UWTSD student completes MA with merit whilst running award-winning nursery


 University of Wales Trinity Saint David student Caryl Ann Thomas has graduated with an MA Early Childhood which she achieved whilst also running an award-winning nursery in Carmarthenshire.

MA Early Years

Caryl, who is from Llanfynydd, now runs Meithrinfa Twts Tywi Nursery, a Welsh language nursery in Llandeilo that was recently voted one of the top ten day nurseries in Wales out of 360 nurseries. She initially wanted to become a primary school teacher until she found out about the Early Years course at UWTSD. She achieved a BA in Early Years Education whilst also working at Y Gamfa Wen, the nursery on the University campus in Carmarthen, where she eventually became the manager.

Caryl said: “Doing the undergraduate degree gave me the confidence to build up my skills in my field, it gave me the eagerness to go ahead and open my own nursery. But I needed to continually develop myself professionally so I decided to continue onto the Masters course. Among other things, the masters has given me the ability to help the staff that I’m managing to develop themselves professionally.”

Caryl opened Meithrinfa Twts Tywi Nursery in November 2014 while she was in the middle of completing her MA Early Childhood, where she has 13 staff working for her. She graduated with a merit this summer and was awarded her degree at UWTSD’s graduation ceremony in Carmarthen.

Caryl said: “The lecturers were brilliant, especially as I was running a business while I was doing the Masters. If you’re passionate about looking after children in the early years, this course opens a lot of new doors within Early Years for you to develop.”

Anne-Marie Gealy is the Head of School of Early Years. She said: “It was such a pleasure to watch Caryl graduate from the MA Early Childhood today. Caryl is a past student of ours having already studied a BA (Hons) with us in the School of Early Years. Caryl used the knowledge and understanding gained from her first degree to help her set up and establish her own day nursery ‘Twts Tywi’. Since commencing on the MA Early Childhood, Caryl’s nursery has developed, going from strength to strength, having recently won a prestigious prize. During her studies Caryl has also started a family. The School of Early Years congratulates her on her achievement and this is a just reward for all her hard work over the past few years. The staff at the School of Early Years wish her and her day nursery good luck for the future.”

Students in the School of Early Years explore the links between theory and practice and the staff place a strong emphasis on children’s wellbeing and development. The School’s ethos reflects the values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a strong emphasis on young children’s rights, the importance of listening and respecting children’s ideas and decisions, and the right for young children to have access to play. The School is located on the Carmarthen Campus, and provides a welcoming and friendly learning community. The staff provide a supportive and engaging environment where students are encouraged to develop new skills and partake in new experiences. There are also opportunities to undertake additional certificated courses such as the John Muir Award. The students in the School of Early Years include traditional daytime students who in the main follow the BA Early Years programme. There are also Flexible Learning Route students who attend lectures in the evenings and weekends, designed to combine students’ work and volunteering commitments with study on evenings and weekends.

Further Information

For further information, please email: press@uwtsd.ac.uk