Local playgroup leader Karen Traynor has received a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership in Children Care Learning and Development at Northern Regional College’s annual Higher Education graduation ceremony. Karen, who is a leader at Stepping Stones Playgroup in Ballymoney, admitted that initially, she was very apprehensive about doing the course but said her fears were totally ungrounded. Now that she has successfully completed the course, she said she is delighted to have been given the opportunity to do it.
“I did a Level 2 Diploma in Childcare in 2003 and this helped me get a job with Stepping Stones. I went on to do the Level 3 course part-time whilst still working full-time and this helped me to progress further in my career. In 2017, when I was appointed deputy leader at the playgroup, it was a requirement of the job that I complete Level 5.”
Karen said the course has helped her develop professionally and she would recommend it to anyone working in childcare:
“Before I started the course, I wasn’t computer literate and I panicked a bit when I realised what was involved in putting together the e-portfolio for the course. I never thought I’d manage but, with the support of the lecturers and others in the class, I did and I’m so glad now that I persevered.
“I had no idea about PowerPoint presentations but had to produce a leaflet as part of the course. Now that I can do it, this really helps me with my job as I do things myself that I would have had to asked others to do. When the playgroup was putting in an application for funding to get ICT equipment, I was able to help write and submit the application.”
Karen continued: “When the leader retired, I took on the role which had added responsibilities so the course has been great for my own professional development.”