Tops Day Nurseries
3.8 out of 5 stars.
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Tops Day Nurseries Employee Reviews

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From my first day on the job I was welcomed by a super friendly team! Management often show lots of appreciation for staff and they are very supportive and understanding. I would 100% recommend working here, incredible ethos, lots of training opportunity’s given, flexible hours and and amazing atmosphere!
Pros
Training opportunities, good pay, friendly staff
Cons
No proper parking
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I have been with tops day nursery since December 2019. Highly recommend tops day nursery as an employer due to the support which is given through the variety of training given and a supportive management team. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. Within Winchester, teamwork is amazing and everyone is always kept up to date. The management in Winchester is incredible as they are very flexible and understanding of my full time degree. If you have any questions for the head office, they always respond rapidly and keep you up to date with any policy changes.
Pros
Flexibility, friendly environment, great management, amazing team, training and great benefits
Cons
None
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I have worked at Tops Day Nursery in Winchester for nearly 10 years now and i have enjoyed my experience throughout. I have been able to progress in my career here, starting as a level 3 practitioner and now deputy manager. My knowledge and experience has grown through my time, as I have been offered lots of different opportunities to do so. I have completed my level 5 which I had lots of support from our in house training team to get this completed and will be beginning my level 3 in leadership and management in the coming months. Tops has a massive family feel to it, and everyone is so lovely and welcoming. The manager is very supportive and approachable and has an open door policy at all times. Tops is such a fun and exciting place to work, where we encourage all our staff to reach their full potential and will support them with anything.Tops offers shift work, but can also cater for term time if needed. and hours that are worked can be very flexible.I would definitely recommend joining our wonderful team :)
Pros
Flexible, Fun, Loving, Opportunities to go higher.
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Everything at Tops is rewarding. The staff are a family unit, and are encouraged to support eachother through everything. Quality time spent with children and their families, watching them grow and develop. All managers are supportive of staff and always suggest ways of progressing your career. Hours are flexible and all aspects of life considered when planning the rota. I have never worked at a place as loving and inclusive as Tops Winchester.
Pros
The staff, progression, flexible hours, rewards system.
Cons
There are no cons.
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I’ve been here since September 2020 and even though I’m an apprentice my hard work is recognised and appreciated by my manager and colleagues. They’re such a fun and loving team and I’ve wanted to do childcare since I was 16. Now I’m 25, I’m in love with my job and I always look forward to work. It’s a great setting to build relationships with all the children and colleagues. We are one big family and support each other. I’m a diabetic type 1 and they’re really considerate of my medical needs and are happy to support me in any way necessary. I’d recommend working at Tops if you want to be a part of the company to progress and learn 😊 I’m looking to stay on at the company and do my level 3 straight after.
Pros
Positive mindsets, lovely colleagues, eco friendly nursery
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Lack of appreciation for your effort put in, no consistency, if your face fits you're lucky. Way to high expectancy of the staff to complete anything throughout the day. So much pressure on staff. Policy changes are daily, therefore you can't keep up with what you're supposed to do. The staff that put the effort in are the least respected. So much clickyness between staff, therefore trust is hard, mine was broken on several occasions. You're a number and that's that, always expected to travel far for conferences, training etc, no mention to those that make the effort above all others. Was a good company to start with, but seen so much change, staff turn over is high. Communication is shocking, pass the buck happens all the time.Nothing is ever good enough, it's always one rule for one and different for another. Especially the case for me on so many occasions.
Pros
Good relationships built with children and parents
Cons
Everything else
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
19 January 2021
I am sorry to hear as though you feel you received no appreciation for your hard work, at Tops we have various recognition incentives to ensure colleagues are rewarded for their hard work.We aim to review our policies on an annual basis, however at times it is necessary for these to be updated more frequently in line with government or sector changes, or following feedback received from parents, colleagues, management and regulatory bodies. Any changes to policies and procedures are discussed within staff meetings, communicated with colleagues via email, and uploaded to the e-learning portal allowing colleagues ease of access to policies as and when they need these.This year has seen the introduction of an e-Learning portal, providing colleagues with access to a number of courses which can be completed online, and the majority of our tutor run courses have been moved to virtual delivery via Zoom.Colleagues who resign are provided the opportunity to attend an exit meeting to enable us to establish their reasons for leaving and so we can try to retain colleagues where possible, our staff turnover levels reported at the end of 2020 are 5% below the average staff turnover within the sector.If you would like to discuss any of your points further please do email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk where a member of our HR team would be more than happy to help.
