Training and developing our childcare workforce

Pictured – Assistant Support Worker Gracie at a Busy Bees nursery – Dasa Wharton Photography

In common with the whole early years sector, we have seen an increased need and a diminishing skilled and experienced local early years workforce which has tested the true measure of us. We have responded with resilience, creativity and innovation in what we do and one example of this is how we have restructured our Special Needs Inclusion Programme team. By creating senior and assistant support worker roles, we now have progression for our support workers to coach and mentor our new assistants as well as new entry points and qualification within the childcare sector for our assistants.

Gracie joined our team as an assistant support worker wanting to become a qualified support worker and early years practitioner. With her hard work and dedication, she is making that happen. She is now almost qualified with her Level 3 in childcare and education, having worked with and been supported by us for over a year and a half.

Gracie goes to Highlands College one day a week, supports children with special educational needs and disabilities through our programme in local nurseries four days a week and completes her remaining studies in her own time.

We asked Gracie about her experience so far:

What is it like working as an assistant support worker with us?

” Working with JCCT is amazing, I have been supported by senior support workers to be able to build up my confidence and to better support the children with further guidance if I needed it. “

What difference have your studies made to your practice so far?

” My studies have helped me to progress with my knowledge and also planning, this has been important for me as I am still adapting to children’s individual needs and ensuring that I am doing the best for the children I support. “

Would you recommend this route to becoming a support worker to others?

” I would definitely recommend this route into becoming a support worker, it allows you to build up your knowledge while supporting the children at the same time. I have found the course has benefited me massively; building up my confidence, learning new approaches while studying the fundamentals of child-led approaches and I am now confident in my abilities to support the children. “

Very soon, Gracie will become a qualified support worker in our JCCT team and we will continue to offer this progression route to qualification. In fact, we now have two more assistant support worker, Chantelle and Natasha, who have since joined us.

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