Supporting students update

As a company we value and recognise the importance of supporting students on their journey to a future career within the early years sector and we continually strive to upskill them as much as possible to be fully prepared for the working world. We wrote about this in 2022 ( and thought it was time to share any updates surrounding our support. The largest area of growth has been our involvement and influence with learning providers. 


We have worked closely with Halesowen College for a number of years now to offer placements to students within our Amblecote and Stourbridge branches and this partnership has proven to be a great success. We regularly attend employer board meetings to help shape the future of childcare qualifications and consider step by step the core skills that are important for students to learn. The strength of this approach to supporting students was highlighted when the team were presented with an Employer award for being a role model of the year to students which is something that we are extremely proud of as a team. 



We continually reflect on feedback given and consider any ways in which we can strengthen our practice further and our aim has always been to upskill students as much as possible so that when they enter the working world in the early years sector they have the best knowledge and skill set to support children. From the outset, before accepting a student onto a placement with Little Hands we will carry out a student telephone interview. During this call we want to find out a little bit more about them, their future aspirations and what they are hoping to learn during their placement with us.


Following on from the telephone interview the student will be invited in for an induction, this is where we will obtain their DBS as an initial step to ensure safety to work with the children. We will go through initial paperwork, give a tour of the setting, introduce them to the team and show them where they will be working. It is at this point that we would assign each student to have their own ‘student buddy’ to support them during their placement.


The student will join us for their first day and from the outset their buddy will begin working through a buddy checklist. The checklist offers a thorough introduction to the company and how we support children and promote their development. The student is offered an insight into our high expectations and they also discover more about our ethos and aims for children who are in our care everyday. During this initial period the student will also work through an induction booklet which offers them a weekly focus to work through. Students are challenged to find out information for themselves, enhance their confidence within the team  and reflect on their progress week by week.



We hold short review meetings with students where we can discuss their current progress, identify any extra support required and ask more about their passions and interests so that we can tailor our coaching and mentoring. Student buddies will set SMART targets at regular intervals based on what both they and the student feel are important to focus on. 


In order to continue offering effective coaching and mentoring students will be assigned a focus booklet which offers a more in depth overview of specific areas. This includes topics such as observation and assessment, carrying out circle times, leading meal times and how to ensure outdoor play remains high quality. Students again are challenged to find out information for themselves, and there are opportunities for self reflection and evaluation.


The combined approach to supporting students which we have embedded at Little Hands ensures that students will either leave us with a core skill set ready to work within the early years sector or they may become part of our staff team. We aim to recognise and unlock potential with practical hands on experience enabling students to learn more about our ethos and approach to supporting children. They have built relationships with the staff team and understand that our high expectations for all mean they are able to become the best that they can be.


102-104 Brettell Lane, Amblecote, West Midlands, DY8 4BS

T: 01384 441441

Nursery Manager: Lara Owen & Bev Ramsell

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little hands amblecote map

The Sunday School, 2 Chapel Street, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, B60 2BQ

T: 0121 820 7119

Nursery Manager: Emma Gerrish

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Nursery Block Heart Of Worcestershire College School Drive Bromsgrove Worcestershire B60 1PQ

T: 0121 824 4697

Nursery Manager: Clare Fereday

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16-18 Hagley Road, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 1PS

T: 01384 396920

Nursery Manager: Lara Owen & Lucy Brettle

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little hands Stourbridge map