40 Years of Busy Bees

Scotland nursery teams celebrate early years qualifications

Published: 26/03/2024

Curved shape
Busy Bees

Eighty early years practitioners from across Scotland swapped their nursery uniforms for graduation gowns last weekend in celebration of achieving their Social Services (Children and Young People) SVQ 3 (SCQF Level 7) and SVQ 4 (SCQF Level 9) qualifications.

On Saturday 23 March, the nation's leading nursery group, Busy Bees and its qualification provider, Busy Bees Education and Training, held its annual graduation ceremony at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms.

The ceremony comprised presentations of the graduates* in front of their families and loved ones, as well as addresses from Yvonne Smillie, Busy Bees Scotland Managing Director and Marg Randles, Busy Bees Co-Founder.

Natalie Don MSP, Minister for Children, Young People and Keeping the Promise, sent her well wishes to the graduates. She said: “On behalf of the Scottish Government, congratulations to all of the graduates on their achievements. We know that skilled and knowledgeable professionals are the most important factors in high-quality childcare so thank you to every one of you for your dedication to developing the skills, knowledge and experience that allow you to give our children the best start in life.”

Amongst those celebrating was Carolann Brothers from Inverurie who started her qualification when she was 58 years old and mother and daughter duo, Caron (21) and Lynn Thomson (45) from Edinburgh who supported each other throughout their journeys to achieve their SVQ 4. 

Caroline Black, Childcare Assessor and Trainer at Busy Bees Education and Training Academy, said: “This year was our biggest graduation ceremony to date, and we are so proud of our graduates who have overcome huge obstacles to be where they are today. They have shown hard work, dedication and passion over the last year and we are delighted to be able to celebrate their successes with their fellow nursery teams and families.”

Speaking at the event, Marg Randles, who co-founded Busy Bees nurseries 40 years ago, said: “It is wonderful to celebrate the fantastic achievements of all our graduates, especially at Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, which was founded by pioneering women with an ambition to bring people together to contribute positively to society. What better place to celebrate changing the lives of young children than this venue?

“There are so many opportunities for people to progress in the early years sector with the right education, training and support, and many of us within the Busy Bees leadership team have followed this journey.

“We are hugely committed to investing in the future talent pipeline. I’d urge anyone interested in making a difference in children’s lives through high-quality education to consider it as a profession.”

The graduation event celebrated 80 learners from Busy Bees’ 22 nurseries across Scotland, including 38 colleagues who achieved SVQ3 qualifications in Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF Level 7. A further 42 completed a Leadership qualification at SVQ4 (SCQF Level 9*), many of whom have progressed through various roles within the nurseries to take on leadership positions, including becoming Centre Directors.

Busy Bees is currently recruiting across Scotland for qualified educators and has openings for school and college leavers through its apprenticeship scheme who want to join and learn on the job. To find out more about opportunities at Busy Bees in Scotland, please visit www.busybeeschildcare.co.uk/working-at-busy-bees