A Southern Regional College (SRC) student from Banbridge has been awarded a coveted Medal for Excellence by City & Guilds.
The award recognises Darrell McCaughey’s outstanding achievement in producing exceptional work for the Level 5 Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Management).
He studied at SRC’s Lurgan Campus, alongside his role as Leader of Laurencetown Pre-School Playgroup, in which he has been employed since 2006.
Darrell undertook this qualification as he wanted to improve his leadership and management skills as well as meeting requirements from ‘Minimum Standards for Childminding and Daycare for children under age 12’ (DHSSPS).
Darrell said: “My involvement in the Level 5 course proved to be totally invaluable to me in terms of the amount of knowledge I gained from it, and in turn the confidence that I also gained to allow me to more effectively carry out my duties. I am truly delighted to have been selected to receive this award.”
Darrell was presented with his award at a ceremony in the College’s Newry Campus attended by Suzi Gray, Children/HSC Portfolio Adviser for City & Guilds and Maggie Grant, Assistant Director for Further Education and Training at SRC.
Patricia McConnon, Pre-School Playgroup Committee Chair and Fionnuala Anderson, Early Years Specialist for Early Years the Organisation for Young Children (EYO) also attended the celebration event, along with the Level 5 Early Years team.
Darrell completed 19 units over two years covering topics including child development, communication, inclusion, professional development, safeguarding and health and safety.
As a result of his course he implemented many positive changes to his workplace setting. In 2014 his new expertise steered the playgroup successfully through an ETI Inspection to be awarded a rating of ‘Very Good’.
Fionnuala Anderson, Early Years Specialist for EYO said: “In Darrell’s setting there is an aura of respect, a real sense of fun and enjoyment with children focused on whatever activity they choose to become involved in.
“These activities can range from digging or planting in the outdoor area to the very innovative cycle repair shop when Darrell transformed the role play area to meet children’s planning ideas.”