A career in childcare can be very rewarding. If you’re interested in this field, you will be glad to know there are plenty of choices available to you. The most obvious route to take in childcare involves working in a school, as a teacher or nursery nurse, however, there are loads of options available to people that want to work with kids outside of traditional education. Find out what those options are, which skills to master and how to get into childcare.
- Why work in childcare?
- What careers are available in childcare?
- What skills are needed to work in childcare?
- What degrees help with a career in childcare?
Why work in childcare?
Make a genuine impact
The work that a childcare professional does often has a substantial impact. In a career as a nursery nurse, you will be teaching children new skills every day. A doctor or pediatrician will be there if a child is ever unwell, helping them to get better again. Whichever field you are interested in, your daily work will impact the children you see and the way they shape their lives.
Working in childcare brings a lot of career stability. Having people who specialise in working with children will always be a necessity and so it’s rare that you would be out of work. Working with children also brings a number of transferrable skills, such as communication and engagement, problem solving and leadership. These are all skills that would set you in good stead if you ever wanted to try anything else.
Progressive career path
Childcare is a dynamic and ever-changing sector. There are jobs at every level, from entry-level and junior roles, up to senior management. Throughout your career, there will be many opportunities for training, gaining new qualifications and developing your career.
You’ll be having fun
Most jobs working with children will be fun. Whether that’s in an out-of-school club or as a childminder, working with children brings fun ways to engage at work.
What careers are available in childcare?
Most people wanting to work with children opt to go into a school setting, as the stability of the education system, along with the holiday perks make it a reasonable choice. There are still loads of options available to you if you don’t see yourself working in a school. The main careers in childcare outside of a school setting are:
Pediatricians are medical practitioners who specialise in caring for children. Other career paths could be a pediatric surgeon, a general practitioner, or a child or adolescent psychiatrist. Read our guide to careers in medicine for more information on the skills needed for a career as a doctor.
Children’s nurses work in children’s wards to care for kids who are unwell. Working as a child nurse is a tough but rewarding job. Other similar career paths include a neonatal nurse, a disability nurse working with children, or a mental health nurse.
Working for a children’s charity
Working for a charity that helps vulnerable children could have a range of purposes, be it helping to make improvements to the care system, or giving children a second chance. There are a variety of roles within charities, whether it’s admin, IT or social work, choose a field that most interests you.
Child psychologists help children and young people with a range of mental or behavioral problems. This can include anything from depression and anxiety, to phobias, trauma, and aggression. Similar career paths include educational psychologist, child neuropsychologist or speech therapist.
Social workers interact with a variety of people, including families, young children, teenagers and adults. Social workers can also work in a variety of settings, including working with children and families, children leaving care, with young offenders or in adoption and fostering.
Solicitor or barrister
Solicitors and barristers all specialise in a field and if you are passionate about protecting children, this could be a good option for you. Read our guide to jobs in law for more information on this sector.
Childminders care for babies, toddlers and children in their own home, supporting their learning and development. Working as a childminder, you could work for a business or become self-employed and build a network of clients.
What skills are needed to work in childcare?
If you are looking at a career in childcare there are a few skills you will need:
A genuine desire to work with children
Although it’s not a skill, you will need this for a successful career in childcare.
Communicating with children requires more skill than other adults, you will need to convey your instructions and ideas in ways that children can easily understand.
Working with children can require a lot of patience so this really helps.
Children need strong leadership to feel confident in what they are asked to do. Being a natural leader will help when working with children.
Supervising and monitoring children will be a key part of working with them. Being good at monitoring kids will help you to understand the progress they are making in your care.
What degrees help with a career in childcare?
There are many routes into a career in childcare, and it really depends on which sector you are most interested in. A degree like ‘early years and childhood studies’ would kickstart a career in child counselling, a charity job or a career in children’s health.
Other roles, such as nursery nurse or childminder, don’t require a degree, and experience can be built within the workplace.
Last updated on 17 January 2023Share this article