A chat with Lleucu Cravos

Apprentice of the Month, August 2022

Lleucu Cravos is from Carmarthen and received her education from Ysgol Bro Myrddin. Lleucu is an apprentice studying ‘Children’s Care, Play, Learning and Development, through an exciting partnership with the Mudiad Meithrin and the Urdd! Here’s a chat we had with her this month!

Why did you decide to take on an apprenticeship with the Mudiad Meithrin?

I changed my career from working in an office to working in a nursery school, and the Mudiad Meithrin apprenticeship was perfect for me. 

What do you enjoy most about your apprenticeship?

The children, definitely, I love them. It’s so much fun getting to know them and seeing them develop. It’s nice to see shy characters gain confidence and more impulsive characters develop patience! The apprenticeship has given me a deep understanding of children’s needs, I’ve learned about safeguarding, allergies, children’s rights and theories about children’s development, and much more. It has given me more confidence and ensured that I understand the children’s needs better. I still have fun singing, reading a story and playing with the children - but I understand them better as a result of the apprenticeship. Instead of seeing the children as cute things that say funny things, I see them as individuals at a very important stage of their development. It’s also nice when they start speaking Welsh to me.

How important is it to do your apprenticeship through the medium of Welsh? 

Studying in Welsh is much more enjoyable for me in any subject, but as I work through the medium of Welsh, it is essential. Most of the children in the nursery come from non-Welsh speaking families, and even those with one Welsh-speaking parent can be unconfident in an English only group. During the apprenticeship, there were quite serious problems with my partner’s health, and I was able to discuss this in Welsh with my tutor better than I would have in English. My tutor’s support was great.

What are your interests outside of work? 

I have a seven-year-old son called Gethin and much of my time revolves around him and his interests. Luckily, I like to cook! I also like nature, cycling and gardening. I’m quietly trying to save the world!

How has doing the apprenticeship affected your personal development? 

As a part of the apprenticeship, I had to complete a numeracy course. I’ve hated maths since my school days, and I had to face this horrible monster! With the help of my amazing tutors from the Essential Skills Hub, I now love maths and passed the test! My partner’s illness affected me following the course and without the fantastic support I received from my tutors, I would not have succeeded. Thanks to them, I developed and grew a bit of endurance.

What are you hoping to do after completing the apprenticeship?

Working in the nursery – when I started, there were only 8 children in the morning. We opened in the afternoon in January and the numbers have rapidly increased. There are more challenges with more children, and we had several children with challenging behaviour. I would like to learn more about challenging behaviour.

Briefly describe your duties.

Help set up the room in the morning, collect children from the hall, prepare food and drink, supervise the children at mealtimes, clearing and tidying, occasionally I do the register, lead singing, read a story, take children to the toilet, creating and supervising activities and the best part, supervising the play! Which is a lot of playing with them!

Describe your experience of doing an apprenticeship with the Urdd in 3 words!

Fun, challenging, satisfying!

Would you like to add something about your story? How have you gotten to where you are now? What was/is your biggest challenge? 

I’m just getting started! Facing mathematics was the biggest challenge but understanding theories about child development can be difficult! I want to read more widely and I’m looking forward to going back to the nursery in September.