Meet our Amazing Team.

Alps & Kids.jpg

Hi, I’m Alpa, Founder, Teacher (and Mother) of Little Cakes Montessori School, which was born from my genuine passion for working with children and my frustration of not being able to find a school for my daughter (Milly) that ticked all of my boxes.


Is she going to be safe? Will she ever stop crying and enjoy it? Will she get to enjoy the outdoors? Will she receive individual attention, and actually learn something?

With Little Cakes Montessori I have managed to open a school that I know would make Milly very happy... in fact, I can proudly say that each and every one of my children at Little Cakes Montessori is more than happy. In fact both of my own children, Milly and Mason attended Little Cakes.

My team and I work tirelessly to ensure that being at Little Cakes Montessori is more than just basic childcare, it’s a family, a home away from home! Where teaching, nurturing and preparing your children for their next stage in life is at the core of everything we do.


Alpa Chauhan XXX

The Team

At Little Cakes our staff are EVERYTHING! Experience and a sincere passion for childcare are critical and we pride ourselves on having some of the best teachers in the local area. They have years of experience, are parents and genuinely care (and they all seem to bake!)

Alpa Chauhan

Nursery Owner.

Once a city worker turned full-time mum of 2, decided to leverage her 12 years of childcare experience and Psychological Sciences degree to obtain her International Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy. The Montessori philosophy left such a mark that she decided to open her own school! Both of her children attended Little Cakes. Alpa loves to bake, loves to run, and keeps fit, mostly by running around like crazy trying to make everything perfect! Oh... and she sees herself as a Master Baker!

Joanne Glass

Pre-School Room.

Joanne has been with Little Cakes since 2014. She has completed CACHE Level 2 Diploma in Early Years and is currently undertaking Level 3. She has always worked in care services and has a natural, motherly charm when dealing with all of the children (and in some cases the staff!) Joanne has 3 kids of her own and in her spare time, she loves walking her dog in Whippendell Woods. Joanne is the Picasso of the group and ensures all of our children regularly produce creative masterpieces. Joanne is a baker! She is especially interested in cake decorating and of course her guilty pleasure is eating lots of chocolate!

Jenny Bowers

Toddler Room.

Jenny has been with Little Cakes since April 2021. Prior to this she has 15 years of experience working with Early Years education. Jenny has completed her NVQ CACHE level 3 and is currently working towards her level 3 certificate in SENCo (Special Needs Education Coordinator). Jenny has 2 teenage children plus a dog which she enjoys taking for walks in the aquadrome.  In her spare time, Jenny enjoys meeting friends and eating out at restaurants. She prefers cooking to baking (but will bake if she has to!)

Jen Upwood

Team Leader, Toddler Room.

Jen has been with Little Cakes since January 2020. She is a qualified teacher (reception age), has NCFE CACHE level 3, and has over 10 years of experience in working with children. Prior to early years education, Jen was a Geophysicist! But a calling to work with children instigated the career change. Jen has 3 of her own children, her youngest is at Little Cakes. She brings a sense of adventure to the Little Cakes team and definitely likes to give everything a go. When she gets some spare time you will find her baking gluten-free brownies (yes she is a baker) whilst either watching the X-Files or listening to West Life!

Joseph Pardy

Teaching Assistant. Pre-School & Toddler Rooms.

Joseph has been with Little Cakes since January 2020. He has almost 2 years of experience working with children. Joseph has completed has his CACHE level 2 in Early Years Workforce and is now in the process of gaining his level 3. In the future, he will be undertaking Forest school training. Joseph’s background is Music Composition and Sound Design. He teaches guitar and often sings with the kids in the preschool room

In his spare time, he produces music for various clients (he has a professional recording studio in his home). Joseph enjoys the outdoor life so you’ll find him hiking and camping when he can.

He is not a baker! But sure likes consuming baked goods, especially Mrs Mubarak's cakes.

Charlotte Cottle

Teaching Assistant, Toddler Room.

Charlotte is currently doing work experience at Little Cakes and is a student at the University of York. She has 6 months of experience working with children with learning disabilities. In the future, she would like to go into Primary school teaching. In her spare time, Charlotte enjoys walking her dog, spending time with family, and going to the theatre. Interestingly, Charlotte can touch her nose with her tongue! She is a baker! And likes making cakes and trays bakes.

Katie Egan

Nursery Manager.


Katie has been with Little Cakes since 2012. She is honored to work with children and to be part of each child's journey. Katie strives to make all the childrens’ early education a positive experience so that they are equipped ready for their next step. She has completed CACHE levels 2 and 3 in Early Years Workforce plus level 1 in Makaton (a unique language that uses symbols, signs, and speech). Katie enjoys going to gym classes, walking her dog, and entertaining her friends at dinner parties. She has 3 children who are all now in secondary school. Katie is not a baker! However,  she can still do cartwheels (but please don’t ask her to demonstrate….

Sarika Patel

Deputy Manager. Pre-School Room.

Sarika has been with Little Cakes since April 2016. She has 6 years of experience in Early Years education and has just completed her CACHE Level 3 in Early Years Workforce.

