Imelda Mihell - Managing Director

Hi, my name is Imelda Mihell, everybody knows me as 'Mel' as its much easier for the children to say!  My dream came true when my husband, Dave and I bought the building in May 1994, 2 days after giving birth to my second son Ben. We opened Tiddlywinks Day Nursery on the 2nd of September 1994 after lots of help from our family and friends. I am qualified with a NNEB qualification and before establishing the nursery I had undertaken employment as a nanny for a family for three years and as a Deputy Manager for a nursery in Bury for 5 years.

Over the past 20 years I have grown in confidence, skills and knowledge and have gained valuable experience meeting lots of people, many who have been inspirational to myself and my nursery. 

Personally and professionally I have developed myself through attending training courses relating to all areas of child development and the business. I achieved my assessors award to support and guide our apprentices and now I have developed a programme to nurture and  teach them every aspect of childcare and development to provide the best service possible.   I  undertook further study at Bolton University to achieve an Early Years Foundation Degree graduating in July 2012 and I am looking forward to completing my BA Honors.

I am extremely passionate about childcare as I thrive to provide a high quality childcare service and I strongly believe that to make this possible you have to be personally involved. I am very proud of my nurseries and out of school teams and welcome many other settings to come and view our environment and outstanding practice. 


David Mihell - Operational Director

My name is David Mihell and I joined my wife in her business venture in summer 2005 which has now become more of a journey than a venture for our family business. I am qualified with a Level 6 in Business, Leadership & Management. I have a number of years’ experience in retail management and I aim to drive the business forward in this new and challenging commercial environment. I hold a Health & Safety Co-ordinator certificate along with my paediatric first aid certificate.

As the operational director for Tiddlywinks Day Nursery I aim to plan and direct projects to improve productivity and the efficiency of our nurseries. I will ensure the smooth operational procedures and core tasks are completed to our high standard.

When I joined my wife’s nursery business in the summer of 2005, we only had one nursery on Hill Lane which was an old converted farmhouse. When the company first started to provide childcare, we actually lived upstairs in the little nursery on Hill Lane as it was then. Since then, our company and nurseries themselves have been growing and continuously developing too.

As my role in Operational Director for Tiddlywinks, I aim to work closely with Manchester City Council and liaise closely with other professionals to continuously provide our outstanding childcare service. There are several different ways Tiddlywinks Day Nursery can do this at this moment in time and plans to improve the environments of which the children learn, develop and play are currently being examined for possible schemes to improve each setting.


Jenny Smillie - Nursery Area Manager/Advisory Teacher

My name is Jenny Smillie and I began my role as Area Manager/Advisory Teacher for Tiddlywinks Day Nursery in November 2016. I am an experienced Early Years Teacher with 10 years of leadership and advisory experience, before starting my role here at Tiddlywinks I was working as a Deputy Head teacher for a large nursery school and children's centre in Lancashire. Prior to this I worked as an advisory teacher for Sure Start Centres in Manchester working with Higher Blackley and Crumpsall Tiddlywinks nurseries. Having achieved qualified teacher status in July 2002, I went on to teach in Australia for 2 years where my passion for early years education developed. Since then I have furthered my study to support my career as an early years teacher and leader having achieved Early Years Professional Status in 2008 and completing my Masters Degree in Childhood Studies and Practice in 2013. I have a commitment to giving all children the best possible start in life. My vision is to inspire excellence and I hope to engage with all children, parents and colleagues to help motivate them to learn and develop a passion to succeed. I always strive to develop a strong community network focused upon high standards.


Claire Ryan - Development Officer


My name is Claire Ryan and I started working with Tiddlywinks Day Nursery in August 2001. I am qualified with a BTEC Diploma in Childhood Studies. During my time with Tiddlywinks I have had various roles including pre-school team leader, deputy manager, nursery manager and I am currently the development officer. I am very committed and enthusiastic in developing our practice as a company for the benefit of the children and their families but also for the staff team.  



 Amanda Nash - Early Years Teacher


My name is Amanda Nash and I started working with Tiddlywinks Day Nursery in March 2007. I qualified with an NNEB  in 1987. I have recently undertaken 6 years of study completing my BA Honours in Early Years Practice and gaining Early Years Professional Status in February 2012.

I support all of our staff team to enable them to provide high quality care and education for all children who attend Tiddlywinks. I will ensure the staff team exceed the standards set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage framework playing an active role in helping the children develop. Being able to support the staff team and watching the results for the children is facsinating and heart-warming.



Ben Mihell - Advertising & Marketing Officer

My name is Ben Mihell and I started working with Tiddlywinks in September 2011. I am a Playworker for TOOSC based at St. Clare's and our Advertising & Marketing Officer for the nurseries where I work closely to liaise with the managers and deputys on a day to day basis. I am qualified with a NVQ Level 3 in Playwork, an Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Leadership and Management, a Foundation Degree in Business Management and I am currently working to achieve my BA Hons Degree in Business and Management. I will provide your child with a safe and secure play environment to enjoy themselves on each session at our Nurseries, Out of School Clubs and Holiday Clubs. I am an active individual who enjoys sports and outdoor activities. I am paediatric First Aid trained and a Designated Safeguarding Person.


Ashley Mihell - Business Development Officer

My name is Ashley Mihell and I started working with Tiddlywinks in September 2013. Previously I helped with the sports activities and coaching at all of our after school clubs on a part time schedule every week whilst studying. I am currently qualified with a Bachelor’s Degree in Coach Education and Development. At the moment I’m based all of our five nurseries, supporting the managers and their teams on day to day tasks and the smooth running of our business. I used to based at our Clayton and Ancoats nurseries where I assisted as part of the opening team. I will use my skills and knowledge to guide and help the managers and deputies where possible and work closely with them to maintain the company standards in my role as the Business Development Officer.

""Wendy and Debbie are both excellent with Zac. He enjoys his days at the nursery which provides me with peace of mind throughout... Read more"
Steven Davies
"I would highly recommend Tiddlywinks to anyone, my daughter is very happy here!"
Victoria Hall
"My little girl attends Tiddlywinks Nursery in Ancoats I am really impressed with everything about this nursery, the staff are... Read more"
Sarah Maylett
"Tiddlywinks offers so much for children. Tiddlywinks always keeps the parents upto date with my sons progress and i would... Read more"
Joseph Anderson
"Tiddlywinks is a wonderful nursery. All the staff are fantastic and are brilliant at their jobs, they care so much about the... Read more"
Katherine Fawcett

Latest News

Tiddlywinks Recruitment & Job Vacancies
Due to our expansion across the Greater Manchester region, Tiddlywinks Day Nursery are currently recruiting for a variety of career opportunities that are