We're so excited to introduce you to Amy - she's recently started training with tiney and she's going to be documenting her journey for us here, as she juggles preparing to become a tiney home leader with her busy life as a new mum.
As a former primary school teacher, Amy has always been passionate about children's early years, but it was when she became a mum herself that she realised just how crucial those years are, as she explains in her video and blog post below.
To be completely honest, I had never considered childminding or running my own business as a career. Before I became a mum, I loved my job as a Reception Teacher and had no plans to change careers.
Becoming a mum changed my mindset in two major ways. Firstly, I realised that my work/life balance of working 10+ hour days, evenings and weekends was no longer an option. I had to find a better balance.
Secondly, my eyes were opened to a whole new part of Early Years, that I hadn’t experienced before. I have always been passionate about Early Years and the power of play but never realised just how crucial the first years of a child’s life are. By the time children are three years old, over 80% of their brains are already formed. That means no matter how dedicated teachers are, how many interventions they put into place or how detailed their lesson plans are, they have already missed the most important time of children’s development. So I decided two things. Firstly, I would return to work part time and secondly, I would encourage my school to promote the importance and educate parents. This would have been perfect if it was not for Covid.
Unfortunately, when I returned to work I had to make the decision to leave my much loved school. As a Reception Teacher, it was impossible to socially distance myself from 27 four year olds, who still needed lots of help and support, with so many daily activities.
On top of this, my son’s grandparents were his childcare and they are clinically vulnerable to Covid. I suffered stress and anxiety and ultimately had to make the decision to leave. This is something I found incredibly difficult but I had to stay positive for my son. I continued to focus on his development and learning and that’s where I stumbled across tiney. While researching diverse books, I found the National Literacy Trust’s Instagram and noticed they had teamed up with tiney to start a book club. I thought this was an incredible idea so started to have a look around their Instagram and website.
I signed up to watch a short video to find out more and fell in love with tiney and their mission. I decided that becoming a home leader would be something I would love to do in the future, when my son was a bit older and Covid was no longer an issue.
I really enjoyed reading tiney’s regular emails until I received an email about children being ‘school ready’. It explained that 46% of children start Reception not ‘school ready’. This really resonated with me because it’s something I experienced more and more of as a Reception Teacher and I am fully aware of the impact it can have on children’s well-being, development and future education. I immediately arranged a call with tiney for the next day.
I was so nervous about the call, but within minutes of talking to Lucy, one of tiney's advisors, I was totally at ease. Lucy was absolutely amazing and really demonstrated what a passionate, welcoming and diverse company tiney is. She made me feel like I was joining tiney’s family rather than business. Lucy signed me up for the Discovery Week and I was hooked.
“tiney is on a mission to unlock the potential of every child.” They do this in an incredibly passionate way by education and empowering adults to become tiney home leaders and I can’t wait to start my journey. The fact that I’ll be able to complete this journey at home, playing with my son, is a dream come true. To finally encourage him to play with other children, after spending most of his life in lockdown, is the cherry on the top!
Follow Amy on Instagram: @butterfliestineynursery