NEC learner stories: Sarah Yewman

NEC learner Sarah Yewman

When Sarah Yewman was looking to return to work following taking a break from her career to bring up children, she found an NEC course to be the perfect way to get back into work.

Her story was picked up by Teach Nursery magazine, which ran a full-page interview with Sarah in their January edition. She’s a great example of how distance learning can be a really good way to change the direction your career is taking, to accommodate changes to your lifestyle.

Sarah took time out from her career in broadband internet seven years ago to bring up children, having three in quick succession. When she decided to return to work, she was looking for a more flexible role that would allow her to spend more time with her family.

‘My youngest is three, so it was a case of “What do I do next?”’ explained Sarah. ‘Like most mums with three children I thought, “Well, I’d like to be able to drop them off and pick them up, and go to a sports day”. So I wanted to try and find something that worked around my children and was a little bit more flexible.'

Sarah took on a part-time role in her children’s pre-school, quickly realising that working with children was something she would enjoy and that would also allow her the flexibility she needed. Having decided working in childcare was for her, the next step was to get qualified.

After weighing up her options, Sarah decided a distance learning course with NEC was the ideal solution.

‘I had a look at attending a college and other options, but this was the best option for me because of its flexibility,’ she said. ‘If you know you can motivate yourself, and you don’t have problems working on your own, I would absolutely recommend it.’

Sarah chose to study the Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, a Level 3 qualification from CACHE that’s essential for anyone wishing to work in early years. The qualification is hugely versatile, covering a vast range of topics and giving learners the opportunity to customise their exact programme to their needs with a plethora of optional units.

Studying the course, which is delivered entirely online, through distance learning has meant Sarah has been able to work towards her qualification without having to sacrifice family time.

‘It allows me to choose when I do my assignments,’ she revealed, ‘so whilst my children might be busy doing something else I can do some; or, if my husband’s working late and they’re in bed, I can sit down and attack a few.

‘I didn’t want it to encroach on family life, so I’ve been doing it in the odd hours I get to myself, which are not many when you’ve got three children!’

Sarah’s now right at the end of the course, and looking forward to getting back into work with a new qualification under her belt.

‘I gave myself 18 months to complete the course – but I think it will be 17 months at the end of February, which is what my target is at the moment, and I may even finish before that.

‘My son starts school in September, so I wanted to have it all done by then so I can start actively looking for work!’