Derbyshire nursery worker selected for Canadian exchange experience

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A Derbyshire nursery worker has been selected by leading childcare group Busy Bees to embark on a prestigious international talent exchange programme to Canada.

Catherine Whittaker, Assistant Centre Director at Busy Bees Alton Manor, Belper, will join a cohort of 30 colleagues from across the globe on a journey to Calgary, Alberta, in September.

There she will spend three weeks working within a local Busy Bees nursery, exploring the latest global trends in early years care and education, and collaborating on innovative projects.

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Catherine said: “I was astounded to hear I had been selected for the Talent Exchange Programme and I can’t wait to get out to Canada to meet the other Busy Bees from around the world.

Catherine Whittaker, Assistant Centre Director at Busy Bees Alton Manor, Belper has been selected for an exchange programme to Canada.Catherine Whittaker, Assistant Centre Director at Busy Bees Alton Manor, Belper has been selected for an exchange programme to Canada.
Catherine Whittaker, Assistant Centre Director at Busy Bees Alton Manor, Belper has been selected for an exchange programme to Canada.

“I am especially keen to see how our approach to individual based learning - considering and being respectful of children’s needs - compares to the best practice in other countries.”

The all-expenses paid trip brings together Busy Bees colleagues from across Europe, North America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand from September 25 to October 13, with Catherine being one of five employees from the UK selected for this year’s programme.

Operations Director Chris Coxhead added: “As the only Early Learning Provider offering such a program, this is a unique chance for our people to expand their knowledge and make a difference. Previous participants have praised the Talent Exchange Programme’s impact on their professional development and the expertise they can bring back to their UK centres.

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“We are delighted to send Catherine on this once-in-a-lifetime trip, in recognition of the passion and dedication she shows daily to Busy Bees.

“Catherine is an inspirational colleague, always striving for the highest standards of care and education to offer children the best start in life. She prides herself on providing a safe, caring and fun environment for our children and creates positive working partnerships with families.

“This trip will be a brilliant professional development opportunity for Catherine, and I know she will return to Alton Manor, Belper excited to share everything she has learned in Canada.”

The Talent Exchange Program aims to give Busy Bees employees hands-on experience of early years care and education operations in another country, as well as sharing international best practices and different working cultures.

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Busy Bees was founded in Staffordshire in 1983 and has grown to become the largest provider of early years care and education in the country, employing almost 10,000 people across the UK. The group now operates in ten countries – UK, Ireland, Italy, Canada, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.

For information about career opportunities with Busy Bees, visit www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk/working-at-busy-bees.