Sarika has 2 daughters, one of whom attended Little Cakes, and she lives in the area. In her spare time Sarika enjoys playing badminton, yoga, pilates, walking and generally keeping fit. She also likes to experiment with cooking different international savory dishes and is always checking out new recipes. Sarika is a novice baker, she has enjoyed baking cakes, cookies, and cupcakes so far.

Sarika Patel
Swati Karai
Swetha Bharadwaj

Kitchen Coordinator.

Swetha works in the kitchen, prepping all the kids' daily meals and snacks, as well as assisting in the pre-school room. She has been with Little Cakes since September 2020 and is hoping to complete her level 1 EYFS by next year. Swetha is a very happy and jolly person. One of her passions is Bollywood dancing - which she used to teach as well as Zumba. Swetha also teaches a Hindu Sunday school via zoom to students around the U.K. and India.

Her favourite food is paneer and she would call herself a ‘baking apprentice’. Oh and strangely she doesn’t like ice cream!

Shailaja Patil

Teaching Assistant. Toddler Room.

Shailaja has been with Little Cakes for 18 months. She has almost 6 years of experience in childcare settings. Shailaja has excellent knowledge in EYFS plus Safe Guarding and she has a first-aid certificate. She will be starting her level 3 in September 2022.  Shailaja especially enjoys cooking activities with the children.

In her spare time, Shailaja likes spending time with her family (she has 2 children) and loves playing badminton at a club in Amersham. She also enjoys cycling and walking.

Unfortunately, baking is not one of Shailaja’s favourite things!

Sinead Munaghan

Apprentice. Pre-School Room.

Sinead has made history as she is the first apprentice to be employed by Little Cakes. She started in the pre-school room in July 2021. Sinead is passionate about early years education and is currently studying to become an Early Years Practitioner Level 2 at West Herts college whilst gaining valuable experience at Little Cakes. Sinead enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially over a roast dinner. She dabbles in a bit in the arts - with crafting and sketching and sometimes enjoys horse riding. Watch out for Sinead - she will finish your pack of crips when you're not looking! And baking is not her thing either!

Zimara Mubarak

Pre Scool Room.

Zimara has been with Little Cakes for 7 years. She has been working within Early Years education since 1993, has a Diploma in Montessori AMI, and almost 30 years of experience with working with children. 

Zimara is an experienced seamstress, in her spare time she helps to make bride and bridesmaids dresses. She also enjoys making and decorating cakes. Zimara also enjoys socialising with her friends plus trying out different cuisines. She is a very social person and gets along with people at all levels and ages. Zimara is definitely a baker! (but is also partial to a bit of chocolate!)

Jianning Shah

Toddler Room.

Jianning has been with Little Cakes since 2016. She started off in the Pre School room but is now based solely in the Toddler Room. Jianning has over 10 years of experience with Early Years education as she also worked at another nursery previous to Little Cakes.

She has completed her NVQ Level 3 Early Year Childcare and Education

Jianning has 3 children and enjoys cooking. She also teaches in a Chinese school every Sunday in Hackney. Jianning is one of the quieter teachers, but it's the quiet ones you’ve got to watch out for! She is also not a baker but does like playing badminton.

Julie Donaghy

Room Leader, Toddler Room.

Julie has been with Little Cakes since December 2020.

Her passion is working with young children - with 25 years of experience in early years education. She has completed NVQ year 3. Julie is a good listener, extremely diplomatic, and easy to talk to - she has to be as she has 3 kids of her own. Most of Julie’s spare time is taken up being a taxi driver to her kids, however, she does enjoy trips to London to see the sights or to go to the theatre. She likes nothing more than snuggling up on her sofa to watch a good TV drama whilst eating a raspberry Magnum (yum!). And finally she likes baking!

Kavita Jadhav

Toddler Room.

Kavita has been with Little Cakes for approximately 1 year and is based in the toddler room. 

Kavita has completed CACHE Level 1 and from January 2022 she will be starting Level 3.

She is mum to 2 sons and in her spare time she enjoys experimenting with new Indian food recipes, walking and socialising with her friends. Kavita is also an aspiring poet - she dabbles in writing poetry in Hindi and Marathi.

Kavita is a baker too - specialising in cookies!

Sarah Vale

Pre-School Room.

Sarah has been at Little Cakes for 4 years. Previous to Little Cakes she volunteered at various early years establishments with a total of 8 years experience with early years children. Sarah has completed her CACHE level 3, Introduction in Early Years.

Before early years education, Sarah was a Psychologist and worked mainly in HR as an Occupational Psychologist. Sarah is mum to 3 children (one of whom attended Little Cakes) and her 4th child comes in the form of an Australian Labradoodle puppy named Monty!

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys pilates, keeping fit, and walking her dog. She has a passion for academia and learning, especially in the field of Psychology. She is not a baker!

Meenu Nijjar

Office Coordinator.

Meenu has been with Little Cakes since January 2019. Her background is in International Marketing working for large corporations. At Little Cakes, Meenu’s tasks range from invoicing, fundraising, HR, ordering food and assisting with general nursery administration.

Meenu is an avid bookworm, she set up a school mum's book club when she moved to Chorleywood, and it's still going strong. Meenu has 1 son and as a family, they all enjoy listening to all genres of music. She is a bit of a party animal - she’s the first one on the dance floor and the last one off! Meenu is definitely not a baker!