How Cheshire College Apprentice continued to help friendships blossom during the Pandemic

For children, making friends is a vital part of growing up and an essential part of their social and emotional development.

Studies have found that friendships enable children to learn more about themselves and develop their own identity.

Alicia Horridge, 24, Nantwich, studying a Level 2 Children and Young People’s Workforce Apprenticeship at Smarties Smartcare Ltd and Cheshire College – South & West, is one of many learners that continued to support children over past months.

Alicia commented: “This entire experience has been overwhelming. When I first walked into the nursery, I felt all kinds of emotions. However, after catching up with colleagues and all the children, I was amazed at how quickly I had forgotten about what was happening in the world around us.

“It has been vital that children received care and education during what has been an extremely unsettling period for everyone. At Smarties we have been operating on a limited capacity, which has given us a rare and unique opportunity to provide greater support and attention, which has led to the children developing long lasting friendships – an essential part of their development.

“The resilience of key workers has been astonishing. Working in the early years sector and with young children during the pandemic has been a time of worry but ultimately it continues to remind me what a privilege it is. I really do love my job!”

Alicia plans to continue her successful journey in the Early Years sector later this year when she completes her Apprenticeship.

Karen Roberts, Assistant Principal – Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement, commented: “Alicia is an exemplary learner, she embodies exactly what you need to work in the Early Years sector.

“As a College, we get to see Apprentices rise to the top of their industries with leading organisations, thanks to the outstanding programmes we have available.

“Alicia is compassionate and hardworking and should be extremely proud of her achievements.”

To find out more about being an Apprentice visit, email or call 01270 654654 / 01244 656555. If you are an employer interested in benefitting from an Apprentice, email or call the employer hotline on 01244 656499.