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Anything is possible with the University Centre Early Years degree

Following the pandemic, it has been reported that there are 5,000 fewer childcare providers across the country.

Supporting young people’s development after a challenging two years has become a crucial part of Covid-recovery and for people like Zakia, who is currently studying her BA in Early Years at the University Centre Calderdale College, it’s an important career path to pursue for her to really make a difference.

Zakia, 22 of Halifax, completed her Business and Law BTEC course at Calderdale College and had no clear view of the career she wanted. Deciding to take her time before applying for university, she took a gap year and volunteered in her local community.

Zakia said: “I used my gap year to do work experience in schools and doctors’ surgeries. My initial interest was Health & Social Care and teaching, which have been a real passion of mine since I was young but I didn’t study either at college.

“Working with children during my gap year helped me realise that I wanted to work in a school so I applied for the Early Years Foundation Degree at Calderdale College in August 2020. I’ve now finished the course and am currently studying for the Top-up to complete my BA.”


Continuing her studies in Halifax was a real selling point for Zakia and the opportunity to study at her local college was an added bonus.

“Studying at the University Centre was convenient for me as I live in Halifax. The course tuition fees were a lot cheaper than studying at a university, and being familiar with the teaching style at Calderdale College meant it was a great fit for me,” Zakia continued.

Now into her third year of studying the course, the variation of modules on offer have given Zakia an insight into the different of aspects of the Early Years sector, ready for when she takes her next step into teaching.

“We’ve recently covered a Child Health and Wellbeing module. We looked at the issues faced in the Early Years sector and how they are being dealt with. I’ve been able to do mine around mental health and researching the support children currently have. It’s been a really good module!”

When thinking about others in her community that are looking to study a degree at Calderdale College, Zakia added: “There’s no such thing as not being able to do something, give a degree a try!

“I didn’t think that I’d be able to do something like this, but I have done and now I’m applying for my teacher training next year – anything is possible!”