SWAP to a career in Early Years

April 27, 2021 - Jane Moore

Access to Childhood Practice is part of the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP) and is specifically for adults who have been out of full-time education for at least 5 years. SWAP programmes are designed to provide a supportive environment for adults returning to education and you don’t need any formal qualifications for entry.

Student Amanda Millar, explains why you should SWAP to a career in Early Years.

I decided to do the course because I’ve always wanted to work in Early Years.  I came in and spoke to someone at the college who suggested the SWAP course for me, and it’s just gone from there. It’s been amazing, I’ve really loved it.

I was inspired by my mum who ran her own playgroup centre, and it really had an impact on me. Just the way that she interacted with children was inspirational, and it’s now a dream of mine to open a nursery of my own.

I had put going to college on hold as I was caring for my mum. When she passed away, I was pregnant with my first child, and before I knew it, I was in my thirties and working in a call centre. There had always been a reason not to go to college, but it was at that time that I decided I had to go for it.

The support I’ve received on the course has been amazing. It really makes me think differently and coming to college has been a big benefit to myself and my family. I especially enjoy the theory that we learn about childhood development, it’s very in-depth.

The SWAP course has been a real benefit to me. It’s a very supportive environment. You realise it’s a community and you never feel alone. I feel that the College really put your wellbeing first.

It’s been a good platform to the next level. You learn the basics and doing this course has given me a head start. Personally, I would have found it more daunting to do the HNC without having done the SWAP course first.

We’re working online at the moment due to the pandemic and we get to do Peep sessions where we can get creative with the activities, stories and songs that we share with the parents and children. The interaction we have with the children is a great thing. It’s fun and working in smaller groups has meant that we’ve managed to build relationships. Everyone is included, and there’s a real sense that we are all working together.

I would like to continue onto the HNC Childhood Practice but my ultimate goal would be to open my own Early Years centre and I can picture in my head how amazing it’ll be. There’s so much that I’d like to bring to it, I would love that. It will take me a few years, but that’s my aim.

For anyone thinking of coming to college to study Early Years, I would say go for it, the lecturers are so helpful and really care. 

Applications for Access to Childhood Practice (SWAP) are open now.

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