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Nursery apprentice Amber Mabey, who has always wanted to work with children, is the latest employee to join the Tops Day Nursery - Lymington All Saints team.
The 19-year-old is currently working towards a Level 2 qualification in childcare with Dorset based provider, Aspire Training Team. The year-long programme provides learners with the knowledge and skills required to work in a childcare setting at an assistant level.
Offering an insight into her role as a nursery apprentice, Ms Mabey said: “I started this journey in the hope of making a difference to the lives of the children I care for and in the short time I have worked for Tops, I have absolutely loved coming to work. The children and staff have been so welcoming and I feel I have learnt so much already from the experience.
“I feel much more confident within my job role and get a sense of satisfaction and self-worth knowing that I can support the nursery team in the day-to-day running of the nursery.”
What does your apprenticeship involve?
“I have always been very keen to work with children and am interested in the way that each child develops, reaches their milestones and how they progress at different rates through various learning experiences.
“The course involves learning about all aspects of children’s care and development, with mandatory units which include; an introduction to communication, personal development, equality and inclusion, development and safeguarding.”
Describe your typical day at Tops Lymington?
“Working shifts means that my days can vary from starting early in the morning to coming in at lunch time.
“My key responsibilities include looking after children in a fun, stimulating and caring way. I help to feed them, ensure they are clean, and carry out different activities with the children to cover their development within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).
“I also complete my training and am regularly assessed by an assessor from Aspire.”
What makes you passionate about your job?
“Seeing the children happy and enjoying themselves because of something I have said or done for them.
“Other highlights for me are watching the children grow and develop and being part of development and journey at my setting.”
What skills would you say are necessary for a childcare professional?
“I always try to be a positive role model for the children. Practitioners need to be responsible, patient, have a caring nature, use their own initiative, and be eager to learn and develop their own skills as much as the children’s.”
If you could make one change in the early years’ sector, what would it be?
“If I could make one change it would be for people to appreciate our jobs more and to see us as equal to teachers, because we are doing the same job in educating children.”
What is the best professional advice you have been given so far?
“That every little thing a child does throughout the day is significant to them and their learning.”
Where do you see yourself in the future?
“The training so far has made me feel that I am capable of reaching my highest goals in childcare practice. Upon completing my apprenticeship, I would love to move on to my Level 3 qualification and progress up through the nursery."
Tops Lymington All Saints is located in Hampshire and provides care and education for children aged from three months to school age. The nursery is open 52 weeks a year, including bank holidays.