Meet The Team: JODIE cOLLINS

With Hart Learning & Development, apprentices can earn while they learn and gain valuable experience and key skills as they work towards their chosen qualifications. Along the way, our apprentices work with our team of experienced professionals to support and reinforce their learning – like Jodie Collins, one of HL+D’s Early Years Education tutors!

Jodie’s background includes an impressive 25-year stint working in a variety of early years settings, meaning she’s able to apply her own practical understanding of the sector to her teaching and offer helpful advice to start her apprentices on their career journey.


Find out more about her experience of working with our apprentices in her Meet the Team interview:


What did you use to do before joining Hart Learning Development? 


“I’ve worked in a range of childcare settings over my career. I’ve spent about 25 years working in early years settings – I’ve worked in day nurseries, I’ve been a nanny, and I’ve worked in schools and nurseries. I’ve always supported young children with their learning development and health and care.


“My first job after I finished studying at college was as a nanny, and then I’ve progressed on from there. I wanted to experience a range of settings across the Early Years sector, which has really helped me in my teaching role now! In most career paths a learner chooses, I have experience of what worked and what didn’t work, so I’m able to give support beyond their apprenticeship.”


What inspired you to become a teacher? 


“I’m very passionate about childcare and had been involved in the sector for a long time and wanted to share my expertise. In some circumstances, I saw people working in childcare settings who didn’t have the motivation for it, and I wanted to be in a career where I could unlock that motivation and excitement in others and promote good quality early years care. I felt I had done everything I wanted to do in the sector and that teaching was the next step for me.


“I first started teaching evening classes at North Hertfordshire College and have progressed from there. As well as being on the apprenticeship team, I’ve also worked for a year as a Teaching and Learning Coach in the Quality team. It was great to be able to work with lots of different staff across lots of different subjects and to share my knowledge of teaching and learning skills.”


What do you enjoy the most about working with Hart Learning & Development? 


“The Hart Learning & Development team trusts in your decisions and ideas and I always feel listened to. No matter what your job role is, both you and your contributions are valued. We’re actively encouraged to share our opinions and ideas and work with others to make them happen. We also have guidance and support along the way to make things happen.


“Over the period of time that I’ve worked here, I’ve had the confidence instilled in me to believe in my own opinions and knowledge, to work independently and use my initiative. There’s also a good work/life balance – this job fits in really nicely with my life outside of work.


“I’ve been able to progress in my career and there has always been a qualification and/or CPD opportunity either offered to me or that can be sourced if I ask to do it. This has added so much to my confidence and knowledge and allowed me to take on more responsibilities. I’ve learnt so much over my time here. My team is really supportive, with so many different members of staff with different experiences we can draw on.


What do you most enjoy about working with apprentices? 


“When working with apprentices, I can share my passion with them. If they’ve got an interest in a particular area, I can work with them to ignite it and find new ways to take that interest further. I’ve also been able to work with apprentices who have realised that this isn’t the right pathway for them and have worked with them to find a better solution.


“I work with apprentices right at the start of their career journey. I’m not just a tutor, there’s so much more to it. I have really enjoyed following their career paths, and I often keep in touch with the apprentices I teach. I’ve also invited past apprentices back into the classroom to talk to our current apprentices about their career journey.”


What has been a highlight of your time with Hart Learning & Development? 


“The main thing for me is when I go into settings and see my apprentices working there. Seeing who has moved up the career ladder, or even just implementing what they’ve learned, gives me a real high – it’s like witnessing what you’ve taught in action!


“I also love completing qualifications in my 40s! I didn’t know I could expand on what I had already learnt, but I can see the results of the training in my work. My teaching and learning strategies are better and provide quicker outcomes, so it really shows the results.”


Why do you think Hart Learning & Development’s apprenticeships are a good choice for students and employers? 


“Apprenticeships are a good choice for students because not everyone learns in the same way. Through an apprenticeship, students have the opportunity to earn as they’re working – they can go into work straight from school whilst still learning new things. For those thinking of doing an apprenticeship, remember to be open to the whole experience. You might find pathways in the sector that you hadn’t even considered before!


“For employers, I think the partnerships that we’re able to build are great because they allow us to support apprentices together. Some of the partnerships I’ve formed have been going for over eight years now, so those employers can really see the benefits of apprenticeships.”

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