When you’re considering a new career in Early Learning and Childcare, it’s good to have all the info you need to make an informed decision (that might end up being the best decision you’ll ever make!). Here’s a little more on what the job involves, as well as answers on job roles, qualifications and some direction on salary expectations.
What the job involves
It’s a fun, hands-on job with different challenges every day. You’ll help set up and run a variety of activities – for groups as well as individual children.
You can bring your skills to the job. So if you’re good with sports, you can work with the children to keep them active and help their coordination. And if you’re creative, you’ll be able to bring your ideas to the activities the children enjoy to build their own creativity.
It’s all about connecting with the children and working together with other professionals.
Ultimately, you’ll be a positive role model for the children. You’ll give them a stimulating and engaging environment – where they can learn essential skills that they’ll need for a happy, successful life.
Steven, aged 38, Early Learning and Childcare Manager
“For anyone considering a career in Early Learning and Childcare, I’d say, keep an open mind and expect to be challenged from the very core of your beliefs. Enjoy every minute, because it will fly past you in the blink of an eye, and don’t get caught up taking things too seriously. Remember to have fun!”
What sort of jobs are there in Early Learning and Childcare?
There are a variety of different jobs you can do, working in a range of settings – from home-based childcare, to nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools. And, the qualifications you need vary depending on the different roles. Here are some examples of the main jobs available.
- Support Worker
As a Support Worker you’ll spend your day looking after small children – playing, caring for them, and making sure they are learning lots. This is an ‘entry level’ role and it’s a great way to get started in Early Learning and Childcare and train while you work.
It’s an Early Learning and Childcare Practitioner’s responsibility to identify and meet the care, support and learning needs of every child. As part of a team, you’ll make sure that the activities and games you provide are worthwhile, fun and engaging. You could be tasked to look after a specific room or group of children.
As a manager (or lead practitioner) you’ll be tasked with the development, management, and quality assurance of the childcare setting – including the supervision of staff and the management of resources. You’ll often find yourself planning an activity calendar and checking up on the growth and development of the children in your care.
What qualifications do I need?
There are lots of different ways career changers can move into Early Learning and Childcare. Your skills (and life experience) will be invaluable for this job – you’ll be surprised at how much you know already, particularly if you have children yourself.
If you don’t have any formal qualifications in Early Learning and Childcare, then that’s not a problem. There are opportunities to retrain at a pace that suits you. There are even options to retrain and earn a wage as you learn on the job. SVQs and modern apprenticeships often provide these options.
What about the salary in Early Learning and Childcare?
It’s hard to define what you’ll earn working in Early Learning and Childcare, as it can depend on a variety of factors – such as your hours, location and experience. Generally, the more hours you work, and the more qualifications that you have, the higher salary you can expect to receive. To get an idea of your local salary, you could approach a local nursery leader for advice, ask your local Jobcentre, or find more info on MyJobScotland.