Pre-schools and playgroups
Pre-schools and playgroups provide Childcare, play and Early Years education usually for children aged between two and five.
While many operate on a part-time 'sessional' basis, an increasing number are offering extended and full day care and holiday schemes. Both full and part-time work may be available, as is the possibility of term-time only work.
You'd be: planning and providing a range of play opportunities for the children, together with Early Years education.
Out of school
Out-of-school clubs (sometimes called Kids' Clubs) open before and after school and all day long during school holidays, giving 4 to 14-year-olds a safe and enjoyable place to play, meet - and sometimes catch up on homework.
Holiday play schemes are often run by voluntary organisations, local authorities or charities - in local parks, community centres, leisure centres or schools. They are not only a great place for youngsters to meet their friends - they also offer a wide range of activities to keep them busy, such as sports or drama, arts and crafts or music.
You'd be: organising and running or helping with anything from a breakfast club before school to a football team or holiday play scheme. Depending, of course, on your own interests.
What will I earn?
Pay levels are set locally, rather than nationally, and are dependent upon the setting in which you work and the number of hours you work. But the better qualified you are, the more experience you get and the higher your level of responsibility - then the higher your salary is likely to be.
Contact the Buckinghamshire Family Information Service to find out more about opportunities and rates of pay in your area.
Still not sure?
If you're still not sure about going into Early Years, Childcare and Play work, you may be able to take an orientation or taster session - which will give you an idea of what it's all about.
'Making Choices', for example, is a free, 15-hour programme run over a series of sessions. It covers all aspects of working with children and young people - you'll:
- Meet local people doing the work - and employers
- Look at different jobs and what they entail
- Take a look at the training and qualifications you will need
- Touch on health and safety and relevant legislation.
There are no tests - and no right or wrong answers - but you will receive a certificate for attending the course. Ask Buckinghamshire Family Information Service.