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Working in Childcare - Information for school leavers

Everyone's aware of teaching as a career for people who want to work with children, but there are lots of other opportunities for both men and women.  What about working in nurseries, pre-schools or out of school clubs?

There are clear career paths in these fields so you can develop your career as far as you want.

Why work with children?

Do you want a job that's varied and fun, never the same two days on the trot, and where you really feel that you're making a difference? Then working with children could be for you, and there's never been a better time to get  involved. Good quality education and care makes a real difference to children's lives, and current government plans mean that lots more people are needed to work with children and young people aged up to 14.

Could it be you?

Are you enthusiastic, self motivated and like to make decisions? Could you work well as part of a team? If this sounds like you it may be helpful to think about what age children you'd like to work with.

Would you like to work with...

  • children under 3? - you could work in a nursery
  • 3-5 year olds? - you could work in a nursery or a preschool
  • children aged 5 and over? - you could work in out-of-school settings or playwork

If you don't know what age group you want to work with at the moment, don't worry! There will be opportunities to consider this later.

What do I do next?

At 16 there are two recommended routes into working with children aged 0-14.

College-based route
You can go to college and do a level 2 or level 3 course in early years childcare or playwork.

Work-based route
You can join a modern apprenticeship scheme which leads to a level 2 or level 3 NVQ.

Both of these routes can lead on to further courses, and ultimately to a degree if you wish. The choice will be yours.

How do I find out more?

In Southampton, most colleges offer courses in Early Years, Childcare and Playwork.

If you need further advice you can contact the Family Information Service on 023 8083 3014, or you can email your query to us.

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