Level II Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
Level III Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce
Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Team Leading
FdA Early Years
BA (Hons) Integrated Working with Children and their Families in the Early Years
Training and Apprenticeship Manager

Melissa Hitchman

My Journey...

I joined Our Monkey Club in 2011 after completing my level two early years qualification as I wanted to complete my level 3 qualification as an apprenticeship to ensure I gained my qualification and experience. Since then I have completed my level three qualification in Children’s Care Learning and Development to become a fully qualified early years practitioner and then continued on to complete my foundation degree in working with children and families in the early years at Pen Green Research Base. I immediately continued on to complete my BA (Hons) and completed my dissertation on practitioners support for communication development. I was promoted in 2014 to Lead Practitioner and have been part of the leadership team since then developing our settings, practitioners and our pedagogical approach.
During my time as a Lead Practitioner I also found that I enjoyed focusing on training and development of other practitioners and in 2018 I was given the opportunity to take on the apprenticeship and training management to support all practitioners progressing through training programs including apprenticeships. As part of the role I took my Level 3 Education and Training Award to enhance my skills to participate in the in-house training program. I have found supporting other practitioners highly rewarding and their development into effective key people to enhance outcomes in our children has been a key motivation for me in recent years. My role required me to support supervision and mentoring systems and oversee the induction systems and in-house training packages to ensure that practitioners' progress is supported and monitored.
I have always loved working with children and a few years ago I had my amazing daughter who attends OMC with me. I’ve always been fascinated in watching children learn and grow and children progress within play more than any other time in their lives. I’ve been fascinated to learn about the neurological, biological and psychological development of children and utilise my learning in my practice on a daily basis. This was never more fascinating than when I got to watch my own daughter grow and was able to see the impact of my understanding on her development. During this time I was also part of the team that evaluated and redesigned the planning and assessment systems that we use to ensure they are rooted in direct observations of children’s play and their motivations and interests.