It’s a job filled with joy working with children

Katy Pollock and her son Craig both enjoy rewarding careers in childcare.
Katy Pollock and her son Craig both enjoy rewarding careers in childcare.

Career changers are being targeted in the next phase of the childcare recruitment campaign ‘A Job and a Joy’.

A new campaign video ‘Wake up and Smell the Playdough’ emphasises the rewarding, enjoyable and meaningful nature of a job in childcare.

There is a range of jobs available, with training and development opportunities for a career in which individuals can “earn as they learn”.

The campaign supports the Scottish Government’s pledge to increase the hours of funded Early Learning and Childcare available to families in Scotland to 1140 by 2020.

Results from a recent survey, which asked people across Scotland what aspects of work are most important to them when considering their ideal type of job, revealed that achieving a “work life balance” was most important (61 per cent), while 58 per cent put “rewarding work” in their top five considerations.

Another survey was conducted to assess what parents and children felt were important attributes for early learning and childcare practitioners.

Seven out of ten (72 per cent) parents felt that the practioner should encourage children to develop social skills, while just under three fifths (59 per cent) felt it was important that they help children to learn new things.

More than nine in ten (94 per cent) of parents confirmed their child looks forward to seeing the staff at their nursery.

Children aged between three and five were asked what they love best about their nursery teacher.

Drawing and painting together came out top for girls (55 per cent), in contrast to the boys who preferred good story-telling (52 per cent).

Children’s Minister Maree Todd said: “Working with children is varied, enjoyable and meaningful, and this is the focus of our ‘A Job and A Joy’ campaign.

“We know that when people consider changing career, achieving a good work life balance is essential alongside rewarding work.

“Our expansion of funded early learning and childcare will create up to 11,000 high quality and well-paid jobs across Scotland by 2020.

“A career in childcare is more than ‘just a job’, with opportunities for flexible working and career progression.

“I urge those who are looking for a change of career to seriously consider a role in childcare.”

Katy Pollock (41) started out as a childminder after she decided she wanted to be at home more for her two eldest children, who were in primary school at the time.

Ten years on and Katy has grown her childminding business and in doing so, has inspired her son, Craig (17) to take on a career in Early Learning and Childcare.

She said: “The most rewarding thing about what I do is that parents trust me with their most prized possession, plus the smiles I get from children when they see me each day.

“As for my son, Craig, he’s very good with the young children I look after and always enjoys engaging with them.

“So when an apprenticeship vacancy in a nursery came up as he was finishing school, it seemed like a good opportunity for him.

“To anyone thinking about childcare I’d say it can be extremely hard work, but there is nothing more rewarding than a hug from a child, a gift of a picture they’ve drawn, or a flower they’ve picked for you.”

Lauren Martin, a senior early years practitioner, became interested in a career in Early Learning and Childcare after she had her own children.

Lauren said: “I was working as a hotel manager at the time, and soon realised it wasn’t a sustainable career as my husband also worked long hours in his job as a farmer.

“I was volunteering at my daughter’s playgroup and the play leader suggested my skills would be well-suited to the nursery environment – I knew it was the right time to change my career.

“Personally, the most rewarding part of my job is watching the children flourish and thrive in nursery life.

“Watching a child grow from someone who didn’t initially enjoy nursery, to a confident, happy little person is fantastic. No two days are the same, and the children bring their own life experiences to learning, which provides exciting opportunities for development.”

As part of this phase of the national recruitment campaign, ‘A Job And A Joy’ stands are visiting train stations and will provide commuters with the opportunity to find out more about working in childcare.

They will also visit supermarkets and shopping centres.

For more information on a career with variety, creativity and lots of moments of joy, you can also visit Childcare Career Scotland

You can also watch the ’Wake up and Smell the Playdough’ teaser campaign video.