40 Years of Busy Bees

Quality Director celebrates 30 years of service at Busy Bees

Our Quality Director and Safeguarding Lead, Deena Billings, is celebrating 30 years of service with us this year

Published: 21/11/2023

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Busy Bees

Our Quality Director and Safeguarding Lead, Deena Billings, is celebrating 30 years of service with us this year and we were delighted to sit down with her and learn more about her journey with Busy Bees.  

From starting out at Busy Bees Coventry Walsgrave as a Level 3 Educator to now heading up our outstanding Quality team, Deena proves how far passion can take you and we are so grateful for her hard work, devotion and commitment all these years.  

Quality is one of our core values and so there’s no denying the important role Deena’s team play within Busy Bees. Deena is incredibly knowledgeable but also humble, she works diligently to achieve the best standards of care and education within all of our Busy Bees centres and we are incredibly lucky that she is part of our Busy Bees family. 

Please tell us your name, role and how long you’ve worked for Busy Bees. 

My name is Deena, I am the UK Quality Director and Safeguarding Lead for Busy Bees. I am celebrating 30 years service this year and I joined Busy Bees through an acquisition with TLC Nurseries in 2007. 

Where did you start and where are you now?  

I started work as a Level 3 educator at Coventry Walsgrave after completing my NNEB. I worked my way up to Nursery Manager (Now referred to as Centre Director), then became a Quality Advisor and today I am the Quality Director.  

Tell us one of your most memorable moments?  

Receiving an Outstanding inspection grade when I was managing Busy Bees Walsgrave. We had a real journey to get there, but I was so proud of the team and what we achieved. Also gaining the opportunity to visit our centres in Singapore and Malaysia which has stayed with me to this day. 

Tell us your proudest achievement working at Busy Bees?

I am proud of my team every day, they inspire each other to be the best they can be and work so hard to get the best outcomes for children. I’m also proud of securing the role I am in today, having worked my way up from a Level 3 educator a very long time ago! 

How has Busy Bees changed since you started and what hasn’t changed?

The business has grown and grown, I have seen different people come and go in many different roles, but what hasn’t changed is the care everyone has for the children, families and wanting to do what is right for them. When new people come into the business, it is a great learning opportunity, people have experiences outside of Busy Bees which enhances our knowledge and practice. 

What kept you at Busy Bees all these years?

The family feel, respect and care for the work I do as well as all the fantastic opportunities I’ve been able to experience. I have completed several degrees, all supported by Busy Bees and followed my passion for safeguarding, which is part of my current role. I am grateful for gaining the opportunity to visit other countries within my role and witness how other territories care for and educate children. Above all, I enjoy being part of the management team, who inspire and offer healthy challenge and are also fun to work with.  

What's the best part of working with children? 

No day is the same, we often say we could write a book about what children say and do. The experience of being able to give a child the best years of their life is invaluable. They never get another childhood, and we are lucky enough to be part of that.  

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career at Busy Bees?  

Always take an opportunity that is offered to you, you never know where this will lead you. Be open to training and developing yourself. Be committed and in turn you will see your career flourish. 

What's a valuable lesson you've learned from the children you've cared for?  

Children are very honest! They tell you if you can’t sing, or if your hair is messy, they now often tell me I don’t look like my ID badge! I must update that!  

Looking back, what legacy do you hope to leave behind after your time at Busy Bees? 

I would hope that people would remember me for having a positive attitude, willing to adapt to change and being supportive of others. I would hope that I would leave behind my knowledge of care and education and particularly of doing the right thing for children in giving them a safe place to be themselves.  

I would also hope that my team go on to offer even more wonderful ideas and continue to inspire others with a helpful and supportive attitude they have today. Hopefully some of that has come from me! 


If you’re interested in a career with Busy Bees please visit Working at Busy Bees - Careers in Childcare 

To find out more about our apprenticeship programmes, please visit Childcare Apprenticeships