15 October 2020

Michelle celebrates five years of a rewarding career in childminding

After being a stay at home mum for several years, Michelle Williams wanted to go back to work. But she needed something that fit in around her family commitments.

Michelle volunteered in a school to gain some experience. Although she enjoyed it, it made her realise that she wanted to work from home while her children were young.

She explains: “Before I had my children I worked in an accounts office but I wanted to pursue a different career. I love children so I got a placement in a school, doing everything from reading to the pupils to helping in the kitchen. It was great but I decided to train as a childminder so that I could look after my own children alongside others.”

Michelle, from Nantwich, signed up to a Level 3 Diploma in Childcare at Acacia Training. She says: “I enjoyed the course and really knuckled down and put the hours in, so I completed it in less than a year. The team at Acacia Training were really supportive and gave me the confidence to pursue my ambition of becoming a childminder.”

In 2015, Michelle officially registered as a childminder and she still works as one today. She looks after between four and six children every day, from six months old upwards. She says: “It has been an extremely rewarding career for me. I really enjoy looking after the children and watching them grow and develop. We go on plenty of days out, from the park to the beach, and no day is ever the same.”

Michelle adds: “My daughter is now 16 and is planning to do a beauty apprenticeship with Acacia Training. It’s great to see her pursuing her career dream now too.”  

Are you looking to start or develop a career working with children and young people? Discover our range of courses here.

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7 March 2017

Star Apprentice Sarah Brandrick: Sarah’s caring nature

44-year old Sarah Brandrick had worked for a pharmaceutical company as well as volunteering in a school and working as a care assistant, prior to becoming a residential support worker at Hopedale residential special school in Staffordshire.

 

Hopedale combines a residential care home for 7 to 17 year olds with a special school on site. Both facilities are graded outstanding by Ofsted. The setting provides a therapeutic environment for looked after children who suffer from emotional, behavioural, and mental health issues.

 

Sarah’s role as a residential support worker involves works with up to fifty children in a number of different ways. She provides care and nurturing support for the children she looks after, including organising and running activities and clubs, companionship, keywork sessions and supporting contact with family members. Sarah is currently a key worker to a child, which involves taking an active in role in that child’s life just as you would as a parent.

 

Sarah comments: “I grew up in Birmingham, in the middle of the city in a care home. I was adopted by a wonderful family, even though I found it very hard to adapt to. I want to show the children in care that there is light at the end of the tunnel – it’s all about nurturing and caring for them and I find it very personally and professionally rewarding.”

 

Hopedale has regulations in place which mean that all staff must complete a level 3 NVQ. Sarah is completing the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Residential Childcare with Acacia Training, which is an advanced qualification equivalent to A Levels. It combines the NVQ with other important qualifications such as functional skills – English, maths and ICT.

 

Clare Ratcliffe, Manager at Hopedale, explains: “I interviewed Sarah for a job here almost a year ago now. She was really keen to do the qualification and have a career change. She felt strongly that her own life experiences meant that she could contribute to the children that we look after and had the skills needed to work with challenging behaviour. I must say she was absolutely right! She makes an exceptionally positive contribution to the children and young people she works with – they all think she is fabulous and they respond very well to her.”

 

Claire adds: “Many of the children here come from very difficult and upsetting backgrounds. Sarah’s own life experience means she offers a lot of natural insight into the correlation between what the children have been through in the past, and their behaviour and experiences. Her natural empathy combined with the education she has gained as a mature learner completing the Apprenticeship, are the perfect combination.”

 

Sarah’s assessor, Nicki Blasé, of Acacia Training, says: “When Sarah first started her apprenticeship, she hadn’t been in education for a while and she originally lacked confidence in her ability to succeed on the qualification. Initially, she needed a lot of support and reassurance but she is very conscientious and has tackled every task with vigour. She is determined to achieve in her role.”

 

Acacia Training provides Apprenticeships, work-based training and short courses for new employees or those already working in the care, childcare and health and social care sectors. Contact us to find out how.

 

New to the sector and looking for an Apprentice role? We are teaming up with HC-One to recruit to a host of new apprenticeship vacancies across the East and West Midlands.

 

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