Apprenticeships: A strong foundation for a childcare career

Apprenticeships can be beneficial to a career in childcare – just ask Amy Lee.

Childcare apprentice, Amy Lee, is used to overcoming challenges. As someone who has always wanted to work with children, Amy has worked hard to pursue a career in childcare management alongside caring for her 13-year-old daughter Millie, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease.

For Amy, a work-based Level 3 Diploma in Management has allowed her to extend her skills and knowledge even further, and ensure that she is successful and confident in her role as Deputy Manager at Battle Abbey Nursery in Hastings and delivering what is expected from a Room Leader for 3 to 4-year-olds.

It has also allowed her to complete a professional diploma without any extra cost occurred from unnecessary travel or extra childcare for Millie, as she can study around her work.

Speaking about how her training and development has helped shape her career, Amy said: “I have always been very keen to work with children. I am interested in the way that each child develops, reaches their milestones and how they progress at different rates through various learning experiences.

“The reason I chose the route of a diploma was to extend my managerial knowledge and understanding, so that I could support and assist my manager and the team in a much wider and more varied context. I wanted to better myself and perform to the best of my ability, and choosing on-the-job training was the right decision.

 I wanted to better myself and perform to the best of my ability, and choosing on-the-job training was the right decision.

I have gained so much from the course and feel much more confident within my job role and get a sense of satisfaction and self-worth, knowing that I can support my manager in the day-to-day running of the nursery. Work-based training allows you to gain skills, knowledge and experience of every aspect of childcare first-hand, not just from a text book!

It’s a great way to learn how to work as part of a team, in partnership with parents and carers, and the operation and management side of a nursery business.”

As part of the Level 3 Diploma, Amy has received support from a dedicated training officer, who has been her point of contact and guide throughout the programme. For Amy, having this invaluable support has been key to her completing all her training units successfully and achieving her goals.

Amy, who is due to finish her course this month, continued: “I have been given an incredible amount of support and I really appreciate the one to one training. My trainer, Sheryll Thicke, is a dedicated and completely committed tutor and has really helped me throughout the course. She’s stood by me through challenging times and has helped me to maintain focus.

Unfortunately, my daughter was recently hospitalised and this caused a significant dip in my motivation and I was losing the strength to continue with the course. However, Sheryll understood my needs and personal circumstances and became a pillar of strength throughout the whole period and by setting SMART objectives it made my workload achievable and manageable.

“Sheryll also ensured that I could be take my exams during the school holidays, which meant that I didn’t need to organise time off from work and I had plenty of time to arrange childcare.

Incentives such as the Learner of the Year Award, the forwarded praise and nominations by the tutors, not forgetting the end of year celebrations, really helped me to recognise my achievements and provided me with the motivation to succeed and a significant confidence boost.”

Training officer Sheryll Thicke has been working with Amy since she began her diploma in October 2015 and has watched her confidence grow throughout her training journey.

Speaking about Amy’s achievements, Sheryll said: “Amy has been a highly motivated learner right from the very beginning of her training and is no stranger to overcoming barriers that may come her way.

Her confidence has grown and she has learnt so much that will apply to her management role and allow her to develop further. I am very proud of every aspect of Amy’s achievements and hope she and her employers are too.”


Amy Lee is studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Management with Busy Bees Training Academy


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