Childcare course is a life-changing experience for Telford mum Nicola

Published: April 27, 2017

Signing up for a foundation degree in early years childcare at Telford College of Arts and Technology turned out to be a life-changing experience for mother-of-two Nicola Jones.

The 44-year-old, from Randlay in Telford, turned to TCAT when she wanted to update her existing National Nursery Examination Board qualification, and set herself on the road to a teaching career.

It proved to be the right decision. Nicola graduated from the TCAT course with a distinction, and progressed onto a BA honours degree in childhood studies at University of Wolverhampton, gaining a first.

She said: “This has allowed me to progress to a Higher Level Teaching Assistant position within my current job, at Windmill Primary School in Brookside, with a view to progressing to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education in the future.

Photo of Nicola Jones“Initially I chose TCAT as it was the nearest college to where I lived that ran the course. However, it soon became obvious that the college was also a fantastic choice due to the teaching and support given by the lecturers – they all gave 100% to the students.

“My time spent at TCAT was a positive experience, which provided me with knowledge to develop the skills necessary to achieve my full potential.

“I mastered academic writing and also managed to gain valuable ICT skills along the way- something I was convinced I was too old to achieve!

“The lecturers were constantly supportive and always on hand to offer words of wisdom to keep the motivation necessary to complete the course.”


She added: “I would advise anyone considering doing a foundation degree to sign up and start studying. It was a life-changing experience for me; I have achieved something that I never thought was possible.

“My whole outlook on life has changed; I am keener to try new challenges instead of instantly feeling defeated. I’ve also proved you’re never too old to follow your dreams and make positive changes in your life.”

Caroline Bastow, Higher Education Co-ordinator at TCAT, said: “Nicola is one of many students enrolling on a foundation degree who have tremendous success stories to tell.

“It’s great to see these people grow in confidence – as academics, as practitioners, and most importantly as people.

“Watching Nicola and her peers graduate, not only at TCAT but at the University of Wolverhampton following their top-up degree, is reward for their hard work and determination.

“And seeing their families celebrate in their success makes it even more special. I can’t wait to see the next group of students graduate this September.”

Click here to do a search on Foundation Degree courses

For full details of the higher education and professional courses on offer through TCAT, including foundation degree, HND, HNC and AAT qualifications, see the prospectus at, or call 01952 642237.