How to Become a Childcare Worker
Childcare workers play a vital role in the development of children and young people of school age. Working with children requires a great deal of patience and adaptability, but the position is undoubtedly exciting as no day is ever the same. Read this informative guide to find out how to become a childcare worker and have a rewarding childcare career!
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Childcare Worker?
To become a childcare worker, most employers will only require you to have a high school diploma. However, it can also be a good idea to pursue a bachelor’s degree in a discipline such as early childhood education and care or a separate subject to keep your career options open and to allow you to advance in your career into a similar profession, for example, to become an early years teacher.
If you do not hold a degree, it is advisable to pursue a childcare qualification or enrol in childcare course at a college such as CACHE (Council Awards in Care, Health and Education). These qualifications are widely recognised throughout the childcare industry and show future employers that you have acquired the necessary skill set to work with children.
As a Beginner, Where Should I Start in Childcare?
Before seeking childcare work experience or investing in a childcare course, it is essential to get background checks carried out on you and to receive a Disclosure and Barring Service known as a basic disclosure in England and a Disclosure Scotland in Scotland. This proves that you do not have a criminal record and that you are safe to work with vulnerable groups, in this instance, young children. It can also be useful to enrol in a first aid course to achieve a first aid certificate to show that you have a good knowledge of health and safety, which is paramount when working with children.
Gaining work experience with children is essential to becoming a childcare worker and an excellent place to start is by offering your services by childminding or volunteering to work at nurseries or schools. The more work experience that you have, the more attractive you will be to an employer.
Skill Set Required for a Childcare Worker
Working with vulnerable groups such as children calls for a very unique mix of skills. Unlike with many other jobs, taking care of children isn’t something that can be learnt and done well by everyone. Some of the skills those who take care of children well have are:
The ability to multi-task
Ability to stay calm under pressure
What Does a Childcare Worker Do?
As you will find in the job description, a childcare worker is responsible for working with either early year pre-school or children of school age. It is a highly responsible job as you are in charge of both the well being of young children and supplementing their learning.
Typical Duties for a Childcare Worker
Popular Career Pathways for Childcare Workers
There is an excellent scope to further your career path as a childcare worker as the skills and experience that you acquire in the role are transferable to other childcare jobs such as: