Becky Pratten’s Work Experience Success Story!

Becky Pratten’s journey with us began 20 years ago when she first joined Tops Wareham for work experience. Since then, she has flourished into the role of Senior Foundation Learning Manager at Aspire Training Team, a testament to her dedication and growth within the childcare field.

Reflecting on her beginnings, Becky shares how her initial experience at Tops Wareham ignited her passion for childcare, propelling her to pursue level 2 and level 3 apprenticeships in the field. Now, as she guides students through their work placements and oversees our level 1 program, Becky finds joy in sharing her story and helping others navigate their career paths. We asked Becky about her journey starting with work experience and how it shaped her career.

Here is what Becky said :

From a young age I always knew I wanted to work with children. Whilst in year 10 at School I was lucky enough to have got my chosen work experience placement at Tops Day Nursery in Wareham. 2 weeks of not having to go to School, This was great! Little did I know at the time that in fact it was much more than that. This was the beginning of a career that continues 23 years on.

1. Can you share a bit about your work experience, what did you do?

During my work experience I had the best time. It was exactly what I expected. I got to play with babies and children up to the age of 5 years, all day long! We did craft, went for walks, I helped the staff with whatever I could and couldn’t actually believe that this is a job that I could be paid to do! The two weeks flew by but I learnt so much about ‘Nursery life’ and I knew then that this was all I wanted to do when I left School. These two weeks were the foundation of my career and I made so many great lifelong friends.

2. In what specific ways did this enhance your skill set and prepare you for your current role?

Work experience taught me that when you have a passion for something it really doesn’t feel like ‘work’. Doing what you love every day is the most rewarding aspect. Seeing the children laugh and wanting you to sit and play, being able to teach them and share their learning experiences on a day to day basis gave me the most satisfaction. Seeing the little faces light up as you walk in the room was just the best feeling that made me want to go back again and again.

3. Looking back, how do you feel your work experience has shaped your career journey and contributed to your overall success?

2 years later I had completed my GCSE’s and through relationships I had built and maintained with the nursery staff, they invited me in for an apprenticeship interview. At the time I remember this being the scariest time of my life! To this day I still remember walking up to the nursery feeling sick and shaking but having already completed my work experience there gave me some comfort as I knew the environment I was going in to. During my interview I was able to talk about the huge amount I had learned during my work experience there and to this day, I really believe this was a huge positive factor which resulted in me getting the apprenticeship.

I truly believe that without the work experience opportunity whilst I was still at School I would not have known what to do after my GCSE’s and certainly wouldn’t be where I am today.

For me work experience shaped my future. It gave me the knowledge and life skills to start my career in a profession that I still love and enjoy every single day.

4. Would you recommend work experience and why?

I would recommend that all young people are given this opportunity and the chance to fulfil their career dreams just like I have.

Work Experience at Tops:

At Tops Day Nurseries, we offer enriching work experience opportunities that provide invaluable hands-on nursery experience for individuals aspiring to pursue a career in childcare. Through our work experience programs, participants have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the daily routines and activities of our nurseries, gaining practical experience in caring for children and supporting their development.

Whether it’s assisting with engaging activities, observing experienced practitioners, or interacting with children in a nurturing environment, our work experience placements offer a holistic and immersive learning experience. We believe in fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where individuals can explore their passion for childcare, develop essential skills, and gain insights into the rewarding profession of early years education.

Ready to start your journey of growth and learning with us? Reach out to us at to get started!

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