Childcare student Daniel is off to New York State camp for the summer

Daniel Hallam, Level 3 Childcare and Education student, told us about exciting plans he has for his summer in America, and his dreams of a future career in primary education.

How are you finding your course so far?

“I’m really enjoying it! As well as doing all the theory work in college, you do practical placements. Overall, you do two days in college and two days in your placement school or nursery.

For my first year, I was in a school that I really enjoyed working in, in a Reception class. This year, I’m in a nursery where I’m working with babies and toddlers. The course is focused on becoming an Early Years Educator, so working with 0–5-year-olds, and it’s good to have different placements with kids of different ages to figure out which age groups you enjoy teaching.”


What made you choose childcare as a career pathway?

“I think it’s nice to be a role model for others. It’s nice to teach someone something and have them learn from your experience, especially when you consider how rare male role models can be among primary school teachers.

I remember, when I first went into my placement there was a bit of surprise that I was a man, as most of their staff were women.”


Do you have a favourite part of the course?

“I enjoy the practical side, actually being in schools and nurseries, but also, I enjoy learning about things like additional needs. For example, we learn about the specific needs of children who have Autism or children who are deaf or blind. My cousin has additional needs and he’s a really close part of our family, so it’s been good to learn more about that.”

This summer, Daniel is off to America to work as a camp counsellor. There are many different companies who run summer camp employment in the US and beyond, but Daniel chose to apply through Camp America.


How are you feeling about your upcoming summer doing Camp America?

“I’m really excited, but also nervous. I’ll be going abroad alone which feels like a really big leap. My camp is a private camp in New York State.

I’m excited to work with kids from different cultural backgrounds and see what teaching and learning is like over in America compared to the UK.

I’m at the camp for 3 months but I can stay in America for 4 months if I decide to go travelling after. I’m just going to see what happens and if other people have plans to travel then I’ll probably go travelling with them.”


What was the process like to get into Camp America?

“First, I went to Sheffield where I filled out an application and they offered me an interview. I sat my interview, and they said I was a perfect fit. Then I went to London to a huge recruitment fair where there are loads of camps and people who work at each camp. You go in with your application and they look through it to see if you’re right for them. I then got multiple offers from different camps, and I picked the one that I thought best suited me. I was lucky because it’s only just been brought back this year because of COVID-19.”


What are your plans once you’re back in the UK?

“Once I’m back I’m planning to go onto university, but I’m not sure yet whether to go down the PGCE route or the Primary Education Studies route.

The overall aim is to become a teacher for a Reception class or for older primary children, so 5–11-year-olds.”

Find out more about the range of courses and apprenticeships available at Chesterfield College.