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Hi Everyone


I am studying at college towards my BTEC National Level 3 in Children's Care, Learning & Development. I want to work in a nursery.


First question - where will this alone get me in this industry??


I'm looking at university courses as I have to apply by December to start in September 2013. I've looked at Early Years degrees and Childhood studies. I still don't know which the best route is!


Second question - Which do you think is best? Which would you employ?


And then I have the tough decision of whether university is the best route for this, or is it college whilst doing a part time foundation/full degree whilst working in a nursery? I've looked at the Pen Green college in Corby which specialises in this and think that will be my choice of college if I decide to go for the work and study option!


Third question - whats your opinion on the two options? what do you recommend? which is more valuable when applying for a job?


I hope you are able to help me in this decision, as I'm struggling to decide!

Thank you! Leanne :D

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Level three is what most jobs require if you want to be the room supervisor or leader.

I think it is a decent starting point!


I was an NNEB for many many years and this is classed as level 3.


I then went to college to do my early years foundation degree, which I did and then I went to uni for the BA top up modules and the EYPS.


I enjoyed uni much more than college.

I found the college approach very restrictive regarding written work and felt I truly came into my own at uni where the lecturers want to know about your thoughts and feelings!


However I was lucky that I was funded for 75% of my costs regarding this training, up until now when I am paying for my last 4 BA modules myself.

I was released from work one day a week and had cover for me paid for so I know that I have been very lucky indeed!


I didn't have a choice of how I have gotten to this point but with hindsight if I had the choice now I would choose uni all the way!


I think working as you learn is fabulous if you can manage it and I know many of the degrees require placements.

Much of the course work would be difficult without the experience.


If I was employing someone whilst you can't tell from an application form alone I would be more likely to choose an applicant that has the qualifications I need but experience too!


Good luck with your future plans!

Edited by Scarlettangel
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Hi there,

You have so much choice it can really be overwhelming can't it?

I think you need to ask yourself what you're aiming for, eg would you like to teach in a school at any time in the future, lead staff in a Children's Centre, or manage/run your own nursery, work for a large chain, etc?


You need to think about how you like to learn and whether a full-time University course is something you'd really enjoy, and whether you can afford it! Obviously loans are available, but it is still quite a commitment; my son has just started at Cardiff and we reckon he'll have a student debt of around £40,000 by the time he's finished. Of course, this is paid back in small amounts on a monthly basis when he's earning over a certain amount. Is this something you'd consider?


Alternatively, do you think you'd like to juggle work and study? Obviously a lot cheaper than Uni full-time but can be tricky, with some students feeling they're never on top of work or study! However, putting into practice what you are learning at Uni/college is very valuable.


I don't think either one is better than the other in terms of you securing an interesting and fulfilling job, and they both offer ways forward in terms of gaining QTS or EYPS (or whatever else is available once you have your degree!)

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Thank you both very much for your advice and own experiences.


Obviously this isn't a decision I can make over night and I struggle to do college work at level 3 while doing work at placement so I don't think I would be able to manage college/uni and a job! So I think my only option now is to continue applying to Universities, and closer to the time I may decide to defer and get a job for a year to give me more time to actually think about what I want to achieve and how I can do this.

I just need to leave my options open!


Thank you for taking the time to answer and help me - it is very much appreciated. x

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