Lisa D’Auria, Owner of Rocking Horse Childcare (Mother) and Amy Cassen, Manager of Rocking Horse Childcare (Daughter).
My name is Lisa D’Auria, the Owner of Rocking Horse Childcare and my name is Amy Cassen, the Manager of Rocking Horse Childcare.
I chose to study at the college because my daughter, Amy had done her first year of university degree. After looking at her module, I thought that I could do that. I was unsure being a mature student, so I got in touch with Maria Cruikshank and spoke to her about the degree and then decided to give it a go.
It was close to where I lived at the time because I lived at home. I didn’t want to go away for university because I felt like I needed that extra support from home, and I had also been to the tour. I got to speak to the staff and the staff were so friendly.
I would highly recommend university. As a mature student, the support I was able to give other students. Knowledge and experiences I already had that maybe they hadn’t. There were also things they knew that I hadn’t, that combination was brilliant.
The tutors were everything there, Maria she was amazing. They made you think about why you’re doing it and that filtered down to the assignments. That carried on throughout my career, because that’s when I decided to do my PGCE and was successful in doing it. I understood my purpose. The tutors on my course were incredibly supportive.
I enjoyed the whole experience. Coming from early years for so many years and coming from different sectors within that, there was so much I missed and so much building-blocks there and I wanted the underpinning knowledge. That’s what I got from the course.
After I finished my degree, I left early years for a while and went into finance because we all know that the sector isn’t funded well. It was because I didn’t know directly what I wanted in early years at the time, so I had to take a step back and think about it. I didn’t last very long out of the sector, so I went straight back to it. I did my QTS in Teaching and that came from my Early Years degree because I loved the learning and development side, so I wanted to take that further. I did all of those, got into teaching and absolutely loved it, but I still have a passion for the early years side of it. In all honesty, that’s grown me as a person, because coming back to early years with all that knowledge has solidified my passion for it.
After I left the degree, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go but maybe going into accessing. I had been a mentor for the students within the degree, and I liked that way of helping others. I looked into assessing for a while, but I loved being with the children. After going back into nursery, I then started up my own childcare business and Rocking Horse Childcare was born.
Now I’m managing our new setting at Rocking Horse Childcare, working alongside my Mum which is lovely. We took the decision from that we both always loved early years, that’s why I taught because of my Mum. She’s worked within that all her life, that’s all I’ve ever known, and it just worked out. The timing was right, and we wanted to do it together. We’ve both got ideas that we wanted to imbed. Where I said that university empowered us, we felt confident in putting these practises into place.
The early years needs a lot more support in recruiting staff. I love every aspect in being here at work. I love early years, I’m passionate about early years and I like helping little ones achieve. The slightest thing you see, a crawl, a first word, to threading to jumping, it’s all those things that you know that you’ve been part of that process for that child.
I highly recommend early years. Knowing that you have changed that child’s life. It doesn’t always seem like it, but you are. Everything you do in the way you talk to them and the way you’re supporting those families. The tiniest things can have a huge impact and you grow as a person, so I would highly recommend even just chatting to the tutors, just go.