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Lisa Duncan, Early Years Practitioner, Fife Council

Lisa Duncan

Early Years Practitioner, Balmullo Primary School, Fife Council

I became interested in a career in Early Learning and Childcare after I had my own children. I was working as a hotel manager at the time, and soon realised it wasn’t a sustainable career as my husband also worked long hours in his job as a farmer. I was volunteering at my daughter’s playgroup and the play leader suggested my skills would be well-suited to the nursery environment – I knew it was the right time to change my career.

My career in Early Learning and Childcare started in a local school, assisting children with additional support needs. I was amazed at the opportunities for on-the-job training, and I quickly gained my PDA Support for Learning qualification. My next role was in Early Intervention, where I worked in a nursery supporting children with reading, writing and maths. Later, I moved into nursery education and have worked with three-to-five-year olds ever since.

Over the last ten years, I have furthered my experience and training by attending a variety of Continual Professional Development (CPD) courses and developed my understanding of attachment theories by completion of three online course qualifications. The varied distance training opportunities available have allowed me to build on my professional skills, whilst supporting the children and families I work with to the best of my ability.

Personally, the most rewarding part of my job is watching the children flourish and thrive in nursery life. Watching a child grow from someone who didn’t initially enjoy nursery, to a confident, happy little person is fantastic. No two days are the same, and the children bring their own life experiences to learning, which provides exciting opportunities for development.

To anyone considering a career in childcare, I would advise gaining as much practical experience as possible by volunteering in nurseries, clubs, or afterschool groups. There are so many opportunities for personal and professional development and it is a truly worthwhile career. The next step for me is to progress my career and move into a Senior Early Years position or become a family worker supporting families with children under five.

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