From food retail to childcare and the joy of nurturing little minds

From food retail to childcare and the joy of nurturing little minds

Steffi started her career journey in 2015 at a yourcoop food store, dedicating eight years to Co-op Food before starting her new adventure with Little Pioneers. Today, Steffi works as an Early Years Educator and shares her journey with us.

What made you want to join Little Pioneers?

I was looking for a change in career but I’ve wanted to work in childcare for such a long time, although I felt like I didn't have the life experience to look after somebody else's children. Things changed when my sister had her baby girl and I just loved watching her grow and having the opportunity to help and develop her.

Can you could you tell us about your current role?

I’m an Early Years Educator and I love it. When I joined the nursery I had around four weeks of training, learning about history of the Little Pioneers and the day to day operational side of the nursery. The children have now joined us and they’ve been in for around seven weeks now. Some of my main duties have included, helping and set up all of the rooms and learning about all of the different aspects of the nursery role.

What opportunities are available for employees at Little Pioneers?

Something I currently have on the horizon is my apprenticeship which I begin in April next year, I’m really looking forward to it. I also get the chance to finish the apprenticeship with either a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification based on my Maths and English results so that is really exciting! I didn’t imagine when joining Little Pioneers that this would be available and I am looking to progress in my career in childcare so this is a brilliant first step for me.

Are there any other opportunities or benefits you feel have been beneficial?

Our nursery offers flexible working, so I work four days a week rather than five. It really works well for me because I take that extra day to start thinking about preparation for my apprenticeship. I sometimes use that time to see family and get out in the fresh air too. It’s very different to my role in the food stores where I was on the go most of the time!

Have you had the chance to develop in your time at Little Pioneers so far?

Yes absolutely, I’m keen to progress in my childcare career and I feel there are many opportunities to grow and learn. I want to progress so I can plan a key part of their journey helping them learn and develop. There are lots of chances to develop here. I've been learning how to use iConnect and how to do accident reports. I've also had the opportunity to work in all of the nursery rooms, which I think is a great experience. I use different skills depending on the age of the children I work with; it's different with preschool compared to babies, so you have to adapt everywhere.

What's your favourite thing about working for Little Pioneers?

My favourite aspect of working for Little Pioneers is witnessing the growth and learning of children. I can already see the positive impact I'm having on some of them. The staff are incredibly supportive and friendly, plus my manager, Charlotte, is particularly amazing. She actively listens, collaborates on problem-solving, and offers valuable advice.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their career in childcare?

Take each day as it comes and enjoy it because it’s a rewarding journey. Never lose sight of your reason for choosing childcare – to make a meaningful difference. Working in childcare offers a chance to influence a child's life and development, it’s one of the most rewarding careers.

If you would like to view our latest vacancies in childcare visit yourcoopcareers.co.uk