Ella Coles


Ella started at Once Upon a Time after finishing her studies. Starting as a practitioner and soon rising through the ranks of room leader and then deputy manager, Ella has always shows the qualities needed for a wondeful career in childcare. Working under our long serving manager, Toni Williams, Ella gained the exposure and experience required for the top role when Toni left to become a full time mum. As part of a large family, Ella has always had a natural way with children and an ability to get things done - the key requirements of a nursery manager!


Since taking the role in 2022 Ella has thrived and so has the nursery under her management. She is able to communicate with children, staff and parents and has also managed to finish her level 5 qualification despite the time constaints and demands of being in full time employment.


Once Upon a Time is a special place and no one understands that more than our staff. As one of our longest serving team members Ella is perfectly placed to lead the nursery forwards and maintain our unique setting.



  • NVQ Level 5 Management 
  • Level 3 qualified in Childcare
  • 8 years experience across all age groups.


I first began working with children when I was very young helping the children of the family. I knew I wanted to work in childcare and being local to the area I have always known Once Upon a Time, so I was excited to find a role available when I left education. After working across the age groups I became pre school lead followed by deputy manager and then manager when Toni left.

Outside of work I have a love spending time with my friends. I live in North Bristol and and I love to get out and explore with my family.

I have only ever worked at Once Upon a Time and I don't see myself leaving. This is a special place my role as manager means I am able to lead the nursery into an exciting future. 


Education Philosophy

I believe children are all different and there is no such thing as a one size fits all philosophy. At Once Upon  Time we are small and personal enough to offer a truly individual childcare experience that is replicated in fewer and fewer places as we face the tide of large, 100 - 150 place nurseries that are becoming prevalent in our beautiful city.


Here at Once Upon a Time we are so proud to say that each member of staff knows every child and every parent (and vice versa) - we know about their homelife, their interests and what makes them smile and we can tailor every day to ensure we offer just what the children want and need.