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What Can You Expect When You Work In Childcare?

Childcare is one of those paths that involve several roles and a fulfilling and diverse career for anyone interested in these essential positions. Childcare and early years jobs include roles in playgroups, pre-schools, childcare practitioners and assistants, nannies, residential childcare, holiday schemes, and out-of-school clubs, and many opportunities in different schools in the role of teaching assistants. These providers were providing more than 1.5 million Ofsted registered childcare positions.

There are several skills required and this will depend on the post you decide to work in, however, we have provided a general, yet useful list:

  • Qualities and skills of people involved in childcare
  • Be imaginative and creative
  • The ability to plan activities and deliver them in an interesting and stimulating way to the kids you work with
  • Have a very caring attitude, and be an eager “get-up-and-go” type of individual
  • Have the skills to interact with your colleagues and children, and have first-rate communication talents
  • Use your initiative and be a useful member of the team you are working with
  • Remain calm and patient, even in challenging and noisy situations
  • Gain an understanding of the requirements of each child that you work with
  • Have a thorough understanding of child development
  • Have a positive and responsible outlook
  • The willingness to pursue any required training and ongoing professional and personal development

For any post that involves children, you can expect to provide a detailed disclosure, including the details involved in standard checks and additional information that law enforcement requires that will be considered relevant to any position that you apply for. On the other hand, if you employ a nanny, check out Payroll for Nannies for help with organising payments for your nanny.

There will also be good opportunities for you to progress when it comes to any childcare role that you decide to pursue.

Below is one of the examples of the responsibilities and task types you can expect when you work in a nursery:

Nursery Practitioner Or Nursery Assistant

The age group for children in these facilities ranges from babies to pre-school (age 3 to 4). For this reason, the activity types for each of these groups will vary considerably. Each of the children will often be at specific development stages, some of the children may also have special or additional needs that need catering to.

Children in this age group will need child carers that are capable of organising engaging activities which will match the requirements of these developmental stages. For instance, you may be required to plan arts and crafts and games that are appropriate, while ensuring the children have fun but are kept safe.

Every activity will require careful planning so that it matches all the developmental areas. An example of this for babies could include ball games that can improve motor skills or the use of building blocks for developing hand-eye coordination. This age group will require round-the-clock supervision.

If the nursery you are working in is looking after babies, you will also hold the responsibility of bathing, changing, and feeding these young children. You might also work with different age groups which often include babies and toddlers.

Every day there will most likely be a specific routine you will need to follow when it comes to a creche or nursery. This will require you to be alert and organised.

Common examples of these routines include:

  • Lunch-time and snacks
  • Story-time
  • Play-time
  • Outdoor activities and games
  • Nappy changing
  • Jungle gym and gardening
  • Counting and songs
  • Nap-time
  • Planning and paperwork
  • Arts and crafts

Since there are different developmental stages that the childcare team needs to consider, each child will also have daily reports that the workers compile. This will help to monitor how the children are developing which involves closely observing each child. These tasks will involve working closely with the nursery practitioners and any other child carer, and with the parents, managers, and health practitioners such as a speech therapist.