WITH INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day held on Friday, First Steps Childcare, based at Chichester College, Brinsbury and Bersted, were boldly celebrating their new, male, nursery manager at their Bersted nursery.
Ashley Hopkins, who obtained his childcare qualifications from Crawley College (in partnership with Chichester College), brings with him a wealth of experience in the childcare sector and is passionate about making a positive impact in his new setting.
Ashley said: “Since starting at First Steps, I’ve already started to feel like part of a community – building relationships with the children and families but also colleagues and other professionals in the sector. Being a nursery manager is obviously a very important role but being a male within Early Years is relatively rare so to be appointed as manager fills me with pride.
“I love my job; no two days are the same, one morning I will be out in the garden engaged in role play while in the afternoon I could be showing around prospective families.
“I attend our wonderful ‘Forest School’ with our pre-schoolage children weekly, allowing me to share in the love for the outdoors with them, using the natural environment as a fantastic learning experience.
“I’ve received lovely feedback from parents over the years but it’s true that people have mentioned to me what a shame it is that there is such a lack of males within the early year’s sector. This is what makes me proud to be doing what I do, 13 years working in early years and I’ve never looked back.”
Ashley is not the only male that First Steps Childcare can celebrate. In fact, the group are now lucky enough to proudly boast one male employee at each of their three nursery settings. Connor Bowley, childcare assistant at the Brinsbury nursery and Ben Taylor, childcare apprentice, completes the team at First Steps Chichester.