Meet: Alfie

Meet Alfie, a Level 2 Childcare and Early Years apprentice who aims to become a Teaching Assistant.


Name: Alfie
Course Studied: Level 2 Childcare and Early Years Apprenticeship

Meet Alfie, a Level 2 Childcare and Early Years apprentice currently working at Leverstock Green Primary School in Hemel Hempstead.

Oaklands College offers apprenticeships in Early Years Educator at Level 2 and Level 3 together with Apprenticeships in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools also at Level 2 and Level 3.

These apprenticeships are based on real work experience together with underpinning knowledge delivered by a qualified and experienced assessor. Training, supervision, mentoring and coaching will take place off-the-job. This qualification will provide learners with a secure understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to support staff, children or young people an early years setting or school environment.

We sat down with Alfie, who was preparing to take charge of his Play Leader role on the After School Club, about his experience as an apprentice.

Tell us about your time at Oaklands? What let you to study here and what have you enjoyed about your course to date? 

“I always knew that I wanted to work with children, so I wanted to find a course which would enable me to eventually work full-time within the education sector. My mentor Nicky, who works at the college, visits twice a month and helps me with my assignments and checks on my progress, the support I receive from both the college and the school placement is fantastic.”

How are you finding your apprenticeship so far? 

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my apprenticeship experience, as I mentioned previously I’ve always wanted to work with children and I really enjoy the job, the relationship you build with the children is rewarding, I don’t feel like I work because I enjoy what I do so much.

As part of my role, I am given a lot of responsibilities which allows me to grow as a person and develop new skills whilst I’m learning and as part of my apprenticeship, I’m required to take ownership of certain aspects of my work placement. I currently work Monday to Friday where I help to run the Breakfast, Lunch and After School Clubs. I set up activities, prepare snacks for the children and generally provide care for them.

Although the days are long, they are so rewarding and I go home feeling like I haven’t been at work as such.”

How did you secure your Apprenticeship programme? 

“I first discovered the apprenticeship route through my Grandad, who works at the school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career within the sector and from experience volunteering as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Award, I knew that this was the apprenticeship for me, so I applied through Oaklands College”

What advice would you give to today’s Oaklands students who may be thinking about studying an Apprenticeship? 

“You don’t realise how much goes into the role, it takes a lot of commitment but if you are prepared to put your all into the programme, it is really rewarding.

If you are interested in pursuing a Childcare and Early Years Apprenticeship specifically, you much want to work with children, it can be a daunting environment to come into but the support you will receive from your peers and the relationships you’ll develop with colleagues and the children will make you feel incredibly welcomed – Find your passion and pursue it!”

Alfie has made such an impression on his peers that he has already been invited to discuss a full-time position for when he finishes his Level 2 and Level 3 Apprenticeships.

I have found a job where I don’t feel like it is work, I enjoy it so much!

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