Working with children is an incredibly rewarding career with great job satisfaction. Earning the trust of a vulnerable child and making a difference to their life and that of their family is something to be proud of indeed. Here are some great careers that involve working with children:
Some of the sectors that require working with children include charities and voluntary work, social care, health care and teaching. They can also include other professions that you might not immediately think of such as sport and tourism, public services, law and leisure.
The health care sector includes positions like:
- Play therapist
- Social worker
- Youth worker
- Family support worker
Teaching is one of the biggest sectors where there are loads of opportunities for working with children. These include:
- Learning mentor
- Early years worker
- Careers advisor
- Teaching assistant
- Museum guide
For any position involving working with children, a DBS Check is an absolute requirement. For more information, visit care check.
For some jobs, you’ll need a university degree. Positions like nursing, teaching and social work all require an undergraduate qualification as a starting point. For many other jobs, a suitable childcare qualification like the CACHE Childcare qualifications are a great stepping stone and can be completed from levels 1 to 5.
Having relevant work experience will also stand you in good stead and give you an advantage over candidates without such experience. There are many opportunities to volunteer and you might consider contacting one of the following:
- Local sports clubs
- Youth clubs
- Summer, holiday or after-school clubs
- Teacher shadowing
- Reading mentor
- Helping at charities like Barnardo’s or the NSPCC
Skills for working with children are varied and even if it’s not a vocation you’ve considered before, you might find you have the all the right attributes. These include:
- Patient and compassionate
- Great communications skills and effective listener
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Good imagination and creativity
- Organisational skills
- Problem-solving strengths
- Resilience and enthusiasm
- Strong knowledge of first aid and health and safety
When working with children, it’s important to remember that their young minds are still absorbing everything around them in the world. Being able to naturally express genuine interest in them will show them that they feel valued and help to grow their confidence. All communication must be handled with care as every word and action provides them with feedback on their place and value in the world around them, so respect and positivity are important attributes when working with vulnerable people.
Every child is an individual with unique talents and it’s essential that those entrusted to care for them, recognise and nurture these individual strengths and gifts. Working with children also involves high levels of trust, making them feel secure, that you are a person of your word and you are reliable. It is essential that someone who works with children leads by example. You must conduct yourself appropriately, respect others, be honest and dependable, and be fair and ethical in order for children to trust you and want to emulate you.