Childcare apprentices thrive at Teddy Bear Corner

13th December 2021

Early Year’s & Childhood Studies apprentices from Stratford-upon-Avon College are enjoying successful placements at a local childcare business.

Libby-Mae Morton, 17, from Stratford-upon-Avon and Emma Louise Todd, 32, from Alcester have both secured apprenticeships at Teddy Bear Corner Nursery. Both are enjoying their roles, though their backgrounds are quite different.

Libby-Mae Morton and Emma Louise Todd
Libby-Mae Morton and Emma Louise Todd outside Teddy Bear Corner

Libby started out training as a dancer but due to injury she had to change her career plans to another of her passions; childcare. Libby had family working at Stratford-upon-Avon College and Bryan Anderson, who works with apprentices at the College heard she was looking for a new placement. Libby comments: “Stratford-upon-Avon College have been incredibly supportive and I’m having such a positive experience.” Libby is now thriving at Teddy Bear Corner: “All the staff are so supportive, and they help you whenever you need. I did lack confidence to begin with, but they have really helped to build it up.”

Emma’s start in the industry began a little later, as previously she had been in the catering industry but really wanted a change. She had always been around children; having seven brothers and sisters, fifteen nieces and nephews and now having children of her own, so felt this was the perfect area to go into. She comments: “I was over the moon when I got my placement here. I get to do so many things I enjoy; like setting up new activities for the kids. The work is different every day, for example Tuesday is music, Wednesday is cooking, Thursday is nature. I get to help create ideas for those subjects which is great.”

Emma has found the support to be excellent: “The College are always there if I need them and give me feedback on my work. Also, I did my degree abroad which means I have to retake my English and Maths here and I am supported fully through that.” The staff at Teddy Bear Corner have also found the College to be great to work with and really enjoy having apprentices as part of the business.

Leanne Hands, Deputy Manager of Teddy Bear Corner, describes the benefits of having apprentices as part of the team: “It’s nice for us as staff to pass on our experiences and nice for the children to get to know new people. But more than that, some of us have had our qualifications a long time and the apprentices bring new learning to the table and that helps us keep our collective knowledge up to date.”

Both the current apprentices have different goals following the completion of their apprenticeships. Libby wants to go to university and study children’s mental health. Emma would ideally like to stay on at Teddy Bear Corner and work her way up to a management position.

Find out more about the College’s apprenticeships: Apprenticeships