Early Years student ‘Mad’ about Nursery placement

3rd February 2022

An Early Years & Childhood Studies student from Stratford-upon-Avon College has secured work in a day nursery after impressing employers during a work experience placement as part of her course.

Connie Latham, 18 from Yardley Wood, completed a successful work placement at Mad Hatter’s Day Nursery; a private nursery in Solihull. Impressing staff, she has since begun working for the nursey part time around her studies.

Connie is currently in her second year of the CACHE Level 3 Technical Diploma in Childcare and Education. She always knew she wanted to work in this industry: “I have always had an interest in Early Years and Childcare and I wanted to study something that would give me a wide range of job opportunities.” She decided Stratford-upon-Avon College was the right place for her: “I really liked the college when I visited it and when I saw the course on offer I knew this was my preferred route. It’s great to learn quite practically but also get a qualification to use later on.”

Connie began her placement in April 2020, doing 2 days a week. But once her placement ended, Mad Hatters offered her employment in the holidays whilst she was still studying. The nursery are hoping to offer Connie a permanent position as an Early Years Practitioner once she has completed her course.

Connie Latham at placement
Connie really enjoys the work at Mad Hatter's Day Nursery

Connie is extremely happy working at Mad Hatters Day Nursery. She explains: “The staff are so lovely, as are all the children. It is so great as everyone gets along. I especially like working with the babies and organising activities.”

Sarah Holmes, owner and manager of Mad Hatter’s Day Nursery has been extremely pleased with Connie’s work: “Connie has done so well! You can tell she really wants to work in childcare; she just mucks in and goes for it and uses her initiative.” Sarah felt a little reserved originally at the idea of taking on work placements: “Sometimes childcare is seen as an ‘easy route’ so work experience students do the bare minimum, but you can’t be passive in this environment as you have to get stuck in and be fully engaged with the children. Having Connie here has put my faith back in having students in. And since Connie we have now taken on another work placement student from Solihull College (Stratford-upon-Avon College’s partner college). It is great to know that we are helping students get their qualifications as well as helping develop good practitioners for the industry.”

Penny Harris, lecturer at the college, is very happy that Connie has found work through her placement. She commented: “Connie started her placement last year just as placements were starting to open up again after Covid and were keen for her to get started. Connie impressed the Nursery with her motivation and work ethic – which led to her being offered summer work. We are really proud.”

Penny highlights how valuable placements are as part of the course: “Vocational placements are very beneficial for students – it allows them to develop their practical skills and confidence and gives them a real insight into the workings of early years settings.”

Hats off to Connie for her excellent work and achievement!

Find out more about the College's Early Years & Childhood Studies courses: Early Years & Childhood Studies courses