Happy Days Shortlisted For National Award

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South West Nursery Group, Happy Days and Truro College (part of the Penwith College Group) have joined forces and been nominated for a National Training Award in recognition of their top quality training programme.

Children from the Happy Days Nursery, Redruth, with (back row, L to R) Sarah Karkeet, Karen Weeks, Donna Simmonds (front row L to R) Manager of Happy Days, Redruth, Vicki Roberts, who achieved a level 3 in learning development as part of the training scheme and Tony Reynolds from the Learning and Skills Council.
Children from the Happy Days Nursery, Redruth, with (back row, L to R) Sarah Karkeet, Karen Weeks, Donna Simmonds (front row L to R) Manager of Happy Days, Redruth, Vicki Roberts, who achieved a level 3 in learning development as part of the training scheme and Tony Reynolds from the Learning and Skills Council.

With funding provided by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) the two organisations worked together to successfully develop and deliver training programmes to meet the needs of 159 members of Happy Days staff between March 2007 and March 2008 – which exceeded the original target.

The programme was highly successful including achievements in Level 3 Children’s Care, Learning and Development, NVQ Level 3 in Learning and Development, NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service and units of the NVQ Level 4 Children’s Care Learning and Development.”

Tony Reynolds, LSC Partnership Manager for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said “We’re delighted this project has been shortlisted for a National Training Award. Continued training and education are paramount to the success of this country if we are to compete in the world market. This project, which was devised and delivered by Happy Days and Truro College, is an excellent example of what can be achieved by two organisations driven by the need to offer excellence in all areas of their provision and I feel confident their commitment and hard work will be rewarded.”

The Happy Days group was founded and is run by husband and wife team Sarah and Robin Karkeek. It is the largest provider of childcare in Cornwall and one of the 20 largest operators in the UK.

Sarah explained that Happy Days wanted to further professionalise their in-house training and wanted their staff to have a greater foundation of knowledge in child development and aspects of nursery management.

The Karkeeks and Truro College created an ideal training programme for their needs. The finished project provided work-based training with minimal disruption for the children attending the nurseries with an emphasis on flexibility.

“Parents buy into the training because they can see the long-term benefits it has for their children,” said Sarah Karkeek.

Collaborative working with employers is a key area of the Truro College Strategic Plan and the college fully believes that the needs of employers should be central to the development of provision.

Project Team Leader for Truro College, Donna Simmonds said: “In the modern world, training and education provide the key to a successful career. With this project, overall business, individual and team performances have all improved and that has resulted in better care for the children. In addition the guidance now offered to parents to nurture their own parenting skills has increased and is more effective.”

“The Truro College team has also benefited from this project as it has significantly enhanced continued professional development by working closely with the Happy Days team.”

The National Training Awards presentation is due to take place in Bristol on Thursday, October 16.

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