The nursery membership organisation has been awarded the Adult Engagement Employer of the Year award following its work with the training company, sourcing participants, throughout the Childcare Works project.
Childcare Works is a supported employment programme fully funded by the Welsh Government. The project supports the Welsh Government’s 10-year Childcare, Play and Early Years Workforce Plan to develop a highly skilled childcare and play workforce.
The project was originally launched in 2017. The second phase of the project aimed to train up 84 people aged 25 or over and give them supported employment in a nursery for 16 weeks.
Sarah Coates, Childcare Works Project Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to have been recognised by North Wales Training for our work with them surrounding the Childcare Works programme and to be given this award.
“We have so far rolled out the project in six local authority areas to great success, with a further four local authorities due for rollout in 2020.
“This project encourages people who may never have considered it before to think about a career in early years and childcare whilst undertaking practical work placement opportunities. Participants are given ongoing support, providing a valuable skills platform for those wishing to embark upon a career within the childcare sector.
“For participating nurseries, it is a chance to make your workforce more diverse as participants come from all walks of life with differing life experiences.”
A provider from a previous Childcare Works project said: “The NDNA Childcare Works scheme is a win-win situation. It effectively gives nurseries a 12-week interview process and those 12 weeks are valuable.”
NDNA member Samantha Maitland-Price, owner of Little Lambs Day Nursery in Conwy, won the award for Apprenticeship Employer of the Year.
Allison Jones, North Wales Training Curriculum Development Manager, said: “The National Day Nurseries Association has worked closely with North Wales Training for two years.
“Last year they offered paid placements to 3 customers on the Employability Skills Programme. Their training and support ensured all three learners were happy to take part in the 16-week programme, and all three are now in sustained employment, two with their original placement hosts.
“This year another two learners have been given the same opportunity and are currently enjoying the placements.
“For their commitment to the programme and the support that they offer to the learners, this employer is well-deserving of this award.”
Kay, who is currently on placement at Abbey fields Nursery in Wrexham, said: “I think the project is brilliant, especially for a woman of my age. I never thought I could start a new career, however the project has given me this opportunity. The training is excellent. I could not have taken this career path without the Childcare Works project.”
The award was presented last night at a ceremony at the Conwy Business Centre which was attended by two NDNA representatives, Sarah Coates, Childcare Works Project Manager and Debbie Hobson, Childcare Works Project Co-ordinator (North Wales).