What You Can Expect When You Work In Childcare

Working in childcare includes a wide range of roles and offers a fulfilling and diverse career path for people who want to pursue this very important profession. Childcare and early years jobs include working as a teaching assistant in schools, holiday schemes, out-of-school clubs, nannies, residential childcare workers, childcare practitioners and assistants, playgroups, pre-schools, and others. These providers offer more than 1.5 million registered Ofsted childcare places.

Many skills are needed and are going to depend on the specific role you work in. However, the following is a helpful general list:

Qualities and skills of childcare workers

  • Be imaginative and creative
  • Have the ability to plan and provide activities that are interesting and stimulating to the children you work with
  • Be a ‘get-up-and-go’ kind of individual, have a very caring attitude, and be eager
  • Be a great communicator and be able to interact well with colleagues as well as children
  • Have initiative and be an effective team member
  • Be calm and patient, even in challenging or noisy situations
  • Understand the particular needs of the specific children that you work with
  • Have a good understanding of child development
  • Have a positive and responsible outlook
  • Be willing to complete the required training as well as any ongoing professional and personal development that is necessary

For all posts that involve working with children, an enhanced disclosure is required that includes all of the same details in a standard check as well as additional information that law enforcement holds that is considered to be relevant to the specific role that you are applying for. If you’re the one who’s looking to employ a nanny, check out other relevant information that you might need by visiting Payroll for Nannies.

No matter which childcare role you choose, there are always excellent opportunities to progress in your career.

The following is an example of the kinds of responsibilities and tasks that you might encounter when you work at a nursery.

Nursery practitioner or nursery assistant

Nurseries have children that vary in age from infants to 3 to 4-year-old preschoolers. Therefore, the kinds of activities for every group are going to differ significantly. Each child is going to be at a specific stage of development. There may also be some children who have special or additional needs to cater to.

All children need to have a child carer who is able to organise activities that are engaging and meet the needs of the specific children’s age group. For example, you need to be able to plan appropriate arts and crafts and games while also ensuring that the children are having fun and are safe at the same time.

Each activity needs to be carefully planned to meet specific areas of development like using building blocks for developing hand-eye coordination or playing games for improving babies’ large motor skills. The children need to always be well supervised. You might have the chance to work with children of different age groups or with a specific age group like babies or toddlers depending on where you work.

There will be specific routines that need to be followed on a daily basis in the creche or nursery. You will need to be alert and organised to do this.

Some routines include the following:

  • Planning and paperwork
  • Arts and crafts
  • Counting and songs
  • Nap time
  • Outdoor activities and games, like jungle gym, gardening, or going for walks
  • Nappy changing
  • Playtime
  • Lunchtime and snacks
  • Storytime

Since the childcare teams need to consider so many different developmental stages, workers will compile regular reports on all the children that they work with. The helps to show the development of each child and is achieved through closely observing the child. The task involves working closely with other nursery practitioners and child cares along with speech therapists and other health professionals, parents, and managers.