Joanne finds that there’s al­ways time for a change

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

JOANNE CARLSEN had al­ways worked in early years, with her ca­reer span­ning a spe­cial baby care unit, chil­dren’s cen­tres, be­ing a nanny and a se­nior nurs­ery leader.

But as fund­ing cuts started to change early years pro­vi­sion, Joanne made the de­ci­sion to leap into study to fur­ther her ca­reer and prove you’re never too old to get a first.

Joanne, 52, from Garstang, said: “I’ve never con­sid­ered my­self a high achiever. I’ve al­ways been very prac­ti­cal from an early age rather than aca­demic.

“That’s why I choose to work in early years as it’s so hands on and I love it. I’ve been lucky to have worked in a broad range of set­tings and emerg­ing pro­vi­sions such as for­est schools.

“It was while com­plet­ing my Level 3 For­est School Leader qual­i­fi­ca­tion that my in­ter­est in study­ing was sparked, as I re­alised that I did have the abil­ity to learn and do well.”

She added: “When there were changes be­ing made to early years pro­vi­sion I started to con­sider my fu­ture. My two chil­dren are grown up now and hav­ing looked into stu­dent fi­nance I re­alised that if I wanted to study for a de­gree I could do.”

And study she did, earn­ing a first class hon­ours de­gree in BSc child health and well­be­ing.

She said: “Hav­ing worked my en­tire ca­reer in early years I’d just done things as I was taught. I never re­ally un­der­stood why we did things that way.

“The de­gree was fan­tas­tic be­cause it helped me un­der­stand why and how things are done and the the­ory be­hind it.

“It’s def­i­nitely helped me see the big­ger pic­ture, not just in re­la­tion to early years but also on a broader level of how chil­dren’s men­tal health and well­be­ing con­tin­ues through­out ed­u­ca­tion.”

She is now look­ing for a new role and is in­ter­ested in spe­cial­is­ing in men­tal health within ed­u­ca­tion.

She added: “I was wor­ried I wasn’t aca­demic and wouldn’t fit into univer­sity life. But my work ex­pe­ri­ence helped me and filled me with re­as­sur­ance once I started the course.

“Edge Hill has al­lowed me to re­flect on ev­ery­thing I’ve achieved so far and what I might be able to achieve in the fu­ture.

“I’ve been on a very per­sonal jour­ney and I’m a lot more con­fi­dent about my skills and abil­i­ties and what I might be ca­pa­ble of in the next stage of my life.”

Joanne Carlsen

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