Rachel Adams: Case Study

Nottinghamshire County Council


As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week from 5 to 11 February 2024, Rachel's success story as a Level 4 Children, Young People and Families Practitioner apprentice embodies the spirit of this occasion. Her journey reflects the value, benefit, and opportunities that apprenticeships bring. Despite facing personal challenges, Rachel's determination, coupled with unwavering support, highlights the transformative power of apprenticeships in unlocking new career paths. Join us in recognising the impact of apprenticeships during this week-long celebration, and be inspired by Rachel's remarkable achievements and the role apprenticeships play in shaping promising futures.


We sat down with Rachel, one of our Level 4 Children, Young People and Families Practitioner apprentices, to discuss her learning experience and the many career benefits apprenticeships offer.

I began my career in childcare 15 years ago, when I completed my NVQ level 3 in childcare. I achieved 10 GCSEs at school but then took a break in learning to have my eldest son, before returning to college.

I decided to do the Level 4 Children, Young People and Families Practitioner apprenticeship with The Childcare Company, as I had reached a point in my career where I could not progress without further qualifications. I started the apprenticeship as an Early Help Officer, which linked perfectly with my chosen course. I have been able to apply all my learning to my job role, which has been integral in supporting my career development.

Since beginning my apprenticeship, I have also secured a new role as a Reviewing Officer within a different team of the Integrated Children’s Disability Services. The knowledge and skills learnt during my apprenticeship were key in expanding my capabilities within the sector.

As a result, I am now the named line manager for 2 members of staff and I’m working on improving my managerial skills further. I am a single mother to 3 children, a 19-year-old and 12-year-old twins. One of my twins is Autistic and attends a special school.

At the start of my apprenticeship, I was offered a date for gastric surgery which fell in the first week of the course. As I had been waiting for this surgery for 3 years, I knew I could not postpone it, so I had to go ahead with the surgery alongside starting my apprenticeship.

I knew this would be a challenge; however, with great determination and support from The Childcare Company, my line manager and colleagues, I am extremely proud to have navigated my busy life and personal obstacles to engage in further education training.


I wanted to do the apprenticeship to open up new job opportunities within the children and families care field. I aspired to move into a managerial role, but my existing qualifications were holding me back. Although deciding to return to learning after so many years felt daunting, I really found the experience of the apprenticeship manageable and enjoyable.

The apprenticeship has already enabled me to successfully secure a new management job role and I feel that the skills I have learnt during the apprenticeship will help me further develop my career.

My manager has been really supportive throughout the apprenticeship. They gave me time to attend planned teaching sessions with De Monfort university, as well as regular tripartite meetings with my development coach, where we reviewed my progress and support. My manager has also been invaluable in supporting me with my end point assessment and provided the necessary observations needed to complete the course.


How did our training improve your career, and how did it compare to other training you have received in the past?
The training has already improved my career by helping me secure a managerial post and has given me the confidence to take the next steps in my career path. I have no doubt that the knowledge and skills I’ve developed throughout my training will be key tools in helping me grow in my new role and whilst on this learning journey.

I feel the training from The Childcare Company differs from other training I have completed, as it celebrates existing strengths and prior learning, which I was able to use as part of my course evidence. The experiences of completing the Cert HE sessions with De Montfort University gave me the opportunity to experience higher level learning. I developed my writing style and referencing skills, which has given me a great foundation for when I begin my degree. The support from the development coaches has also been invaluable.

What is your overall impression of The Childcare Company, and what would you say to other individuals looking for an apprenticeship?
I would highly recommend The Childcare Company for further learning, training, development and apprenticeships. I always felt supported by the development coaches throughout my journey. I have had a few changes of development coaches throughout the apprenticeship, and all transitions were handled really well. All communication has been great throughout the course.

I would encourage anyone who is interested in doing an apprenticeship to just go for it! Believe in yourself and with the support available you will achieve your goals.

What were the key benefits of your apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship afforded me the opportunity to be able to use existing skills, knowledge and experiences to transfer into evidence for my portfolio. Recording Off The Job Training hours allowed me to really reflect and take account of the amount of additional learning that most of us do in everyday practice. I found it refreshing and encouraging to be able to use these experiences towards gaining a higher-level qualification.

I am happy to confirm that I have now completed all the apprenticeship modules and I’m just awaiting a date to complete my End Point Assessment to finalise the award. I have also completed my Cert HE certificate element of the apprenticeship with De Montfort University.

Rachel Adams

Nottinghamshire County Council
“The apprenticeship enabled me to secure a new management role, and I believe the skills I’ve acquired will further my career!"


What are your plans for the future?
As mentioned, I have recently secured a new job position in the children's disability team. This new role has  given me the opportunity to learn more about this specialised area of supporting disabled children and their families. My job role also involves line management of staff, so I have already achieved my goal of moving into a managerial position. I intend to remain in this post for some time to build on these new skills and experiences.

Longer term, I am considering applying for the social work apprenticeship scheme, which is offered by my employer. This will entail a fixed term employment of 3 years working as a trainee social worker whilst also completing my social work degree. After completing the apprenticeship and obtaining my degree, I will
become a qualified social worker. I believe my experiences during the apprenticeship have boosted my confidence and made me feel less anxious about taking on higher level apprenticeships and further learning.

It has always been my dream to complete a degree, but I never thought that I would doing one nearing my 40s! However, after my experience during my level 4 apprenticeship, I feel newly motivated, excited for the future and believe that I can do this.


I would like to achieve my goal of becoming a social worker. So, within the next 5 years, I would like to have completed my social worker qualification and degree.

My children are growing up fast, and I always strive to be a positive role model, showing them that if they work hard to achieve their goals, they will achieve excellence. I am proud of the career I have built to provide a good future for us all.

Although I do not envisage any additional barriers in the future, such as planned operations on top of further study, my experiences so far have given me resilience and belief that I  can still achieve my goals despite any difficulties that may arise.


Got any questions?

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