Tell us a bit about your role.
I was a nursery manager myself and I took the assessment route to share my knowledge. I deliver Level 2 and 3 childcare and playwork, supporting teaching and learning qualifications, and management too. I am here, there and everywhere, never going to the same place twice in a month. I work within a 40-mile radius of the West Midlands and I could be working on childcare one day and management the next. Every day is different depending on which place I am visiting and type and level of qualification I am delivering.
What are the challenges of your role?
I have 50 learners on my caseload, all of whom I have to book in and manage, and fit around settings when sometimes they don’t have enough staff so can’t release them from rooms because of ratios. When that happens we work on the demonstration side of the criteria, or if we really can’t do anything we have to just rebook the session.
Why is a hands-on approach so important in supporting apprentices?
We get the opportunity to do remote sessions, but I don’t feel I get the benefit of face-to-face. Learners like to have your reaction and I like to have theirs – do they understand, can they take it away and put it into practice? I don’t want to just look at work and give guidance, I don’t want to be behind the scenes. I want to share my passion for childcare and be with them in the classroom. We need to demonstrate. With apprentices of 16 to 18, we are really starting from scratch. They are a blank canvas and we let them fly.