Derby nursery group welcomes international counterparts

Ethel Chia with a child from the nursery.

Last month, the city of Derby served as the honorary home to three childcare practitioners all the way from Singapore.

Busy Bees at Treetops Silvertrees invited its international counterparts to spend time at their nursery as part of Busy Bees’ third Talent Exchange Programme (TEP), with the aim of sharing skills, expertise and knowledge across cultures.

Beatriz dela Cruz, senior teacher at Brighton Montessori, Widya Alwi, teacher at Pat’s Schoolhouse and Ethel Chia, curriculum specialist at Odyssey Global Preschool, travelled almost 7,000 miles to take part in the three-week exchange. The nurseries in Singapore were part of an acquisition by Busy Bees of 83 nurseries across Singapore and Malaysia in early 2015.

Leanne Patrick, nursery manager at Treetops Silvertrees said: “We really enjoyed welcoming fellow Busy Bees from Singapore. The knowledge and observations shared between practitioners is invaluable to the care and education we provide for our children. We felt that we learnt a lot from our teacher swap, where they led lessons for the day and we observed.”

“It’s great to be able to offer local people international opportunities like this. We’re really thankful that TEP has given us such a valuable learning experience for both our team and for our colleagues across the world. It has fantastic benefits for the children as the international influence on our care takes the best practices from around the globe to help us support our children to fulfil their potential. We can’t wait to take part in it again soon.”

Claire Phizacklea, Chief Talent Officer said: “As Busy Bees has grown and expanded into new countries, it has given us the opportunity to explore similarities and differences in practice from across the world.

“That’s why we introduced TEP, to give our talented early years practitioners first-hand experience of working in cultures with different curriculums, expectations and needs. It gives our staff the chance to enhance their professional skills and increase their knowledge to continue to give the best care. We look forward to providing more members of our team with these exciting opportunities.”

Busy Bees cares for more than 50,000 children in over 500 settings across the globe, including Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia and Canada.