After successfully achieving an Ofsted ‘good’ rating, Derwent Stepping Stones have heaped praise on their current cohort of trainees and apprentices, who were commended on their professionalism by the service inspectors. Stepping Stones’ Chief Executive Janet Holland expressed her delight about the progress they have made since starting as trainees.
‘To get a good grade, every member of staff needs to be working at a high level consistently, and the trainees and apprentices have done that so well. They always come with refreshing ideas, and it really benefits us as a business to keep being creative and up to date.’
Janet also spoke highly of her higher apprentices, as they took the initiative to add leadership abilities to their skillset.
‘My level three learners also lead some of the trainees that work in their room, directing and guiding them. We believe that this gives them great leadership skills for the future, without being in a leadership role. We’ve been really impressed with the standard of learners we’re working with – they have demonstrated skills far and above a usual standard, always responding to the children’s needs appropriately.’
The rewards of childcare
Level two apprentices Kyra Wightman and Kiran Parveen spoke to us about the benefits of their traineeship, which gave them a great preview into a childcare role.
‘I’m happy I did the traineeship before the apprenticeship,’ said Kyra. ‘The traineeship boosted my confidence and gave me more experience and practical skills.’
Kiran was in agreement about her boosted confidence: ‘At the start of my traineeship I was nervous when speaking to parents, but now my confidence has grown massively. I’ve got to know all the children and their parents really well.’
Looking to the future
When asked about their future career prospects, both Kiran and Kyra were excited about the possibility of adding to their qualifications.
‘I definitely want to start my level three,’ said Kyra. ‘This is my dream job. I’d love to one day do what Janet does. I want to be higher up, or own my own nursery.’
‘After my level three I want to become a teaching assistant, and start to work at a primary school,’ said Kiran.
With added experience under their belt, these apprentices are well on their way to achieving their career ambitions.