How To Get Started In The Childcare Industry
If you’re interested in working with kids, 2018 is a great year to make a career change. Find out about volunteering and the required qualifications to get started.
Childcare is an incredibly rewarding career path for those who love working with little ones. From babysitting to managing a nursery, there are a wide range of roles to explore that all come with different levels of commitment and necessary qualifications.
A variety of people are drawn to childcare; some start fresh out of school, while others might be career changers or mothers who have achieved their qualifications whilst on maternity leave to offer a greater work-life balance for their families. Unfortunately, only 2% of workers in childcare are male, and the subject of gender imbalance is a cause for concern. Not only should society steer away from the idea that looking after children is ‘women’s work’, men are also important role models for the younger generation. Whether you’re a male or female interested in beginning a career in childcare, here are some ways into the industry.
Working In A Nursery
If you’re unsure whether childcare is right for you, then there’s no shame in testing it out before committing to a training course. Many childcare settings are short on resources and would jump at the chance for an extra pair of hands to help out at mealtimes or with reading stories. If you’d like to become a volunteer, then it’s best to approach an outstanding nursery, so that you can see the best practices in action and learn from quality staff. If a vacancy for a paid position comes up while you’re working there, then you’ll often be first on the list for consideration which is a great way to get your foot in the door.
You’ll require a DBS background check before volunteering in childcare. If you decide that working in a nursery is for you, then you may wish to study for your Level 2 Childcare qualification, which you can obtain while working. A nursery manager would usually be expected to have achieved at least the Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce.
Many childcare professionals operate from their own home running successful childminding businesses. First and foremost, you’ll need to be willing to adapt your home to make it a safe environment for looking after children in. It’s not necessary to have any formal qualifications to become a registered childminder, but it is important to attend a pre-registration briefing session held by your local authority which will introduce you to the complexities of the Early Years Foundation Stage. This sets standards for the learning and development of little ones from birth to 5 years old. Once you have completed this basic training, then you’ll be able to register with Ofsted, who will want to visit your home to ensure you are offering a suitable setting for the children.
If you’d like to work with children by following the acclaimed Montessori method, which allows children to learn through play and develop at their own pace, then you’ll usually be required to obtain a specialist diploma as well as completing a placement in a Montessori setting. The career path for working within Montessori allows you to choose between working in nursery roles, a classroom assistant or teacher, or becoming a nursery manager.
Whatever childcare role you feel drawn to, the New Year is a great chance to find out more about the training courses that are available to you, and any placements in your local area that might be a good fit. Do your research and enjoy the start of a wonderfully rewarding career while changing the lives of little ones.