National Apprenticeship Week: My apprenticeship story

February 6, 2023
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If you’re ready to start your early years story, or keen to upskill and progress your career, the apprenticeship path could be right for you.

Pairing practical, hands-on training with a valuable learning course, apprenticeships offer a well-rounded experience to help shape and progress your early years career. You’ll also be welcomed into our community of nurseries, learning from experienced educators on the job and gaining access to ideas and knowledge across our team.

At SM, we’re proud to partner with training provider to offer early years apprenticeships within our nurseries across the country. In honour of National Apprenticeship Week, we're sharing the stories of three of our wonderful SM apprentices, each a different stage in their apprenticeship journey.

Ella, Hemsley House Nursery School, Level 2

Hi, my name is Ella and I am currently coming towards the end of my Level 2 Early Years Apprenticeship at Hemsley House Nursery School.

I originally attended college to study health and social care, however, I soon realised that this wasn’t what I wanted to do. I started to look into the childcare course, but decided that staying at college wasn’t for me. That’s when I thought about doing an apprenticeship, so I could get experience working with children while I was training. I also struggle to just sit behind a laptop, and I don’t think I would have understood childcare as well as I do now.

Through my apprenticeship at Hemsley House, I am now First Aid trained and have completed all of my internal training including Safeguarding, Equality and Diversity, and Childcare Practice.

Apprenticeships are a great way to learn while gaining hands-on experience. I am able to take time out in the workplace as and when I can for my studies. I prefer doing it in the workplace, and also have colleges who can help me if I am struggling or need to expand my knowledge.

I enjoy working at Hemsley House a lot. Since I started, nobody has ever made me feel silly, and everyone has wanted to help me get to where I am now. I am so glad I chose to carry out my apprenticeship here. I feel over the last two years I have gained so much experience and knowledge that I never would have achieved if I had stayed at college.

Jess, Old Crofts Bank Nursery School, Level 3

Hello, my name is Jess and I work at Old Crofts Bank Nursery School completing the Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship.

Having an extended family, I was always spending time with young children. While communicating, playing and supporting them came as a natural response for me, this soon made me realise I’d love to work towards a career that was child-centred.

I chose the apprenticeship path as I wanted to be in an environment that would offer me experience while working towards my qualification and because I felt that hands-on experience would be more beneficial.

One day a week I am given time away from the rooms to study on work set by my tutor or any relevant training that helps me gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours for my course.

Being an apprentice at Old Crofts Bank means that I’m able to overcome any challenges that the day brings as I am always surrounded by professionals that support and help me progress towards being a qualified Early Years Educator.

Georgia, Treehouse Nursery School, Level 5

My name is Georgia, and I work at Treehouse Nursery School in Bristol. I am currently working towards a Level 5 apprenticeship.

Growing up, I always looked after young children in my family and I really enjoyed it. It helped me decide that I want to work with children as a career, observing and helping them learn and develop.

I started my Level 3 when I left sixth form, and I worked hard as I wanted to progress in my career. When I became a Lead Early Years Educator I had more responsibility and was leading a team, and I wanted to extend my leadership knowledge to support me in my role. My Level 5 apprenticeship is giving me the knowledge to be a successful manager and progress into other management roles.

I like to be organised and complete my apprenticeship work at home. This means that I am able to put what I learn into practice each day at the nursery. The best thing about my apprenticeship is continuing to learn new things. I love learning and putting this into practice in the nursery.

Click here to learn more about the apprenticeship path and careers at SM.

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