Meet April’s Apprentice of the Month
We’re now into our eighth month of Apprentice of the Month, and the quality of the nominations we’re receiving is still as high as ever. This month we travelled to Repton Manor Nursery in Ashford to present Kimberley Smith and Nursery Manager Nicki Pittam with their awards. Kimberley has recently finished her Level 2 in Childcare and is preparing to start her Level 3 qualification.
Kimberley’s route to her Level 3 apprenticeship involved a lot of hard work and progression that greatly impressed her manger Nicki. She initially started with a temp job which soon got extended. After this had finished, Nicki wanted to keep Kimberley on so decided that an apprenticeship was the best way to allow her to continue working with the nursery whilst gaining an early years qualification which she did not currently have.
Kimberley started at a Level 2 and was pleased with how easy she found it to apply the academic side of her study whilst combining it with the hands-on experience of working with children, and was surprised at how much she had learnt without going to college. She has now completed her Level 2 and will soon be starting her Level 3 so that she can continue to work at the nursery whilst gaining further qualifications.
We always like to find out what a typical day is like for our apprentices as it will always be different. For Kimberley it’s coming in and setting up activities for the day, comforting and talking to the children as they come in, taking part in activities such as group time and circle time, going outside and playing with them, and some of the more ‘hands-on’ jobs such as changing nappies and blowing noses.
Kimberley’s favourite parts of her job are group time, being creative with planning activities, and bonding and forming relationships with all of the children.
We also had a chat with Nicki who said that “childcare skills can’t be taught and it is a quality that you either have or you don’t”. If like Kimberley you do, it’s much easier to gain the background knowledge you need to have a good understanding of the coursework side of it.
We asked Nicki what differences she has noticed since Kimberley started her apprenticeship. “The biggest difference is that Kim started with one key child, and then in the first year of her apprenticeship had six, and will have eight next year as her responsibilities rise.”
When asked what she would say to anyone of thinking of undertaking an apprenticeship, Kimberley said “do it! I think it’s the best way to learn and I found the coursework quite easy as it directly relates to my job”.
Kimberley’s answer when asked what her career plan is will definitely please her employers. “To stay here, I love my job”.
It’s fantastic for us to see an apprentice continually progress and impress their employers the way that Kimberley has, congratulations to her and Repton Manor Nursery for being recognised as the April Apprentice of the Month.