School of Education

Education graduate starts up new childminding business

Well done to School of Education alumni Dominique Atwell who has recently set up a new business, Playhouse Child Care.

Dominique studied here at the School of Education between 2002 and 2006 and has since gained over 12 years classroom experience.

She said: “I’ve always enjoyed working with people, elderly and the young and decided to focus my studying around that, teaching was the perfect fit.

“My degree was tailored to teaching; it prepared me well as it was a good mix of placements and lectures/uni time. In the final year of my course I was offered interviews from two of my placements, the uni was a great stepping stone to go straight in to the teaching profession and helped me scope out potential schools which would suit me when I finished the course.”

During her career, Dominique has had many highlights which include teaching for a year in an international expatriate school in Colombia, becoming head of year 5 in a four form entry primary school and teaching ICT to Jordan, lead singer of Rizzle Kicks.

She said: “I have loved watching my year groups / classes graduate at the end of the summer term – it’s a very proud moment for all teachers! It’s also great when you see old student’s years on from when you taught them and hear how well they’re doing.”

Now with two young children, Dominique has decided to steer her career towards childminding so that the hours fit around being a mum.

“Changing my career was not an easy decision, however, childminding still allows me to use my teaching skills, just with a younger age range. Alongside this I can have flexibility with my time and still do what I enjoy.

“I believe it is important to give every child the best possible start. The first five years of a child’s life is so important. They learn more through this period than any other time in their life. I hope to provide an environment full of activities and experiences that will help children to flourish and learn.”

Dominique plans to return back to teaching full-time in school once her children are older.

“Anyone thinking about getting into teaching should give it a go! The placement opportunities available will give you a real feel for what teaching is like and you will know very soon if it’s the right career for you. Your first placement may be a culture shock and the work load, at times seems over whelming, but if you can work your way through that part you’ll have such a rewarding career at the end of it. No day is the same and there are few jobs that will keep you on your toes like teaching does.”

Find out more about education studies and initial teacher education courses here at the University of Brighton.

Christina Camm • April 6, 2018

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