Becki MacLeod - Modern Apprentice Early Years Practitioner, Kilcoy Kindergarten

Friday, 8th March 2019

Twenty-year-old Dingwall resident Becki MacLeod works at Kilcoy Kindergarten, a leading child care provider based on the Black Isle with a focus on offering a stimulating environment to aid children’s development.

Becki had always dreamed of working with children and her Modern Apprenticeship at Kilcoy has allowed her to do just that. After completing her apprenticeship Becki found she’d enjoyed working with the company so much so that she was delighted to accept the offer of an ongoing position as an Early Years Practitioner

As an apprentice Becki was introduced to many areas of the work done at a nursery, gaining experience out on the floor whenever possible. From feeding and settling the children down for sleep to helping develop and execute rotas the programme equipped her with a solid grounding to build her career from.

In her current role as an Early Years Practitioner Becki has been able to further add to her skills, particularly in relation to observing children’s behaviours and subsequently making adjustments to their routines. She has been heavily involved in developing Learning Profiles for children which are then passed on to primary schools to aid effective learning in the future.

When she first started at the nursery she quickly realised that there was far more to the job than people might expect looking in from the outside. She said: “When I first started, I realised that working in a nursery wasn’t just about ‘playing’ with the children, though that part is still great. It is in my opinion one of the most hands on, hardworking jobs going.”

There has been plenty of opportunities for Becki to develop her skills through training schemes with First Aid, Positive Behaviour Management and Child Protection just a small selection of the training which she has undertaken. She has also completed professional qualifications to the level of SVQ 3 which she will be able to take with her throughout her future career.

Aside from official training schemes, the supportive environment at Kilcoy has allowed Becki to enhance a lot of skills necessary for the job, initially during the apprenticeship but also in her permanent role. Teamwork, taking ownership of both problems and solutions as well as patience and growing confidence have all helped her flourish in the role.

The Apprenticeship has meant that Becki has been able to work in the industry she wants while staying in an area very close to her heart, saying: “I do love where I live and work. My work is located in a good area which has lots of outdoor space and is not too far away from where I live. The only things that I would change would be the weather at times but that’s probably the same with most Scottish people!”

While living in such a wonderful area is great for Becki, her favourite part of the job is the rewards of developing strong bonds with the children they work with. Seeing them from the first time they come through the door to the last time they head out on their way to school can be an emotional but incredibly life affirming experience.

becki.PNG#asset:265

Going forward, the apprenticeship has set up Becki very well for her future career even if she is not certain exactly where it will take her. Reflecting on her future opportunities Becki said: “I have always wanted to work with children, and at this moment in time working in a nursery is what I can see myself doing for some time. Beyond that I have always been interested in primary school age, so maybe later I will go into a school nursery or try and work in a primary school in the future.”

Her advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship? “Choosing to do the apprenticeship was the best decision I ever made. You don’t only get the qualification at the end but you also get all the hands on experience which will set you up for your future.”