Employer case study: Little Toes Day Nursery

Left to right: Elaine (L3 apprentice), Racheal (manager), Charlotte (L2 apprentice)

Tuesday, September 19 2017

Little Toes Day Nursery is the brand new provider of childcare in West Bridgford, Nottingham. 

Managed by Racheal Smith (28) who has over twelve years’ experience in childcare, the nursery has been open since August and already looks in great shape.

And as the area around the nursery is playing host to a number of new housing developments, the demand for high quality childcare will only increase.

That’s why Racheal turned to CT Skills when she was looking to take on new staff – specifically apprentices. 

She said: “I had a look at many different apprenticeship providers – some of them I’ve known before and not had the best experience with.

“But CT Skills had good recommendations. One of my friends who has taken on staff through CT Skills before recommended them to us and the service has been exactly as it was described.”

Racheal has never employed anyone previously. So how easy was the process for her? 

“CT Skills has done it all for me – all I had to do was sign some paperwork.

“We’ve been filled in every step of the way and we’ve been given advice about things they didn’t need to help us with. They’ve gone above and beyond to help me.”

Racheal wanted to take on apprentices because she feels that the best way to learn is in a working environment and therefore preferred them over newly-qualified candidates coming out of college.

The first of two apprentices at Little Toes is Charlotte Bromhead (17).  

She joined as an apprentice and was employed after going through CT Skills’ recruitment process. 

“My favourite part of the job is playing with the kids, making them happy and watching them grow.

“I wanted to work in childcare because I’ve got a lot of younger siblings and I’ve always enjoyed looking after them.

“I’m doing an apprenticeship because I like to learn and do the job properly and being an apprentice means I can do that.”

Elaine Hodgkinson (30) started her apprenticeship on a very different path to Charlotte. 

Elaine has worked in childcare for 15 years and was already employed as staff but wanted to upskill.

Now that her own children have started going to school, she wants to progress in her career – eventually becoming a nursery manager.

The year-long level 3 apprenticeship will give her the perfect opportunity to do just that.

“Everything’s changing all the time and the knowledge you gain working on the job is really important,” she said.

“I wouldn’t want to go back to college to be in a classroom setting – it’s nice to be doing something hands on.”

Elaine has always loved caring for and looking after children and the most rewarding thing for her about the job is seeing them grow and forming relationships with their parents. 

So what has Racheal made to the start that these two apprentices have made? 

“They’re the exact sort of people I want at this nursery.

“We are in a new setting, there’s a massive learning curve for everyone but they’re just fitting in so well with it. 

“They both go above and beyond for me and I know staff like that are difficult to find. They’re very loyal and they want the nursery to do as well as I do.”

CT Skills is really excited to be working with Little Toes Day Nursery as they take their first steps as an operational business and we’re there to support them every step of the way with their training and recruitment needs. 


Little Toes Day Nursery

PHONE: 0115 914 1589


ADDRESS: 126 Greythorn Drive, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7GA

If you’d like to find out more about how CT Skills can help your businesses by providing apprenticeships, traineeships, recruitment or upskilling then call us on 0115 959 9544 or email

By Jarrad Johnson, PR & Communications Executive