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The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London


London’s #1 College for Skills

ChildcareFormer CONEL apprentice Pat Akwenuke runs Kings Kids Day Nursery in Barnet.

A nursery manager has told how an Apprenticeship gave her the building blocks for a successful career in childcare and early years education.

Pat Akwenuke, 48, successfully completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Children and Young People’s Workforce at The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).

She now runs Kings Kids Day Nursery in Mill Hill in Barnet, where she began her career working as a Nursery Assistant in 2011.

Pat aspired to gain a management role within the sector but needed to gain a Level 3 standard of skills and experience, and opted for an apprenticeship at her place of employment.

Apprenticeships enable you to earn a salary and gain a qualification at the same time.

“My Apprenticeship equipped me for my role as a nursery manager and I am now sending my own staff to CONEL for their training,” said Pat.

“My teachers had a lot of experience and could see my passion and believed in me, which gave me a lot of confidence and prepared me for working in childcare. The quality of the training at the College and support from my tutors really helped me in getting to where I am today.

“On a day-to-day basis it means that if anything comes up I am able to adapt to the task in hand, whether it is managing staff or supporting the children in their learning and development.”

Childcare'My Apprenticeship equipped me for my role as a nursery manager and I am now sending my own staff to CONEL for their training.'

Kings Kids Day Nursery was ranked ‘Good’ in its last Ofsted inspection, with inspectors highlighting how staff support children so “they are happy and keen to learn and rapidly grow in self-confidence” – something Pat is very proud of.

She said: “From a very young age I always wanted to work in childcare. I grew up helping my mum look after my family, so if I was destined to do any job this was it. Seeing the children learn and develop, and the smiles on their faces, makes it so rewarding.

“We’ve had quite a lot of repeat business from families, so I still see the children that have now left us who have siblings here. It’s wonderful and so fulfilling to see how they’ve grown into bright, confident young children, and knowing they started their education here.”

CONEL offers a wide range of Childcare and Early Years courses from Level 1 to Level 4, as well as apprenticeships with more than 15 schools, nurseries and childcare providers.

For information on Childcare Apprenticeships call 020 8442 3442 and for Childcare courses call 020 8442 3055.

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