Alyson (Ally) McKinlay: Early Years Manager

My name is Ally. I have worked at Aberdour Playgroup since August 2007 and I have been the Manager since November 2011. I have a husband, three children aged 24, 14 and 11 and two cats called Socks & Ruby. I have lived in Aberdour for most of my life, which is quite a long time (how lucky am I … !). I have an SVQ 3 in Child Care Learning and Development and a Post Graduate Diploma in Childhood Practice. I enjoy walking with my friends, and occasionally I join the local ladies singing group for a sing song – it makes me feel that I can actually sing for a couple of hours! I love watching the children at Playgroup grow and develop and I feel extremely privileged to play a small part in their life’s journey. I have recently joined the committee of the charity CSNIPS (Children with Support Needs In Pre-school) as their secretary, and I am enjoying learning what an important role they play in supporting children with support needs within Early Years settings.


Hazel Chisholm: Early Years Practitioner

I grew up in Orkney where I discovered my love of the beach, so after many years away I was delighted to return to Scotland and bring up my own children by the seaside. Not surprisingly my favourite activities at playgroup involve helping children explore the outdoors.

My twin boys attended Aberdour playgroup and when they started school it was lovely to stay part of playgroup by joining the staff team.


Jill Travers: Early Years Practitioner

My name is Jill and I’ve been working at Aberdour Playgroup since 2009. I enjoy spending time with the children in the Playgroup environment and helping them to develop and grow as individuals. I particularly enjoy the Eco Schools programme and along with the other Playleaders I help to promote children’s involvement in looking after the environment. I come from a Nursing and Midwifery background and have two grown-up children of my own, who have both been through the Toddler Group, Playgroup and Nursery systems. Outside of Playgroup I practise and teach yoga and also help as a volunteer at Riding for the Disabled.


Gemma Thompson: Early Years Practitioner

Hi my name is Gemma, I joined the playgroup family in 2011 when my eldest son started. I started working with playgroup a year later and I never left! I have two young sons, Oliver and Baillie, and a dog called Murphy; we all love being busy whether it’s in the kitchen, garden or out and about. I love being creative with arts and crafts and cooking – I’ll try anything once! I recently gained my SVQ level 3 in Social Services Children and Young people and I am about to embark on SVQ level 4 course. I’m always keen to develop my practice where possible.


Emma James: Early Years Practitioner

My name is Emma James. I started working at Aberdour Playgroup in October 2014 and I feel so lucky to work with such great people (staff, children and parents)! I qualified from Adam Smith College in 2013 after two years of studying. I have lived in Burntisland all my life. I have a dog called Daisy and a beautiful, funny little nephew called Weston. I love spending time with them. I also love going shopping, crosswords, the programme ‘Grand Designs’ and spending time with my boyfriend Jon.


Gail McMillian: Early Years Practitioner

I grew up in Dundee, went to Morgan Academy then to Dundee College of Education to study for a Diploma in Community Education (1983). I have lived in Inverkeithing for 23 years with my husband Alan and our two daughters who are 20 and 23. I have worked part-time in Fife schools and playgroups for the past 20 years. I studied at Fife College for 2 years for the BA Learning Disabilities/Difficulties (2005). I have worked at Aberdour Playgroup since 2012 (best job I have ever had!) I enjoy singing with ‘Sing It’ and Dunfermline Choral Union.


Judith Arnstein: Early Years Support Worker

Hello. I have been working at Playgroup since March 2014. When my youngest son reached school age, I decided to train as a classroom assistant and have worked in various schools and nurseries in Fife since then. I have an ‘arty’ background and also enjoy books and baking. I’m addicted to my fitbit and work hard to achieve at least 15000 paces a day. I have a husband, three sons all considerably taller than me, a dog, two hens and a cockerel called Julian. You will no doubt hear him as you pass by our house along the coastal path!


Fiona McElhinney: Relief Early Years Practitioner

Katrina Hansen: Relief Early Years Practitioner


Managers are qualified to BA level (or equivalent) or are working towards this qualification.

Early Years Practitioners are qualified to SVQ level 3 (or equivalent) or are working towards it.

All our staff members are registered with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

In addition, Aberdour Playgroup has a list of Mandatory Training:

  • First Aid
  • Manual Handling
  • Food Hygiene
  • Child Protection

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