A career in childcare is challenging and rewarding. For those wanting the opportunity to influence young lives there are several ways to show employers that you are right person for the job and to stand out in the profession.
Entering the profession
Starting out in childcare does not necessarily need a hatfull of qualifications. As a nursery assistant, in fact, you may not need qualifications at all. But, you must show great enthusiasm for your work and a commitment to developing your skills. You will need to be a warm, caring person and a great communicator.
If you show the right aptitude and commitment, you will find that some employers will be prepared to help you get industry qualifications while you work. There are several to aim for in the early stages of your career, including the Level 1 in an Introduction to Early Years Settings or the Level 2 Certificate for the Children and Young People’s Workforce.
There will also be opportunities to progress. If you are interested in jobs in education and becoming a nursery nurse with responsibility for supervising classroom activities and teaching numeracy and language skills, for example, you might want to work towards a Level 3 qualification such as the Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce.
The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework
For anyone wanting to progress and stand out in early childcare, an understanding of the EYFS framework is essential. This statutory framework is part of the government’s vision for families in the early childhood years and sets the standards required of all Early Years providers to make sure that young children learn and develop well and are kept safe and healthy.
Provisions of the 2012 revision of the EYFS included an emphasis on childcare professionals spending more time interacting with children in order to foster communication, creative and critical thinking skills and encouraging parents to become more involved in the development of their children. The early identification of children with difficulties or extra needs is another crucial objective of the EYFS.
As you work with children and their families, how well you implement these provisions will say a lot about your commitment and determination to succeed. You will need to be competent in the execution of your duties and confident enough to take the initiative when the need arises. You will need to be prepared to seek out and accept responsibility and able to show that you can be proactive, working on your own initiative. Your performance at meetings and training modules will also help you get noticed. You should be ready to put forward sensible ideas and show eagerness to learn and progress your career.
If you demonstrate these traits and abilities you will soon be noticed by your employers and hopefully will be earmarked for greater things.