Windmill Day Nursery

Childcare and education apprentices at Stoke on Trent College are proving their worth in the work place – with industry-leading training that gives them a head start in their careers.

At Windmill Hill Day Nursery, Rough Close, five qualified learners from the College have earned themselves full time positions along with three other girls holding down apprenticeships there.

Esther Box, Jessica Humphreys, Emma Kendrew, Rebecca Johnson and Sarah Mason, all from North Staffordshire, have taken up permanent roles at the day nursery after combining work and college study to obtain an NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.

Current apprentices Vickie Green, Danielle Forkin and Samantha Tunnicliffe are all in the second year of their work-based study, with assessors from Stoke on Trent College carrying out regular training assessments at the nursery.

Treated as part of the team the apprentices – ranging from 19 to 21 years in age – gain first hand experience without the pressure of responsibility as they are seen as “supernumerary members of the team within the nursery” and shadow qualified staff. Working within the team they are privy to hands on experience from industry professionals, earning a salary whilst they learn.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery is owned by husband and wife team Scott and Samantha Brian. Samantha has run the day nursery for the over 12 years, whereby the nursery has been training apprentices and building links with Stoke on Trent College over that period.

Samantha said, “We have been taking students from the College for ten years now and always find they are well trained and really well prepared for the hands on side of the job.

“The fundamental underpinning knowledge initiated by the college gives the students good foundations to start learning and developing the skills necessary to become accomplished and experienced in this caring profession.

“Fortunately, we have been in a position to offer previous apprentices full-time positions, after spending time in developing and gaining hands on experiences, this is an excellent way for the students to learn the values and skills needed in the childcare profession”.

Danielle, 19, one of the full time apprentices at the nursery, said: “The incentive to become qualified and get a full time position here at Windmill Hill is great motivation.

“Thanks to the College’s relationship with the nursery, things are looking really good for us.”

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