Being a Pre-school Manager

Being a Pre-school Manager

Vicky first began with JACE Training whilst still at school in Wallington. She was in years 10 and 11 and attended the level 1 and level 2 classes delivered by JACE Training at the school. Vicky knew from an early age that she wanted to work with children and while studying her level 1 and 2, she gained work experience at Startel Day Nursery, owned by Jancett Childcare.

When Vicky finished school, she started at Croydon College to do her I.T. Diploma but upon completing it, she realised I.T was not the right career path for her and still wanting to work with children, Vicky emailed her former tutor Gail and asked her if she could apply for her level 3 in childcare with JACE. Gail offered her a placement at Pollyanna Day Nursery in Carshalton and Vicky joined as a Level 3 Apprentice childcare practitioner.

Vicky’s apprenticeship was entirely work based and did not involve having to attend workshops one day a week which suited her perfectly. Her assessor Natalie visited and assessed her at nursery instead.

Within a year, Vicky had been promoted from Childcare Practitioner to Lead Childcare Practitioner and she remained at Pollyanna Day Nursery until, in 2012, she took maternity leave to have her son, now aged 5.

Following maternity leave, Vicky returned to Jancett Childcare in 2013 but in the role of Playworker at their Brambles Playsafe Breakfast and After School club in Wallington. Vicky then went on to manage Daffodils Playsafe After School club in Purley. Vicky found working in Playwork very different to nursery and as the children are older and more independent, she missed the challenges working with younger children can bring. In 2014, Vicky applied for the role of childcare practitioner at Jancett Childcare’s Ripples Pre-school. By April 2016 Vicky has been promoted to deputy manager and in 2017, Vicky became the Manager.

While with Jancett Childcare Vicky continued to study and has achieved her level 4 and 5 in early years and most recently her BA Honours in Early Years Education, which Vicky completed by attending college in Carshalton every Wednesday evening from
4-9pm.

Vicky has also achieved the most up to date allergens, First Aid training and Makaton training. Now managing 4 staff and with Ripples about to invite more children to their pre-school in 2018, Vicky is enjoying her current job role and looking to the future. Vicky is experienced with and committed to helping children with SEN and speech and language difficulties.

When asked what Vicky loves most about her job, she explains “Seeing the difference I can make to the children from when they start to when they leave. Seeing the children grow in confidence and their personalities develop while they are with me is very rewarding.” Vicky equally values the close relationship she has built with her pre-school parents and families and says “you are looking after the most precious thing parents have. Their child is their world and parents must trust you to take care for their child.”

As a manager Vicky believes in encouraging her staff and apprentices, just as she was encouraged. Her “office” is in fact in the middle of the pre-school hall which means that she is open and accessible to both the children, parents and the staff always.

When asked what advice she would give to a young person leaving school and thinking about starting a childcare apprenticeship, Vicky says “Be open minded. Never judge. Every child and every family is unique. Be willing to accept a challenge and keep challenging yourself. Enjoy learning and continue learning.”

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