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Flagship Foundation Degree Reaches 12-Month Milestone

11th March 2008

Owners and managers of Calderdale childcare centres and businesses were among 28 learners celebrating a milestone on the new Early Years Foundation Degree today.

Owners and managers of Calderdale childcare centres and businesses were among 28 learners celebrating a milestone on the new Early Years Foundation Degree today.

Twelve months into the course, learners on the flagship Foundation Degree, the first to be offered by Calderdale College in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, have notched up a 100 per cent pass rate in the CMQS (Certificate in Management Quality Standards). They received their awards at an event at Dean Clough, attended by Professor Anne Gregory, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University and Interim Principal of Calderdale College, Tony Longworth.

"The Early Years Foundation Degree is designed for people already working in childcare and teaching and currently receives Government subsidies", explained Chelle Davison, Award Leader at Calderdale College. "It's flexible, fits around full or part time employment, and offers a higher education qualification after two years of study. A third year will top it up to a full BA Honours Degree. This first group is largely made up of owners and managers and its success is evident in the fact that they have now signed other employees up for the second course which began in September."

"We're delighted that this first Foundation Degree offered with Leeds Metropolitan University has got off to such a flying start", said Tony Longworth, Interim Principal at Calderdale College. "We have two more on offer which will begin in September: Performance Management which is aimed at those with responsibility for measuring employee performance, Community Substance and Misuse Issues and Theatre in the Community. Providing higher level qualifications 'on the doorstep' is fundamental to meeting the training needs of individuals and businesses in Calderdale."

Learner Carl Heavyside, 29 and from Hove Edge, Brighouse is joint manager of Waters Edge Day Nursery in Elland with his wife Kelly, who is also on the Early Years Foundation Degree course. "It's a really valuable experience and we're learning things which we put into practice all the time", he said. "The course covers management of staff, including team building and appraisals, along with implementing quality assurance, legal matters such as child protection procedures, health and safety and the Children's Act. We also look at teaching and learning for young people from 0-19 years."

"Kelly and I met at Calderdale College in 1995 on a nursery qualification course, the NNEB. We got married and had a family very quickly and didn't have time to go on to higher education. We've had to work our way up. This is a wonderful opportunity for us and everything that we learn is relevant to improving our working practice."

Professor Gregory added: "It's very rewarding to see these learners achieve so much. Their success shows how well the partnership with the College is developing and indicates how much can be achieved by providing in Calderdale the higher education opportunities that the Borough deserves and needs."

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