Llinos Thomas and Gwenllian Stephens

Manager, Gwenllian, and Room Manager, Llinos, work at a Welsh-speaking nursery based in Carmarthen. In this story, they talk about building expertise and working with reliable providers…

Gwenllian’s story

Gwenllian Stephens is the manager and owner of a Welsh-speaking nursery based in Carmarthen. The nursery opened in 2014 and looks after up to thirty children. Gwenllian has invested in apprenticeships at her setting for the last five years.

“We picked TSW because of their consistency and the people that worked for them were hard working. They were quick to message us back. We like working with people who are reliable. I think TSW are reliable.”

Are apprenticeships a staple in your learning and development plan?

Over the last few years, we’ve been doing more of the apprenticeship schemes, and it is something that we have really looked into as a business. It has helped us develop and teach that person what we think is important, especially in the outdoors. 

Llinos is one of the first apprentices that we have taken on. It has been a five-year journey really with all the different training courses she has done. We have more apprentices booked in for the future now. It is something that we are definitely want to do more of.

Why would you say it was a good strategy for you to take on apprentices?

Obviously, there is a financial element to it. It helps with the cash flow of the nursery. More importantly, we can tailor and teach the members of staff in the way that we want them to be with the children. It really gets our missions and our goals embedded in them as soon as possible.

Why did you choose TSW as your training provider?

TSW approached us when we were starting to look at apprenticeships.

We had a chat with them and then we were given an advisor. We picked TSW because of their consistency and the people that worked for them were hard working. They were quick to message us back. We like working with people who are reliable. I think TSW are reliable.

How does TSW meet your needs?

They definitely meet the needs of the business. They are always flexible.

Our advisor always fits around the nursery and normally comes to visit in the morning as the afternoon is a bit busier for us.

We have started allowing the advisors back into the nursery now as things with Covid have relaxed a bit. This has definitely helped the relationship because when you talk face to face it is much easier than when you talk over emails and such.

They’ve been very good with adjusting to COVID regulations and also our way of running the nursery.

Llinos’ story

Llinos Thomas is a Room Leader at Gwenllian’s nursery based in Carmarthen. She started studying with TSW after being employed at the nursery while she was still studying at college. In December 2021, Llinos achieved her Level 5 Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management of Children’s Care, Learning, Play and Development: Practice. We spoke to her in the months leading up to her accomplishment…

Tell us about your experience so far, Llinos

When I started this qualification, I was promoted to Room Leader at the nursery.

In 2016 I started in college to study Level 3 in Childcare. Halfway through, I was offered a full-time role at the nursery. I left college to begin my apprenticeship journey with TSW.

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