Happiness Brown from Kensington and Chelsea College is the winner of this year’s Heinemann and Nursery World Childcare Student of the Year Award. Happiness picked up her award at a presentation ceremony held at Heineman head office in Oxford.
Now in its seventh year, the Heinemann and Nursery World Childcare Student of the Year Award recognises excellence in the care and education of children and rewards high achieving students.
Nigerian born, Happiness arrived in the UK several years ago as a nanny. One of 13 children, Happiness finished her formal education back home at the age of 13 but her love of children motivated her to restart her studies at the age of 28. She has just completed her CACHE Diploma in Child Care and Education at Kensington and Chelsea College.
Anne Nelson, Chief Executive of Early Education presented the award to Happiness and praised all four finalists for their professionalism. She enthused, “It was a privilege to meet the students and I believe that any future employer will be fortunate to have them on their team.”
The judges, who included childcare expert and Heinemann author, Penny Tassoni, Nursery World editor, Liz Roberts, and Wendy Taylor, from the awarding body CACHE (Council for Awards in Children”s Care and Education), were looking for an outstanding student with a child-centred approach.
Each finalist was given a case study of a real-life situation and asked to report back to the judges on how they would tackle the issue posed to them. The judges felt that Happiness demonstrated an ability to put the children’s needs first and understand the requirements of children in relation to their age and stage. She had good insight into practice and the ability to understand a range of theory and how it relates to the real world.
Penny Tassoni said, “We were impressed by all four finalists and their ability to work at a high standard within the level of course they were doing. However, Happiness quietly stood out for her ability to combine theory with practical life situations. She had a very strong feel for the rights and needs of the child.” Beth Howard, Senior Publisher for Childcare at Heinemann added, “Happiness was very intuitive with a deep understanding of how to respond to the needs of the child – it was almost as if she was born to do it!”
Happiness received a certificate along with a free year’s subscription to Nursery World and cheque from Heinemann for ?300. Kensington and Chelsea College also received a ?300 Heinemann voucher.
Delighted to receive the award, Happiness said, “It’s been an amazing journey, I love children and was eager to study and find out how I could make a positive contribution to the development of their formative years.”
Equally as delighted was Angela Yates, Curriculum Leader for Childcare at Kensington and Chelsea College, “Happiness has been a pleasure to teach and to be around she has worked extremely hard to get where she has and is very deserving of the award. She has had a difficult start in life but this hasn’t dampened her spirits – with children she is a natural and she is always smiling!” she says. Asked how she was going to spend her ?300, Happiness said, “I am going to send ?100 to a friend who is setting up a nursery in Nigeria and the rest I will spend on a party.”
Date published: 1 January 2007