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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. We pride ourselves on having some of the best teachers in the local area and 90% of the staff are fully peadiatric first aid qualified. 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

Room Leader, 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

Baby 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 has recently completed Level 3 certificate in SENCo (Special Needs Education Coordinator). She is now taking on Senco responsibilities at Little Cakes. 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!)

Anusha Weerasinghe

Pre-school Room.

Anush joined Little Cakes as a nursery assistant in October 2021. She will be starting her early years qualifications this September 2022. Previous to this, Anush, studied fashion and worked within the industry. After her children were born (2 boys) she decided to leave full-time work and devote herself to her family. Whilst volunteering at her sons' school, Anush discovered she loved working with children.

Anush grew up near the beach in Sri Lanka where she learned to surf and snorkel (although she hasn’t done either for a while!).  Her hobbies include cooking Sri Lankan food for her friends and she is a baker! - will bake anything and everything! Her specialties are Black Forest Cake and Vanilla sponge.

Sinead Munaghan

Pre-School and Baby Rooms.

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!

Nichola Chaudhuri

Pre-school Room.


Nichola joined Little Cakes at the beginning of January 2023. She has 13 years of experience working at Bright Horizons as a Nursery assistant. Nichola also has knowledge of the EYFS and has completed Introduction to Safeguarding Children. She is passionate and committed to supporting children to reach their potential and loves seeing children take part in learning. Nichola has 3 sons and 1 grandson. Her interests include music, dancing, eating out with family and friends, and cooking. Her hobbies include swimming and playing badminton. On the weekends, Nichola does pamper sessions for residents of a care home. And, Nichola likes to bake! She especially enjoys finding new cake recipes on Tik Tok!

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Dee Jakubowski

Pre-school Room.

Dee has been at Little Cakes since November 2022. She has an Honours Degree in Film Media and Culture and previously worked within the media industry in central London. Dee has lived in Chorleywood for 12 years. She has one son, who is 13, and identical twin girls, who are 8. The kids keep her very busy with their hectic social lives, but when she does get some time to herself, she loves walking her Alaskan Malamute puppy, Skye. Dee loves listening to music, especially whilst dancing in the kitchen making a delicious Sunday Roast for the family! Fun fact about Dee: She has watched many Barbie movies in over 30 different languages!

And finally Dee does like to bake - mainly with her daughters. They love a good banana loaf or an oozy chocolate cake! Yum!

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Baby Room.

Joanna joined Little Cakes at the beginning of March 2024. Prior to this she worked at Newnham Infant and Nursery School for 3 years in many roles including school meals supervisor, after school club, SEN 1:1 support, teaching assistant and teacher cover staff. Joanna particularly enjoyed working at the Newnham School Nursery. Joanna has 3 children; James (21) who is an electrician, Mia (19), currently studying Physiology at University and George (12) who is at Haydon School. Their family pets are Alfie the Labradoodle and Pebble who is an exotic Persian cat. Outside of work, Joanna loves going to the theatre, cinema, music festivals, long dog walks and the gym. She loves reading, board games and doing puzzles.

Joanna Green
Katie Egan

Nursery Manager.

Katie has been with Little Cakes since 2012 and is now a fully qualified Montessori teacher. 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 having 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
Julie Donaghy

Room Leader, Baby 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!

Keiko Todd 

Baby Room.

Keiko joined Little Cakes in November 2021.  She is a qualified Japanese nursery teacher who has worked at a Japanese nursery in London plus has experience volunteering in local primary schools. Keiko is kind, gentle and loves helping and supporting children to reach their full potential. Keiko has 3 children and a Burmese cat. She enjoys playing badminton, practising yoga, country walks and gardening. Keiko likes planting many sunflowers every year. She loves all types of cooking as well as baking bread and cakes, especially authentic Basque cheesecake

Shailaja Patil

Baby 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!


Pre-school Room.

