Photo of Millie Colwey
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‘Inspiring’ lecturers and ‘well thought-out modules’ help HE student to improve her business

A local entrepreneur and mum has praised the ‘fulfilling and enjoyable’ time she spent studying a higher education course at City of Bristol College as she is named an ‘expert on physical development in early childhood’ by the Department for Education.

Millie Colwey, aged 31, joined the College in 2015 as an A Levels then Level 3 student. When the time came for university and career applications, Millie made the decision to stay on at the College and study a Foundation Degree in Early Years.

She said: “The course was so convenient for me as a parent of young children with my own childcare business to be able to study a Bath Spa University course without commuting out of the city.”

The FdA Early Years course is a work-based programme which empowers students to transform their skills though reflection and research. Millie covered topics in children’s rights, society and culture as well as safeguarding and holistic health, all skills she said were ‘well thought out’.

She explained:The course was taught by passionate, knowledgeable and strong voices from the early years community which was so igniting and inspiring. I deepened my understanding and improved my practice more than I could describe which has made my work all the more satisfying and meaningful. I really enjoyed the opportunities for reflective practice, mentoring and research which are built into the course and I loved connecting with people working in early years from a diverse range of settings across Bristol.

After finishing her foundation course, Millie moved on to complete the Level 6 BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies Top-Up Year and is now continuing to run her childcare practice, which has seen positive changes as a result of her studies.

Following leaving the College in 2018, Millie has developed her leadership capacity and progressed to a role as a Specialist Leader of Education for 0 to three-year-olds. She has also become a leading voice in the early years care industry, speaking about her work at conferences, running private training sessions for a range of institutions and publishing articles.

Most recently, the Department for Education created a series of films in her workplace and interviewed Millie as their expert in physical development in early childhood, opportunities she said would ‘never have been possible’ without the knowledge and skills she gained on her course.

Millie added: “The experience far surpassed my expectations of what a College could offer me in terms of support and resources. Above all, the tutors were so fantastic and really brought everything to life, challenging me to think deeply and supporting me to develop my own ideas and passions within my field of work.

It has enabled me to develop within the career I had already chosen for myself, which has been so rewarding and satisfying on both a professional and a personal level. Without the course, I would not have had the skills, confidence or qualifications I needed in order to be able to become involved in systems leadership in early years.

To find out more about the early years course and to start your journey, visit the College’s University Centre page on the website.

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