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The manager does not support the team or even put the children's needs first. Head office will always side with a manager making it feel like there is no one in the company who will help you if you needed it. Work/ life balance is horrendous as you never know what shifts you are doing until the last minute meaning you can't sort anything out. The company as a whole makes you feel like you are just a number.
Pros
The children
Cons
Shifts given really late, long hours, no overtime pay
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
11 January 2021
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. There are many different people within the Company that colleagues are able to go to should they have a concern or issue other than your Manager. These include HR, Senior Nursery Managers, Quality Managers, the Director of Early Years Quality or even the Operations Director. I would like to reassure you that all those listed are committed to always helping colleagues regardless of their issue. In relation to your comments about work/life balance, almost all colleagues within the Company do work a ‘shift work’ pattern. This means that hours are given to them weekly and will typically be different every week depending on the needs of the nursery. Should a colleague need to know in advance of hours in order to plan ahead then the Manager will do their very best to support with this. The Company do offer paid overtime, however this must first be agreed by the colleague’s Line Manager. If you would like to discuss any of your comments further, please do email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk.
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Hardly a job at all i did 2 days work less than 16 hours a dayMore like doing jobs at home than a proper working job.Did'nt get paid for any so called ''PETROLMONEY::for going to anotherplace in Taunton on Thursday'sThey ''let me go! after my trial period as there was not much work after they done a big job because they were under pressure from OFFSTED!
Pros
Got a cup of tea or/and coffee at break time
Cons
could have done with a few more hours
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
11 January 2021
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. Colleagues have various contracted hours depending on the needs of the business and these are discussed during the interview as well as the on-boarding stage. Contracted hours are also clearly stated within each colleague’s contract. This is the amount of hours colleagues will be scheduled each week, therefore if you required more hours this should be discussed with your Line Manager to see if this is able to be accommodated. All colleagues are entitled to expenses, as long as agreed by their Line Manager, which would cover funds to cover any use of petrol. However these do need to be submitted following the appropriate process in order for them to be paid. If you would like to discuss any of your comments further I would be grateful if you could email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk where a member of our HR team will be happy to help.
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Tops Day Nurseries is a lovely company to work for. The staff are friendly and it’s like one big family. The job can be fast paced and busy however my team are always there to support me. I’ve been given a lot of responsibility and have regular catch ups with my line manager to ensure my work load is manageable. Overall, I feel supported, appreciated and valued.
Pros
Good benefits, dog friendly environment, friendly colleagues, family vibes, supportive, valued.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
30 December 2020
Thank you for your lovely review, it's great to have you as part of the Tops Family!
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When I first started, I was excited about all of the promises made. Unfortunately I soon found these were just used to reel you in. Leaving this company was the best decision ever. The stress and pressure put on employees is disgusting, they do not support mental health and in some cases have added to it. They put paperwork in place to make it look like they are supportive. Nothing is actually followed through. Employees are just a number and has been made clear at times we are easily replaceable, No work life balance, forced to take work home regularly as always tight with staff. Money comes before staff. Always. If your face fits you will be fine, always one rule for one and one rule for another. Staff turnover is extremely high. I left as I had enough of being treated so badly and couldn’t watch my colleagues be treated badly anymore. I am trying to get over this experience now. I did state all my concerns in my exit interview but the company did not reply to any of them.
Pros
Good opportunities for children.
Cons
No work life balance, mental health not supported, over worked.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
24 November 2020
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review. We are sorry to hear the comments that you have made and that you left your position at Tops unhappy. Colleagues’ mental health is something that is extremely important to the Company, which has been reflected in the number of initiatives that have been introduced over the last year in order to support colleagues’ mental health. These initiatives are regularly reviewed with new ones added, to ensure that the Company is doing as much as they can to support. Therefore we would be grateful if you could email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk with more information on why you feel the Company does not support mental health so that this can be looked into further. Colleagues are not viewed as just a number within the Company, each colleague is greatly valued and appreciated. In regards to a work/life balance, this is something the Company actively try to promote and ensure that all colleagues feel they have a good work/life balance. We hope that if you feel this was not achieved that it was raised with your Line Manager so that they could review your workload and job role in order to support. Alternatively, a formal flexible working request could have been submitted in order to ease working hours if these were becoming an issue and no longer suitable. Staff turnover for Tops Day Nurseries is currently below the national average for the sector. Nursery Managers complete exit interviews with colleagues from their nursery, they are then responsible to feedback to Head Office regarding the exit interviews and any concerns that have been - more...