Vanessa joined us in January 2023. She has an English Honours Degree and Postgraduate Certificate in Education. Vanessa worked as a KS2 teacher for 11 years before taking time off to start a family. In total, Vanessa has over 20 years of experience in nursery and school settings including working at Little Cakes when it was formerly known as Chorleywood Montessori.  She is married and has 2 grown up children who are both now at University. Vanessa enjoys weekend city breaks, visiting art galleries, and watching live comedy. Sadly, despite having a sweet tooth, Vanessa is not a baker! She strives to burn off the calories by taking her dog, Frankie on long country walks.

Vanessa Woods
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Rachel Mbuyi

Kitchen Assistant

Rachel joined Little Cakes in September 2023 as our new Kitchen Assistant. This is her first role working in an early years setting. Previous to Little Cakes, Rachel has 5 years of experience in care sector and babysitting children.

Rachel has 6 children, 4 girls and 2 boys. In her spare time she enjoys watching football. And...she enjoys baking! especially beignets (a type of fritter, or deep-fried pastry, made from pâte à choux)

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Megan Akers

Baby Room.

Megan just started at Little Cakes this March 2024 as a nursery assistant. Prior to this position, Megan worked in two other schools and was a Rainbows leader. She lives with her parents, two younger sisters and their family dog called Lola - who is a Jack-Russell/Schnauzer mix.

Outside of work, Megan enjoys listening to music while dancing and singing along (she was a dancer for 17 years!) as well as painting. She also likes spending time with her grandparents (she is the eldest of 10 grandchildren!). Megan loves baking! Her favourite bake is cinnamon rolls but likes the occasional cake too!

Zimara Mubarak

Room Leader, Pre School 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

Baby 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.

Administration Assistant.

Ira recently joined Little Cakes as the new administration assistant. She has 2 years of experience with being around children at a language school in Singapore. Ira is Singaporean Malay and her husband is British Mauritian so there are quite a few languages being spoken in her home! Ira makes and sells scented candles as a hobby and is also a keen collector of vintage teacups and fine china. She once attempted to climb Mount Fuji in Japan without any training or warm-ups but still made it three-quarters of the way! Ira does bake! However, she said she is a better cook than a baker but she can make decent Napolitaines (Mauritian sandwich cookies) though

Ira Arifin 
Joseph Pardy

Pre-School Room.

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.

Priyanka Khanna

 Pre-school Room.

Priyanka joined Little Cakes in January 2022. She previously worked in a nursery in Scotland and holds a Scottish qualification in childcare. She is a mum to 3 children and has been actively volunteering in primary schools before joining here. At Little Cakes, Priyanka enjoys singing different rhymes with kids. Since turning vegan during lockdown, Priyanka enjoys experimenting and making vegan replicas of her favourite dishes and Indian sweets. In her spare time, Priyanka likes to play badminton and going on walks with friends and family. And she loves baking!!


Baby Room.

Sarah joined the baby room in March 2023. She has been working with young children since she was 17 years old - at various nurseries and play groups plus she still is part time a Nanny.  Sarah holds a Level 3 Paediatric First Aid certificate, NVQ Level 2 Early Years Certificate, and a Safe Guarding children Certificate. She is also a qualified Legal secretary. Sarah has 3 children of her own with her youngest doing her A Levels. Sarah loves to dance and was voted England Most improved Salsa Dancer 2012. And in 1991-1992 she was on a BBC program called Grange Hill! She loves trekking in the West Country with her family and dog “coco and finally Sarah is very partial to a slice of  Victoria sponge cake and a nice cuppa … given the chance she would bake them all the time to eat !!

Sarah Briers
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Natalie Sleeper

Preschool & Baby Rooms

Natalie joined Little Cakes in February 2023 as a teaching assistant in both rooms.

She previously worked at York House as a teaching assistant for 1 year and has 5 years experience in the hospitality industry. Outside of work, Natalie sings in a choir at the Roundhouse in Camden as well as acting in theatre companies at The Watford Palace Theatre and the Almeida Theatre in Islington. She enjoys good food (especially pasta) and would love to travel more. And finally she can bake some mean brownies!

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