If you are thinking about starting a career in child care then first and foremost the most important attribute you can possess is an enjoyment in caring for children, along with patience and being of a kind and caring personality. If you have these qualities you’ll quickly find everything else will fall into place.
To begin a career in child care you do not need any formal qualifications, however these days you would be well advised to take a course even if you’ve managed to get placement in a child care nursery, you could take the course part time and fit it in around your work.
Do I need to take a training course?
The reason it is important to get trained and qualified is that for example it is now law in the UK that at least half the staff working in a day nursery must be qualified in early years care and education, so you see even if you manage to get a placement without having a qualification, you should get yourself the qualifications for future career development, to reinforce this here a statement from the government website about child care services: “It is the government’s aim that by 2015, all early years services will be graduate-led, with a requirement for all staff to have a minimum level 3 qualification.”
Also you would need to get a Criminal Records Bureau discloser to make sure you have no convictions that would prevent you from working with children.
What qualifications will I need?
The child care qualifications that you will want to train towards are either an NVQ Level 1 -3 in Childcare or a CACHE Diploma, these are the most widely recognised and respected qualifications, there are various levels in each, which one you’ll want depends on what area of child care work you want to go into.
The great thing about working and studying at the same time is that you’ll greatly benefit from the practical you’ll learn at work and the more theoretical parts you’ll learn in the class room. Also as you would have already had a job placement gain an NVQ would be that much easier as you already have a work placement to be assessed on.
If you do not have a work placement you can still take these courses and once you have successfully completed them you will then be much more likely to get a job placement as these childcare nurseries, because as stated above need to have at least half of their staff trained and qualified.
All in all child care is a great area to work in especially if you like children, and with today’s modern lifestyle more and more people are going to be needed in the child care sector.