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Awful CompanyAwful higher management/ceoA face fits companyEverything seemed good in the beginning but it doesn’t last long. Staff turnover is huge in Plymouth and this speaks for itself and Staff morale is very low. Working with kids is a messy job, you have to pay for uniform as the 2 tops supplied won’t last 5 mins. Short or no breaks. You have to take work home as there is never time to do anything whilst at the settings because staff ratio to children is so low there is never spare time or spare staff for anything.
Pros
None
Cons
Awful management
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
28 October 2020
I am sorry to hear the above comments that you have made in relation to the Company and your employment.I would be grateful if you could email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk explaining more about why you feel the support is ineffective from Higher Management and why you feel staff morale is low. The Company has a very strong and experienced team both at Head Office and Quality Managers who heavily support the nurseries and work with them to ensure they are reaching their maximum potential.All colleagues receive 2 pieces of uniform (subject to their contracted hours) when starting at Tops and then after 6 months of being with the Company a new piece is issued every 6 months. As stated, colleagues do also have the option of purchasing new uniform on top of this if they wish to do so.If you would like to discuss any of your points further then please do email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk where a member of our HR team would be more than happy to help.
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Disgusting pay for people who actually work and care for children. Have to PAY for new uniform when the cheap material starts to crumble and have holes in. Hours can be harsh with small break even if doing a 10plus hour day. Absolutely no appreciation for hardwork. You could go the extra mile and still get nothing back. Very clicky, if your face fits you will be fine.
Pros
Caring for the children.
Cons
Low pay, Short breaks with long hours, empty promises for change, too much pressure to deal with high numbers of children.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
22 September 2020
Thank you for your review. At Tops we offer the most competitive pay we are able to for our colleagues. Unfortunately the Early Years sector currently does not have the funding it needs to be able to pay people within this sector what they deserve, and this is a nationwide problem. This is something that Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries is extremely passionate about and actively tries to raise the profile regarding this in order to try to action change. All colleagues receive 2 pieces of uniform (subject to their contracted hours) when starting at Tops and then after 6 months of being with the Company a new piece is issued every 6 months. As stated, colleagues do also have the option of purchasing new uniform on top of this if they wish to do so. I am sorry to hear as though you feel you received no appreciation for your hard work, the Company has various recognition incentives in order to ensure colleagues are rewarded for their hard work. If you would like to discuss any of your points further then please do email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk where a member of our HR team would be more than happy to help.
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I worked with tops for a a few years, at first it was a lovely atmosphere with exciting training opportunities and new ideas. However you will soon learn if your face don’t fit you will be pushed out. Little or no support from higher management who will only focus on the negatives, do not support the nurseries effectively enough leaving them to struggle. The nurseries are lovely and so are the staff but due to the lack of support the morale is so low, there’s a shocking staff turnover. They preach mental health but when it’s needed they are not actually there for you don’t be fooled. All in all I would not recommend working here, put me of working in early years all together.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
6 August 2020
I am sorry to hear the above comments that you have made in relation to the Company and your employment. I would be grateful if you could email hr@topsandaspire.co.uk explaining more about why you feel the support is effective from Higher Management. The Company has a very strong and experienced team both at Head Office and Quality Managers who heavily support the nurseries and work with them to ensure they are reaching their maximum potential.Colleague’s mental health is something that the Company take very seriously, with a number of new initiatives having been introduced in order to support staff and their mental health such as having a designated and trained Mental Health First-Aider for the Company. If you would like to discuss any of your points further then I would be very grateful if you could email hr@topsandaspire.co.uk.
Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
4 August 2020
I'm sorry to hear your comments. Can you please get in touch with our HR department to discuss the matter further. Please email hr@hadlandcaregroup.co.uk and somebody will be in touch with you. Thank you for your feedback.
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I recently started a apprenticeship with Tops a few months ago now and love working for the company already. The staff are friendly and good company aswell as the children. It’s really good seeing the children develop and learn through play, I’m still picking up on little things, I guess we all learn new things everyday.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
25 August 2020
It's great to hear you are enjoying your apprenticeship with us & thank you so much for sharing such kind words.
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i have learnt so much working with Tops and enjoy looking after the children some days it is very busy and fast paced and other day is much calmer no 2 days are the same.
Pros
sitting playing with the children
Cons
very busy some days no time to sit
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
26 August 2020
It is lovely to read your feedback, thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!
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Not the most supportive or thoughtful of companies, they dont care about you as an individual or of the workload they expect from you. Lots of pressure, company has their favourites and staff treated unfairly with it.
Cons
Stressful, overworked
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
4 August 2020
I'm sorry to hear your comments. Can you please get in touch with our HR department to discuss the matter further. Please email hr@hadlandcaregroup.co.uk and somebody will be in touch with you. Thank you for your feedback.
