16-year-old Charlie left school last summer and immediately enrolled on the Children’s Care, Learning and Development Level 2 Diploma course at our Bexley Campus. Within weeks of taking part in a work experience programme with the Little Dolphins Day Nursery, she has been invited to take up a full-time apprenticeship post starting after Easter.
Charlie is currently working two days per week at the nursery based in Bexleyheath, and three days at College. She aims to complete the main units of her qualification in the next six weeks and then return on a day-release basis to study for her level 3 at the same time as earning a wage.
"I’ve learnt a lot at College in such a short time,” says Charlie, “and the work experience at Little Dolphins has enabled me to see first-hand how a real workplace operates and how the skills I’ve acquired can be put into practice.
“I’m a definitely a big kid at heart and I feel that I have a good rapport with children of all ages. I love playing an important role in their learning and development at an early age and giving them a good start to their lives. At the nursery I encourage them to be creative with painting and drawing, constructing buildings with Lego, playing with toy tools and making handprints. At the moment, I’m working mainly with the toddlers. I loving every minute.”
The nursery’s owner and founder, Diana Pain, has worked with the College for several years by providing valuable work experience programmes for students. Charlie will be the first apprentice that she has taken on from the College.
Diana says: “Charlie has made a big impression since she’s been here. She is willing to work hard, keen to learn and she seems to make a huge impact on the children. She reads them stories, runs around the play area with them and has a knack for being able to make them smile. That’s really important. She has natural ability and lots of energy.”
“Charlie would like to run her own nursery business one day and I think she has a positive outlook for her career. She’s started well and I’m backing her to go all the way.”
If you think you have what it takes to become a child care professional and build a successful career in the early years' sector, we’d like to hear from you. We have a great range of courses and apprenticeship opportunities to get you started. Come along to one of our open events.