Embracing apprenticeships - earn, learning and thriving in early years.


Erin opted for an apprenticeship instead of university and was able to earn while acquiring invaluable experience, essential qualifications and fostering lifelong friendships - showcasing the true potential and benefits of apprenticeships in shaping a fulfilling career.

Meet Erin Ketley:

Erin Ketley, is a passionate and dedicated early years educator, who discovered her calling in the world of health and social care during her school years. Eager to pursue a fulfilling career, Erin set her sights on the early years sector and found the perfect opportunity through our apprenticeship programme.

Discovering her passion for early years:

“After completing my A-Levels, I knew that university wasn’t my path. Health and social care had always been my favourite and it led me to the rewarding world of early years education”, Erin shares. 

She embarked on her apprenticeship with determination, working diligently to achieve a level 3 qualification and has now started her level 4. “It was an amazing opportunity to earn while gaining practical experience alongside theoretical knowledge,” Erin explains. 

Overcoming challenges with Realise’s support:

During her apprenticeship journey, Erin encountered challenges, especially while preparing for her end point assessment. “Preparing for the end point assessment was tough, but Realise and my Trainer Assessor, Kate Sygrove, were there for me every step of the way. Kate would give me short lists, broken down, and help me prioritise tasks which was really helpful. I felt supported and encouraged, even when facing challenges,” Erin fondly recalls.

Thriving in early years education:

As Erin progressed from level 3 to level 4, she flourished as an early years educator at Mini Explorers Nursery. She applied her theoretical knowledge to real-life scenarios, making a positive impact on the children’s development. Erin’s eyes lit up as she shared, “seeing the positive impact on the children’s lives made it all worthwhile.”

Embracing growth and professional development:

The apprenticeship experience with Realise empowered Erin with newfound confidence and nurtured professional growth. “Realise emphasised the importance of self-reflection, which has been instrumental in my continuous growth as an educator,” Erin proudly shared.

Trainer Assessor, Kate Sygrove, on Erin’s achievement:

“Erin’s journey through her level 3 early years apprenticeship was fantastic. Her unwavering dedication and commitment to mastering both theory and practice were commendable. Throughout the programme, Erin consistently demonstrated a passion for early years education and a relentless drive for continuous improvement. It has been a pleasure to witness her growth as an early years educator and the positive impact she has made on the lives of children.

“Having successfully completed her level 3 apprenticeship, Erin has now embarked on the next stage of her educational journey, commencing her level 4 qualification. Her thirst for knowledge and eagerness to embrace new challenges make her a shining example for aspiring apprentices.”

Erin’s advice to aspiring early years educators:

Erin wholeheartedly encourages others to seize the opportunity of apprenticeships. “Absolutely go for it! Even if you’re unsure, the experience brings financial benefits, lifelong friendships and invaluable experience and qualifications,” Erin enthuses.


Erin’s journey exemplifies the warmth and impact of Realise’s apprenticeship programme. Guided by the caring mentorship of Trainer Assessor, Kate Sygrove, Erin’s growth as an early years educator reflects the programme’s success in nurturing compassionate professionals dedicated to making a meaningful difference in the lives of young children.

Ready to start your own apprenticeship journey?

Interested in becoming a level 3 apprentice like Erin? Get in touch to find out more.

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