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So I've worked at Tops for a few months now, and all the managers and staff are friendly and approachable! The children are all happy, and each of the rooms are filled with fun and laughter. Staff do have alot of pressure put on them - regarding hours worked. And you dont know your hours until the week before. This is a downside, because it makes home and work life hard to balance. The pay is also not enough for the hours and hard work we all put in! But then again this is an issue regarding the whole of the childcare industry and is not just related to Tops. They pay above minimum wage, even for apprentices - and this is a big bonus! We get alot of training, and I love this about the company. But a downside to this is the travel to get there. I am in one of the Taunton nurseries. And we are expected to travel down to Bournemouth or Plymouth for 3 days for the training courses. This is not ideal, and is actually time consuming and stressful. Although overall I do feel like this is a good place to work. Very eco friendly too... so puts my mind at rest when it comes to protecting the environment.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
26 August 2020
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.We appreciate your feedback on travelling for training and we are pleased to share that we are are now trialling the Tops Induction & training over Zoom.Its great to read such positive comments and we are grateful to have you in the Tops Family.
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The overall vibe of the place when I worked there was pretty low, and it felt like they tried to put as many children in the room as possible as in preschool there would be over 40 at a time which is obviously extremely stressful! All the staff constantly moaned about their jobs, and didn’t work as a team for the most part. The management couldn’t communicate directly to the staff and would rather send a message to everyone rather than confront one person. They keep on rubbish staff and don’t look after the good ones. Positive is flexible hours when needed and pay.
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
4 August 2020
I'm sorry to hear your comments. Can you please get in touch with our HR department to discuss the matter further. Please email hr@hadlandcaregroup.co.uk and somebody will be in touch with you. Thank you for your feedback.
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I have worked for Tops since 2018 and have found it the most thought provoking nursery I have worked for. They seem to be able to give you the thoughts that help develop and inspire new ways of implementing activities that the children will enjoy. The job is stressful at times (I've not known a nursery that isn't) but the smile on the children's faces when they are able to do something or when they arrive in the morning makes it all worth while.
Pros
Flexible hours, training opportunities
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
26 August 2020
Thank you so much for your kind words & thank you for being a part of the Tops Family.
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At my time at This company, I was put under immense pressure for my age. I had a very supportive manager but I believe she was pushed by the directors to put more pressure on me. People are paid next to nothing for the amount of jobs and workload they have which will never change and hasn’t changed since it has opened, to find out that there are now more than one person doing my job, some of my work isn’t even done anymore makes me upset as if they had done this when I was still there I may have stayed
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
4 August 2020
I'm sorry to hear your comments. Can you please get in touch with our HR department to discuss the matter further. Please email hr@hadlandcaregroup.co.uk and somebody will be in touch with you. Thank you for your feedback.
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A typical day at work will depend on your role, in terms of my role the workload is busy and there is never a time when there is nothing to do, although it is good to be kept busy there are times when you feel overwhelmed by the workload and that there are not enough hours in the day, some of the tasks are repetitive and time consuming/boring. Throughout my time with the company I have learnt a lot both professionally and personally, the company really encourages training, continuous professional development and career progression, providing a suitable vacancy is available. My manager shows an interest in me as an individual and genuinely cares about me as a person, they are very approachable and listen to what I have to say and I have 1:1 meetings with them every 4-6 weeks to discuss how I am, as well as tasks/workload. I have autonomy in my role, I am allowed and trusted to undertake tasks in a way that works for me as long as the job is done. I'm encouraged to make my own suggestions and bring my own ideas forwards, and I feel these are listened to and taken into consideration. Expectations are high considering pay doesn't always reflect or compare to industry. Flexible working is promoted and providing there is sufficient cover hours can be adjusted to enable time off to attend personal appointments etc, however this does have to be requested. The hardest part of the job is not having somebody else that knows how to undertake the same tasks, therefore support is limited at busy times or if you were to fall unwell. There can be difficulties with communication, - more...
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Official response from Tops Day Nurseries
2 September 2020
Thank you for taking the time to leave your review and feedback. It is lovely to hear of your development whilst you have been with the Company as this is something that is greatly encouraged of all colleagues. The Training Department has now grown in size with support having been put into place to ease the workload. Where we just used to have two colleagues focusing on training, we now have a team of four which is a very exciting development within the Company! If you would like to discuss any comments further then please do email HR@topsandaspire.co.uk where a member of our HR team will be more than happy to speak with you.
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