Interserve Learning & Employment supports nursery apprentices during Covid-19 pandemic
Interserve Learning & Employment’s Jenna Manning is one of 26 childcare assessors across the business delivering remote support to nursery and school apprentices.
While most children are now being cared for by their parents and guardians in order to comply with social distance restrictions implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, some nurseries and schools are being kept open to care for youngsters of key workers and also to provide support to vulnerable families struggling to cope.
Interserve Learning & Employment (ILE) delivers the Level 2 Early Years Practitioner, Level 3 Early Years Educator and Supporting Teaching and Learning qualifications. All qualifications include units on how to support a child’s development, learning to embed the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum, health and safety as well as sections on how to protect vulnerable children and to recognise signs of child abuse and what actions to take as a result.
Jenna studied early years development to degree level and as part of her placement worked at a nursery. Following graduation, she specialised in nursery work.
She said: “I absolutely adored working with the younger children. Supporting youngsters to develop is incredibly rewarding and gave me the most pleasure.
“I also still love studying, and so supporting others to work with children was a natural progression for me because I’m able to combine my enjoyment of learning with the role of supporting the next generation of nursery staff to develop their skills.
“I am committed to doing everything I can to support our apprentices to develop their skills.”
Jessica Porter is an apprentice at Tree Tops Nursery in Liverpool and is one of those Jenna is currently supporting. Ordinarily Jenna would visit the nursery to observe Jessica’s practice and support her development. Now the activity must be undertaken remotely.
The mother-of-one, who started at the nursery last year, said: “I always wanted to work with children and think it’s fantastic to watch youngsters develop as they grow from the six-month-olds we work with through to the five-year-olds.
“Some of the children come from vulnerable families and that makes the apprenticeship especially relevant – it is really well delivered and it is helping me develop much more knowledge, especially around the importance of policies and procedures.”
Jenna said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had an incredibly tough impact on all of us, but it’s especially difficult for young children because they will not understand the reasons behind why they cannot meet their friends or their grandparents and why their normal routines are being upset. That’s why it’s so important that we all find innovative ways to deliver the best possible practice.”
Jenny Sharp, owner of Rhymes Nursery in Dudley, said: “Apprenticeships are far better now than they used to be, and Interserve’s approach is fantastic. My colleagues are really empowered by doing the apprenticeship, the learning very much helps to underpin their practice with theory. The learning also gives them confidence that what they are doing is right.
“There is a very unfair negative perception of nursery work, that it is simply just playing with the children. There’s so much more to it than that. We are working with many youngsters who have special educational needs and education, health and safety and care planning all come into it, making sure we get that right sets up the child’s first steps into primary school and beyond.
“The apprenticeships delivered by Interserve help ensure we get that right.”
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