Our guide to childcare
Kristina K

Our guide to childcare

First published date September 10 2013 Amended date August 20 2014

Do you have a calling to work with children? Are you genuinely interested in shaping young minds? All the yelling, wailing and dirty nappies – do they not cause a crease in your brow? Then childcare may just be the right career path for you! Working with children has many rewards. It’s constantly challenging and no one day is the same. Why not get on our childcare courses, learn childcare skills or train for specific areas? Your qualifications will open up doors to jobs in nurseries, pre-schools, out of school clubs or even homes in some exotic country where you can work as an au pair. Or if you’d like to make a difference, there are courses that’ll prepare you to be an effective social support worker or a better teacher.


What sort of childminder are you?

Do you want to be a nanny, a babysitter, a childminder, a teacher, a social worker or perhaps an au pair? Whilst they may all seem the same – working with children, the roles vary as do the responsibilities. Because of that, what you learn in courses will be tailored to the different job roles.


Jo Frost wannabe

How does Jo Frost know that little Harry’s clingy because it’s his mum’s fault? Or that kids throw tantrums because they’re just bored and need to expend their energy in sports? If you want super nanny skills like her, then understanding child psychology might help. Gain an insight into child behaviour, learn basic structure and strategies to manage behaviours, understand social and cognitive psychology, explore child development issues and on a more advanced level, conduct research methods. Some other areas of study include examining theories like Freud and Piaget and looking at the impacts of bullying, family breakdowns and relationships on children.


Is there a Nanny McPhee in you? 

If you’re already dabbling with the idea of being a nanny or are already one, you’d know that Nanny McPhee’s magical tricks to ‘tame’ misbehaving children are far from reality. Whilst you may not have a magic staff to discipline or even handle children with behavioural or emotional difficulties, there are loads of courses that’ll train you for such situations. Learn about unwanted behaviours, needs, anger management, social and emotional difficulties and effective ways to support their development. We know that there are parents who expect miracles when they send their children to childminders, so courses are also available to help you communicate and support parents and carers.


Rule 101 of the Kid Book – accidents happen!

It’s important to know and update yourself with other necessary skills when working with children. Knowledge in health and safety, CPR and first aid will keep you calm and confident when accidents happen to children. Keeping children fit and healthy is just as essential, so knowing about diet, nutrition and exercise will be helpful.


Are qualifications necessary?

There’s plenty of career progression offered in childcare. You can start your career with very little experience and study for Level1 - Level3 qualifications whilst studying. You’ll be required to hold GCSE at grade C or above in English and Maths. If you wish to climb the career ladder, higher qualifications will enable you to become a supervisor or a deputy leader. There are many people who set up their own nurseries or school clubs, after obtaining years of experience and various qualifications.


The future of childcare

The government’s committed to making childcare more affordable for parents through childcare vouchers and they’re constantly working on schemes to allow parents to claim back childcare costs. This move will enable both parents to work, which will in turn benefit the UK economy. With these plans in place and regular cash injections for the childcare sector, the childminding industry is set to see wider job opportunities, higher salaries and better regulations.  


Children... can be a nightmare!

Think you can work with children? Whilst being passionate is key, we’ve compiled some of their annoying little habits to help prepare you. Here’s what we think TODDLERS really stands for:

T is for TANTRUMS – Tantrums are children’s way of expressing immense frustration and powerlessness. Be emphatic when the child doesn’t want to do something, acknowledge and remain unemotional.

O is for being OLDER and wiser – As they get older, they know how to push your buttons. Keep your cool and stay calm.

D is for being DEMANDING – Children need care and attention 24/7. Being a childminder is a fulltime job, but a very rewarding one.

D is for DEFIANCE – Kids test you all the time even when you say no. Decide what’s important enough to be a rule or routine and this might help you deal with stubbornness.

L is for acting LIKE A BOSS – Children at the age of five tend to boss other younger kids around. This could end up in tears, but behaviours like these are normal as they have understood adult guidelines better, and want to exercise a bit of authority over someone younger. 

E is for ENDLESS WHINING – Kids do it because they know it works! Whilst it may set your teeth on edge, never give into whining and get them to speak in a normal voice.

R is for REPULSIVE – They’re cute and cuddly, but they can be disgusting too! Dirty nappies, rolling in mud, food all over the place – the list goes on.

S is for being SELFISH – At the age of two, children tend to yell that everything is ‘mine’ or ‘me’, especially when they’re asked to share toys with others. It’s normal.

Check out our Pinterest for some childcare tips.

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