Bright Sparks Childcare is enjoying being part of an apprenticeship's learning journey.


Bright Sparks Smawthorne opened in April 2019 and despite the challenges of Covid-19 and lockdown, they received an Outstanding rating in their very first Ofsted inspection in March 2022!

Using a child’s interests to support learning

As a nursery, they are all about implementing learning through a child’s interests and work closely with parents and carers to support each child’s development across all areas. They use loose parts, child-led play and a range of other fun and engaging activities to help children learn and grow.

Their staff set them apart

But, what really sets them apart is their amazing team of staff, which includes several talented apprentices.

Cat Brown, Nursery Manager at Bright Sparks, says: “Our staff team are amazing – full support for each other, friendly, caring, funny and professional. Our apprentices are an important part of the team and we mentor and support them  to develop and maintain our standards, ensuring we do things ‘the Bright Sparks way’.”

The team at Bright Sparks are dedicated to mentoring and supporting their apprentices to develop and maintain their high standards of care. They believe in helping their apprentices better themselves, both personally and professionally, so that they can take pride in their work and provide the best possible care for the children and their families.

Cat Continues:

“It’s great being able to support our apprentices and watch them grow, not only in knowledge and skills but in confidence too. As an example, we guide them on how to read stories to groups of children. To see their confidence develop from being quite shy, reading a story quietly to confident apprentices reading a story with gusto, with appropriate tone of voice and volume, with actions, etc – it’s just so good to see and know that we’re part of that journey.”

The apprentices at Bright Sparks are an important part of the team and they play a vital role in helping the nursery achieve their goals. For example, during their first Ofsted inspection, three apprentices were able to speak with the inspector and demonstrate their knowledge of safeguarding – this (along with conversations with the full team) was instrumental in helping the nursery achieve their first OfSted outstanding rating.

A loving a nurturing environment

But it’s not just about achieving high ratings. The children are at the heart of everything they do and Bright Sparks is truly dedicated to providing a loving a nurturing environment for the children in their care. They believe that by embedding their values in their apprenticeship practices, they can create a better future for everyone involved. That’s why they are so committed to providing their apprentices with full time contracts after they complete their apprenticeships.

Praise for Realise

Cat praised Realise for their approach to supporting the apprentices: “Realise have always been professional and flexible in arranging visits. We feel fully supported by their company, their assessors and their Operations Director. We have always had a very positive and helpful experience, across the board.”

Realise provide first class skills, education and employment services to more than 7,000 learners and thousands of employers across a host of sectors in the UK every year. If you want to find out more about how your organisation can become a Realise partner, click on the link and start the conversation today.

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