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Working with children and young people

High quality childcare and early years education are in high demand in this country. That is why people like you – with commitment, energy and a caring nature – are needed to play a key role.  There is a wide range of career opportunities in the early years and childcare sector. Jobs can vary widely in terms of venue, hours and the age of the children you are caring for.

Not only do you get to enjoy playing and having fun with children but you are also helping them to develop and learn. Some of the skills they may learn with you, such as how to get on with other children, can set them up for the rest of their lives. If you are interested in a more managerial job you could even end up running your own nursery.

What can I do?

Whether you have just left school or are thinking of returning to study as a mature student below are career options to consider if you think you would like to work with children.

Childminding

You will be self-employed and can choose to work when you want to. You will need to register with Ofsted and complete a Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check and a Childminding Pre-registration course.  If you are interested in becoming a registered childminder please contact Medway Family Information Service for details of the next information session being held locally. 

Nurseries

Provide care, play and some education for the under 5s. There are different types of nurseries: private, community or council run. All offer various working hours and levels of responsibility depending on your qualifications.

Preschool playgroups

Provide part time play and education for children from 2½  - 5 years. Most groups offer morning and afternoon sessions during term time only.

Teaching Assistant

Work with teachers, helping with classroom organisation, supervising small groups of children while they work on a task, helping individual children with their work, listening to them read and helping develop their social skills. TAs work in primary, secondary and special schools.

Playwork

Holiday Playschemes and Extended School Clubs organise activities for children and young people before and after school and during school holidays. Playworkers organise a variety of developmental activities and events.

Crèches

Generally form part of another organisation such as sport centres or shopping centres and are places where parents can leave their children while they do other things. You will need to be qualified if you want to become a crèche leader.

 What qualifications do I need?

The type of work you think you would like to do will influence which type of qualification you aim for. These range from induction courses for childminders to advanced BTEC Diplomas and Certificates to degrees in childhood studies.

Foundation Level

For people with little or no experience of working with children.  At college you will need a work placement to gain practical experience or as an apprentice you will train while you work.

Level Two

For those who are working under supervision such as a nursery assistant or playgroup assistant working with children under five, a teaching assistant or assistant playworker.

Level Three

For those who work on their own initiative, planning and organising their own work and supervising others, for example, a nursery nurse, playgroup leader or senior playworker.

Level Four

For experienced practitioners who carry out complex and non-routine tasks such as a manager of an early years nursery or out or school setting.

Level Five (Foundation Degree)

For those working as senior managers and development officers.

Level Six and Above

For those working as senior managers and development officers at strategic level.

For further information contact the Family Information Service on 01634 332195 or email familyinfo@medway.gov.uk

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