love of photography developed (excuse the pun!). I did a Graphic Communications degree at university but my career path took me in to the world of marketing, but I always hankered to be more creative again. After having my second child, I was fortunate enough to be offered voluntary redundancy - which gave me the push to start up my photography business. It’s something I have been able to work around the children, and I’m totally in control of what I do.
What does your typical day look like? Ha! There is no typical day! And that’s what I love… You would think that the life of a photographer is fairly straightforward but it is so varied, you never know what is round the corner. The only constant is the dropping the kids at school / preschool. After that, apart from lots of emails, updating and keeping up with social media (which is probably what takes most time, as I want to nurture relationships and create the right online presence) and more likely than not, some editing, it can be anything from photographing preschool children, or setting up a home studio for some product shots, to donning safety goggles, steel toe-capped boots and a hard hat to photograph inside a water treatment works!
Tell us more about what you do? I INTENDED to be a children and family portrait photographer…. Somehow, that expanded (I still do that - mostly natural light, outdoor locations, but I have a mobile studio set up too!) into commercial photography (architecture and interiors, food, products, corporate photography), and also producing books... I have co-authored two books to date: “The Big Dig” (an archaeological local history book) and A Journey Through The Chiltern Hills (published by Amberley Books), and am currently working on a third book “Food, Glorious Food - A celebration of food through the ages”. I also sell a small number of art prints and wood prints (photos printed directly on to wood), which I will be doing more of in 2016. In addition to the photography, I also run fun, non-technical workshops for those wanting to create better pictures than just ‘snaps’ without all the technical jargon of camera settings.
Best advice you have been given as a mum? To listen and take on board everyone’s advice and then go with your gut instinct - it’s usually right!
What were you doing prior to starting your own business and why did you change? I fell into a career in marketing - working with large corporate technology companies on their data and marketing strategies; but always wanted to go back to my more creative roots. After a year’s maternity leave, the redundancy option gave me the perfect opportunity to start afresh - otherwise, I would probably have carried on doing what I was doing; back to the same old and not had the guts to give it up to start up my business - fate maybe?!
Do you have any tips on balancing work and family life? Only to make sure you allow time to spend with your children & partner - they are just as important, if not more so than your business. It’s a wonderful thing being able to work for yourself and no-one else, but utilise your time wisely so you still ‘shut off’ from your work when your kids want to spend time with you. Easier said than done - particularly with young children, but the time goes so fast and you don’t get it back. Now my two are at school and preschool most days, I use the working day for most things, but sometimes you need to work late nights rather than miss the time with them between school and bed time. That time is important too, and you need to remember why you chose this â€˜lifestyle’ business in the first place - it’s not much good without the lifestyle!
What is your favourite part of the day? I love it when I go out on a shoot - it’s wonderful to have kids bounding around full of energy and smiles that you can’t wait to capture for their mums and dads. 
What can children / carers expect if they attend one of your courses? My workshops are accessible for anyone from the total novice to a seasoned photographer, and I’ve had children through to pensioners attend and learn something new. I aim to simply open people’s eyes to what’s all around them - from the initial concept, through to composition, colour, lighting and then a short section on some very basic camera craft so that they can go and put those skills into practise.
All information is on my website here:
What advice do you have for anyone considering starting their own business? Do it.. but with your eyes open! I am very fortunate to have a fully supportive husband and (just about) enough money to pay our mortgage without an income from me, but it is tough - getting the balance between keeping that lifestyle where I CAN go to some of these day-time school events and help with preschool washing up and the like, and making a success of my business. I now need to be ramping my own business up to make it viable as it is a very seasonable and sporadic industry and we need the security of his income to make my new venture possible. It’s doable, but you really need some clear goals - not just in terms of financial targets, but also in terms of the work / life balance and what is important to you and your family.
What do you love about your job? That I get to meet some really interesting people and I am constantly learning. it is so varied and you never know what is going to come up next! From starting out on the path of kids portraiture and now doing all these other things, I love how life’s paths take you along with them. I am also excited about developing some new opportunities and products available later this year. Watch this space!
Do you have any special offers for our readers? Anyone who books either a portrait session or a commercial shoot with me by the end of April will receive 10% discount on the total. If you have a preschool / toddler group that you would like me to come along to, where children can be photographed with white background/studio lighting, there is no charge to the preschool/organisation and they will receive 10% donation from the photos sold.

What's next for Hayley Watkins? This year, in addition to the photography above, I will be offering additional products, including ‘Memory Montages’ - these beautiful framed multi-images will be a tailored to each individual; based on their hobby / interest (ie. collection of motorbikes / film memorabilia / poster collection - whatever it may be). Ideal as Retiring, Fathers/Mothers day, Birthday or Anniversary gifts, where you want to give someone that something extra special. Also, look out for the next book â€œFood, Glorious Food”!

Find Hayley......
Contact number: 07782 319246
Twitter: @haylesis (Hayley Watkins Photo)

If you are a mum in business and interested in featuring in our newsletter please get in touch.
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