Action for Children delivers Early Learning and Childcare with Employability Course

Action for Children delivers Early Learning and Childcare with Employability Course

In May 2020, during one of the most trying periods in our lifetime, Action for Children’s AB56 Futures Moray Project started a virtual 6-week Early Learning and Childcare with Employability Skills course. There were 12 participants ranging from 15 – 17 years old from high schools throughout the Moray area. They were all referred to the course due to their keen interest in early learning and childcare.

The course ran 4 days per week for 6 weeks from 12-4 pm. Although a challenging timetable the students had at least 95% attendance rate which was very commendable during such trying time. Many of these learners were also completing schoolwork alongside the course and halfway through the course, 2 learners commenced courses with Moray College.

On the 25th of June 2020, all 12 learners completed the course successfully and have been or are about to be awarded their certificates.

The course is aimed at young people aged 16 years and over who are interested in pursuing a career within early learning and childcare. The course is heavily weighted towards this but also has an emphasis on employability and transferrable skills.

The students were introduced to a number of aspects of early learning and childcare including safeguarding children and child protection, the importance of play, the development of a child, and health and safety to name but a few.

As part of the course, learners had independent work to complete including tasks linked to taught sessions and an online learning activity through the Open University Free Courses, focused on childcare related topics and the Action for Children iDEA project which focuses on entrepreneurship and employability skills.

As well as this the learners also took part in employability workshops which included Goal Setting, Confidence Building, and Money Management and Budgeting to assist in building these skills in preparation for entering the workforce.

The nature of early learning and childcare and employability skills are essentially very hands-on courses, so delivering the course virtually was very challenging and we needed to look at more innovative ways to deliver the course. The onus was very much on the learner to become more independent and not rely on a person in a classroom for assistance, which in itself provided the individuals with a key transferrable skill as well as using technology that was unfamiliar to them. It was also challenging for myself as this is a very different way of working, so it was a positive learning experience for us all.

A new course starting at AB56 Futures base at Lady Cathcart School, School Lane, Buckie on 3rd August 2020. This will be a classroom-based course.

If you are interested in joining the course contact Christine Macleod by mobile on 07813 401664 or via email on Christine.Macleod1@actionforchildren.org.uk.

Reflections on the course were taken during the lockdown and these were some of the comments received by the girls:

Klare Irvine, aged 17 stated that,

"The virtual course has given her skills she may never have experienced in a normal classroom."

Kenzie Hirst, aged 16 said,

"I think doing this course meant that I wasn’t going to be sitting constantly wondering what was going to be happening next with this pandemic and it helped me not to think about it constantly and be so stressed. Doing this course helped me think about how I’m going to be getting something so good out of this and it helps in my future."

Vanessa Downie, aged 16 said,

"This course meant that I wasn’t just doing nothing at all, all the time every day with this 6-week action for children course has helped a huge amount and I have learned a lot about it working with children and how to put my CV together."

Rebecca Smith, aged 16 also said,

"It meant I was not sitting doing nothing, and I hadn't done much before, so I was able to do and learn about childcare…something that I wanted to learn about in the lockdown."

Heather Sutherland, aged 15 said,

"I have been learning about lots of childcare information which will be useful in my future because that is what I want to do so this course has helped me during the lockdown."

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