Day in the life of a nursery apprentice

Khushbu Shukla, Level 3 Early Years Educator

All About Children

All About Children are a group of nurseries, looking after children aged 0-5 years old. I’m based at a nursery in Maidenhead called Silchester Manor Day Nursery and I’ve been working here since July 2020. I started as bank staff and then my manager asked me whether I would be interested in going full time and enrolling on my level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship. I said yes and officially joined the business as an apprentice in October 2020.

I think the most challenging thing about my role is when it’s busy, I need to make sure that I give an equal amount of attention to everyone.  There are quite a few of us who work together though so it’s ok.

My favourite thing about my job is that I feel really good that I’m making a difference in someone’s life.  I really enjoy being part of the first, most important years of children’s lives and being able to support parents in every step.

My apprenticeship has definitely boosted my confidence so when I’m doing something, I think I’m more focused because I know exactly what I’m doing it for. I feel more confident in what I’m doing now and it all makes sense.

My Development Coach Viera is really good, she’s really supportive and any questions I have; I can always just pick up the phone and ask. At work, my manager is really supportive. She allows me time outside of the room to do my work and she’s really nice. In the beginning it was her who suggested I enrol on to the level 3 apprenticeship.

A day in the life...

In a standard day I would usually go through a set routine with the kids. When they arrive, we sign them in and have a free flow for them to play with some music on and then at about 08:30 until 09:15 we give them breakfast to any of them who need it.  We would also have an activity set up for them on one of the tables, for example duplo or painting so if they want to sit at the table and do an activity I would help them.

At about 09:30 we have group time when we ask the kids how they’re feeling, read a story, sing some rhymes and do some dancing. We also play music together using instruments like drums so the mornings are really exciting. From there we have provide the children with snacks, allow the children a nap if needed and then bring them out to the garden.

The kids choose what they want to do so throughout the day we still have load of activities set up for them like cars, shredded paper to make things with, a play gym, a farm area with lots of books.

We have a big garden so we like to go outside until about 11:30 before coming back in for lunch and having group time again where we sit down with all the kids to do rhymes and stories and then some kids go home and the kids who are staying the full day usually go to sleep.

When they wake up, it’s snack time followed by free flow play again before we start engaging them with the activities which are set up again.  Whatever activities were set up in the morning, we would usually set these up again on the table so that the kids have a chance to explore the activities in the afternoon too.

All the way through every day there’s always something going on and in the middle, we’re also doing observations for them as well, focusing on each child and planning for them. Based on that we would plan our activities for the morning.

After 15:30 we usually have tea-time, then the kids play for a bit and we put music on again so they can do some dancing and make music again. At about 17:30 they start going home.

Building the future

My Coach Viera is really lovely. I usually have my appointments with her booked four weeks in advance so I know what time our meeting is and I usually bring my laptop to do my work.

I really appreciate what my manager has done for me because when I joined in July they initially said that I had to wait until January, the end of my probation period, before starting the apprenticeship, but my manager worked really hard to get me into the programme earlier. That’s something I really, really appreciate.

There’s another apprentice at the nursery too, who started about a month after me. We discuss the training and help each other out. We sometimes ask each other questions and share useful information.

Apprenticeships are a great way to build the future workforce because if a person is knowledgeable about what’s important for 0-5 year olds, and if we know the right things, then we’ll be teaching the right things to the future kids; passing on knowledge. We have to be perfect for our future to be perfect.

"My apprenticeship has definitely boosted my confidence so when I’m doing something, I think I’m more focused because I know exactly what I’m doing it for."


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