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CHILDCARE ACADEMY LAUNCHED IN MYTHOLMROYD

3rd July 2008

A new-style Childcare Academy, based in Mytholmroyd, is to provide early years training and qualifications up to degree level for the upper valley area of Calderdale, reaching into Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

A new-style Childcare Academy, based in Mytholmroyd, is to provide early years training and qualifications up to degree level for the upper valley area of Calderdale, reaching into Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

The Ark Childcare Academy, a partnership between the Ark Day Nursery at Dean Hey Farm in Cragg Road and Calderdale College, was launched this week. It offers purpose-built, modern and professional learning facilities within the nursery building, combined with on-site delivery and assessments by Calderdale College childcare lecturers. Learners are able to study within a real working environment, avoiding a journey into college in the centre of Halifax. The Academy is already providing training to the Ark’s own staff and is now opening its doors to other childcare providers and individuals.

“This is a key training amenity for the locality, which can take childcare learners all the way through from foundation level right up to a Foundation Degree”, explained Maria Gilling, Vice-Principal at Calderdale College. “We’re always looking at innovative ways of making learning more accessible to people throughout Calderdale and this mirrors a similar model which we have established with Mark Riley Hair Salons in Brighouse, where we have taken learning into the workplace by providing teaching and dedicated classroom areas”.

The Ark Day Nursery, founded six years ago by Heidi Bingham and Jo Brock, has proved hugely successful and now offers 280 childcare places with a high staff to child ratio. “We place an enormous value on staff training which results in very low staff turnover and self-motivated, enthusiastic, child-centric employees”, said Heidi Bingham. “We want to extend that to other local childcare providers who can similarly benefit from high quality learning in a fantastic location.”

The Ark Day Nursery is one of three finalists in the Small Employer of the Year category of the Learning & Skills Council National Apprenticeship Awards. Heidi and Jo will be going to London for the award ceremony on the10th July.

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