A TEENAGER has come runner-up in a contest to find Britain's best childcare student.
Rachael Hancox, 18, of Berry Brow, made it through to the final four contestants in the Nursery World Student of the Year Competition.
Rachael - one of 10 children - has just finished a two-year Diploma in Childcare and Education course at Huddersfield Technical College.
As part of the contest, she had her coursework examined in detail and underwent a gruelling one-day assessment.
The judges were childcare author Penny Tassoni, Shirley Eden, the chief examiner for Council for Awards in Childcare and Education, and Liz Roberts, editor of Nursery World.
Rachael was described as a model student by the college's senior co-ordinator for childcare, June Davidson.
She said: "Rachael has an excellent attitude and maturity beyond her years. She's a top achiever whose grades far exceeded the expected criteria and is always eager to support her fellow students."
Rachael also finds time to study sign language and has been doing voluntary work with children with learning difficulties.
She has started a full-time job as a nursery nurse room leader at Kinder Castle Day Nursery, New North Road, Huddersfield.
Rachael said: "Ever since I was little I have wanted to work with children, because I find them interesting and challenging.
"Whatever work you do with children is extremely rewarding. I'm from quite a large family and I think that has helped me a lot with childcare."