Our Team

Jacqui Mason (Owner & Chief Executive)

Jacqui has worked in the childcare sector since 1988 starting as trainee through to Qualified Nursery Nurse and then into Management roles within her family company.

Having been Managing Director of her family’s Childcare Company consisting of 15 nurseries she left to start her own nursery.

In March 2013 Jacqui opened her first nursery (The Orange Tree Day Nursery @ Mickleover) and since that time has acquired nurseries that required support to turn them into thriving nurseries where children only receive the best Early Years experiences. 

Jacqui describes the growth of The Orange Tree Group as a journey driven by absolute passion and commitment to creating magical experiences for children.  During the journey Jacqui has been very selective with regard to the quality of staff recruited attitude and passion for working with children had been the key element to successfully being invited to join the team.

Creating the culture and ethos of the organisation has been a slow journey and Jacqui is now proud that her management teams from Room Leader to Senior Managers have been on the same journey with her and have trained and developed whilst with the company.

Jacqui has been influential within the childcare sector for many years whilst Chairperson for the Derbyshire NDNA network and sitting on working party groups for the local authority.

For two years she worked as a consultant to support nurseries preparing for Ofsted inspection or to nurseries that had received a requires improvement from Ofsted to support with addressing their recommendations.

Jacqui regularly says “what I do is not work, I love growing and developing our people.  Great practitioners deliver great experiences and learning opportunities to our children and their families. We have created an Orange Tree Family and that makes me very proud”.

Outside of work Jacqui is married to Chris who manages the Nursery Properties and any new developments.  Family time is very important to them, they have four children, two beautiful grandchildren and two mad cockapoo dogs.


Chris Tolley (Properties Manager)

I manage the property side of the organisation and support with any new development projects – we always have something on the go here at The Orange Tree! Jacqui and I work together on our nursery environments and are always looking for new ideas to inspire our staff and children. Our nurseries are blessed with some amazing outdoor spaces and the development of these has been a particularly exciting part of our nursery developments. When Jacqui opened the first Orange Tree Day Nursery I worked as a professional cricketer and coach and have since joined her to support with the everyday maintenance and property development, just a slight change in direction. Taking on this responsibility has enabled Jacqui to concentrate on what she loves most the children and the staff teams.