A typical day for Grace would involve things like setting up and leading activities, helping with the children’s snacks and lunches and participating in sing-alongs. In the afternoons Grace would assist with keeping the nursery clean and safe, participating in games and providing feedback to parents.
Talking about her experience Grace said: “I learnt and continue to learn so much through being in the setting. I really admire my deputy room leader; she has an amazing work ethic as well as a wonderful way with the children. I can learn a lot from her.”
Completing the apprenticeship not only gave Grace the chance to get to grips with the practical side of working with children, but also allowed her to participate in further training in subjects like safeguarding, autism awareness and Makaton – a language programme designed to provide a means of communication to those who struggle to speak efficiently.
“I enjoy forming bonds with the children and seeing that I’m making a difference to the children’s development and early life. Some children that are full time can sometimes end up spending more time with us and having a strong bond with a child makes it really special. We are helping these children to develop into the people they’re going to become in a few years and that is really rewarding.”
Having gained so much and with so many new skills to utilise in her career, Grace is keen to encourage anyone else who might be thinking about signing up for an apprenticeship and is keen to offer the following advice to any potential new learners: “It is going to be hard work managing your work-life balance as well as completing coursework, but it’ll all pay off at the end of it. You will have gained a new qualification, a lot of experience and met many new and different people.”