Childcare will involve you caring for or supervising a child, or multiple children, between the ages of six weeks to thirteen years old. The childcare industry can be broken into a number of different areas based on the age of the children due to their different needs; early years (pre-school), children (school age), young people (teenagers) or families.
From teaching, learning management, nursery care or nannying, there is a huge variation of opportunities for you if you’re passionate about caring for children. Don’t think small (even though they might be!) when you consider the childcare industry! It’s not just about working in a nursery or school; you could be a child care worker or even a carer working alongside a family in their home.
The most common qualification in childcare to look out for are CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education) qualifications, which range from entry level to level 5 opportunities (for experienced professionals). CACHE qualifications are well known and widely respected throughout the childcare industry.
The industry is very rewarding, and you’ll be able to see the difference that you’re making every day. You’re going to play a massive role in the development of the children that you work with, and you could even get to see how they progress and advance as they grow up! You could make an impact on thousands of people’s lives, so why not check to see what’s out there?
Work experience in a career like childcare will give you the opportunity to find out about what the job is all about, and more importantly, whether you could work with children every day! A large number of childcare centres, nurseries and schools will give most people work experience opportunities; however, some organisations will need you to have certain qualifications or safety checks before you work with them. The great thing is any kind of work experience with children will put you in a good position to start applying for roles. From babysitting for a friend or family to volunteering with children, this clear motivation will make you stand out to employers.
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Childcare is an industry where qualifications are required to get you on the ladder, but hands on experience is also incredibly important. That’s why an apprenticeship in childcare could be the best option for you. You’ll be working from the day you start with experienced colleagues and spending 20% of your time working towards a qualification, all while earning a salary! Here are some of the apprenticeship options that are available.
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There are opportunities for you to do a degree apprenticeship in childcare, for instance, you could opt to do a Social Work degree apprenticeship. As a degree apprentice, you’ll be gaining valuable experience from your first day as you’ll work full time in social work. And, you’ll be gaining more responsibility every day through your job whist you study towards a degree – completely debt free. As the degree is part of an apprenticeship, you’ll be applying the theoretical knowledge into your job, taking on special projects and making sure that you’ve learnt is developed in the workplace!
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You could also start your childcare career by studying at university. This is a great opportunity if you’d like to learn all of the theoretical knowledge behind the sector which you can apply to your job when you graduate. You’ll be able to choose what degree to study for and different units each term so you can specialise in whatever interests you the most. Here are some examples of degrees:
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Graduates with a degree in a childcare related field tend to enter employment in a variety of sectors within the industry and with a range of employers, including charities, local authorities, schools and health authorities. Some employers may provide further training through a graduate schemes or programme if you wish to join their organisation in order to ensure that you have the skills necessary to succeed in the industry.
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Although you will need qualifications as your childcare career progresses, you may be able to go straight into a job in some roles. You’ll be learning straight away, and it is an industry which rewards its employees, so progression is certainly an option for you. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember that you may need to undergo go certain training and safety checks before undertaking some jobs, so it’s important to keep this in consideration.
If you’d love a career in the childcare industry, start your search here
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