27th April 2022
We recently chatted to Ellie Ball, Early Years Lecturer at Stafford College to hear about her experiences in education and to hear why she decided to get into teaching.
Q. Tell us about your career in Early Years and how you started your journey?
A. I studied a Level 3 childcare course at Stafford College when I was 16 years old and after completing the course, I obtained employment in a local nursery with children aged 0-7 years. I enjoyed working with children and my career progressed to a room leader and then deputy manager. Because the nursery was part of a chain, the owners acquired a new 30-place nursery for children aged 0-4 years old, and I became the manager of this nursery. This experience provided me with significant managerial and people skills.
Within this position, part of my role was to support students and I chose to complete my assessors training. I loved supporting and working with students and felt this was an area I would like to work in. I then progressed to working for a private training company assessing and training apprentices in Early Years alongside completing my BA Hons Degree in Childhood Studies.
After this, I started teaching at Leek College, and here I taught on the Level 3 Childcare and Health and Social Care courses as well as the Foundation Degree. I soon realised that I absolutely loved teaching.
In 2018, I set up my own Forest School, which reinforced my passion for early years and the importance of following a play-based approach. Here I created a range of activities for children in the outdoor environment such as pond dipping, den building, working with pulley systems, developing a water path with drains.
Then in April 2021, I joined NSCG and I have never looked back.
Q. What has been the most rewarding part of your career in industry?
A. When I was managing the nursery, the setting was awarded 'Outstanding' by Ofsted in all areas. This was a credit to the whole team who worked so hard on a daily basis to meet the needs of children and their families to provide the best possible care and learning opportunities.
Q. Why did you decide to become a lecturer?
A. I decided to become a lecturer as I'm so passionate about Early Years and how play needs to be valued and seen by the adult world. With this in mind, I want to pass this onto the next generation of Early Years professionals.
Q. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the Early Years industry?
A. The sector is hard work and you really need to be passionate and have a 'can do' attitude. But you will love, laugh, smile and giggle more than in any other career.
Q. What are your hobbies and interests outside of college?
A. I do dog agility with my Border Terrier and I also like to keep fit. I run regularly and hope one day to run a marathon.
Find out more about studying Early Years at Stafford College.