TWO nursery practitioners at Airedale Hospital have enjoyed a degree of success – and they’re delighted.

Elsa Priestley and Vicky Yates have both graduated after studying on the same degree course, in young children’s learning and development.

They work at the hospital-based Nightingales Day Nursery, and spent one day a week studying at Craven College in Skipton.

Elsa, from Sutton, studied for eight years and gained a first.

She began on the college’s apprenticeship scheme.

“The degree course has given me more knowledge and understanding – so you have the theory behind the practice that you do every day,” said Elsa, who works in the nursery’s baby room.

“It can help the other staff understand things if they have questions and you know the answer because you have studied it in more detail, so it’s beneficial to the whole team.”

Elsa adds that she thoroughly enjoys her role in the baby room.

“It is much more about care-giving when working with the babies,” she said.

“They want you to play but the role is gentler as they need much more care and one-to-one time with you.”

For Vicky, the deputy nursery manager, the degree course marked a return to study after a gap of several years.

“I really liked the leadership and management elements of the course as in my job I have to do that so it gave me a good insight into my management skills and how I could improve,” she said.

“I love my job. It’s different every day and I get the best of both worlds, because I’m hands-on with the children but managing and leading people too, so it’s very varied.”

The nursery was recently rated ‘good’ across all areas by Ofsted.

It was praised for its “well qualified and well trained” staff and for the “excellent” relationship that staff have with parents.

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