Working with children

What types of jobs are available?

If you are looking for a job that involves working with children, there are several key sectors that employ people to work with children including healthcare, charity and voluntary work, social care and teacher training, and the education sector. However, there are other less obvious industries that also offer jobs working with children. These include the legal sector, tourism, leisure, public services and administration. Here, you can choose a career as a family lawyer, children’s librarian, or sports coach.

When on the hunt for a job or work experience, it always helps to think out of the box. For example, if you are interested in a job in the creative arts sector, you can consider volunteering as a dance teacher at a local community centre or becoming an art therapist.

Gaining work experience in the voluntary sector opens you up to jobs working as a protection officer, therapist, project worker, or support worker for charities like Barnado’s, Action for Children and The Children’s Society.

In the healthcare industry, you have the opportunity to work as a health visitor and paediatrician, children’s nurse, or speech and language, therapist.

In the social care sector, you can pursue a career working as a youth worker, family support worker, play therapist, counsellor, and child psychotherapist.

It should go without saying that the teacher training and education sector offers a broad range of opportunities to work with children. You can work as the following:

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Primary school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Special educational needs teacher
  • Learning Mentor
  • Career adviser
  • Museum education officer
  • Foreign language teacher

It is important to note that any jobs that involve working with children are subject to strict regulations and require specific qualifications, skills and experience. You will also be required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) check to land a role.

As children are a part of the vulnerable groups in society, these regulations are meant to protect them and help employers make safe recruitment decisions. Your criminal record history will be reviewed as part of the DBS check and your name will be checked against a list of people found to have harmed or deemed to pose a risk of harm to vulnerable people and are not permitted to work with them. After you are cleared, you will receive a DBS certificate.

For any advice or guidance, you can check Payroll for Nannies. They have a dedicated person in the team to talk to and ask any questions you may have.

What childcare qualifications are required?

If you are aspiring to a career in educational psychology, social work, child psychotherapy, nursing, or teaching, a relevant degree either at the undergraduate or Master’s level is needed to secure any of these professions. Find out more about social work courses and routes into teaching here.

If you are interested in a career working with children but want a wider career pool, opt for a more general degree in childcare.

The University of Hull offers a Bachelor of Arts degree course in Working with Children, Young People, and Families. This will allow you to gain the requisite knowledge and skills for a career in education, healthcare, and social care roles. Birmingham City University also offers this degree course.

The Manchester Metropolitan University is in Professional Practice with Children and Young People while the University of Central Lancashire offers a postgraduate Master’s program in Childhood Development and Wellbeing in Practice.

We recommend that you do your research to find postgraduate courses and Masters degrees that match your career needs.

You can also enrol in vocational courses like CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health, and Education) – available from Entry level to level 5 (for experienced professionals). CACHE qualifications are highly respected in the childcare industry.

How to gain work experience with children

Jobs that involve working with children have a high level of responsibility, given that the emotional and physical well-being of the child is usually in your hands. Having the right skills and experience is therefore important.

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