Building bright futures: The role of childcare professionals

Guest Blog written by Paragon Skills’ Childcare Business Development Manager, Stephanie Sobic


Have you ever been told that all Early Years workers just “play” all day long? This is a common misconception and couldn’t be any further than the truth. 

Early years workers have one of the most important job roles; they are helping to grow and raise children into adults of our future, alongside enjoying those childhood years when they should be able to just be a child. Early Years is a vital time of a person’s life where they learn the most. 

As an Early Years educator, it’s so much more than just “playing”. In fact, in reality, having the time to play all day with all the other job roles that are included in early years work would be a luxury. 

Along with the day-to-day care procedures, completing documentation such as accident forms, medicine forms and incident forms, liaising with parents, monitoring and tracking a child’s development and constantly trying to extend a child’s learning and development through questioning, sustained shared thinking and providing new experiences; it’s so much more than a job where you just “play”. You have always got be thinking outside the box, thinking of innovative and creative ways of working to meet all individual needs of the children in your care.

We are all aware that you wouldn’t chose Early Years as a career if you want huge salaries and a glamorous role but this career path is so much more. It can be such a “feel good” and enjoyable job role. Every Early Years Educator should be so proud to be part of an Early Years workforce, where they have worked so hard to be called an “educator”. Gaining the knowledge, skills and behaviours to be part of the sector and this is exactly what they are, educating children to be who they will grow up to be, making the world in 20 years’ time a great place to live with adults who have been taught morals, British Values and manners. sometimes the only positive role model in a child’s life is there Early Years Educator, sometimes the child’s only “go to” person who they feel the safest with, they teach life skills on a day-to-day basis and also educate parents on ways to promote the best outcomes for their child.   

The job responsibility is also beyond what you could imagine, keeping a child safe both physically and emotionally, supporting mental health in Early Years and managing resilience. As professionals, Early Years Educators also identify specific or additional needs a child may have, these might not be picked up otherwise, leading to better opportunities for children that may require early intervention. 

Slowly, we are moving away from the stigma that people who are not as academic should go into a role such as childcare. This used to be the direction people were pushed into after leaving school and may not have had the passion to work with children, but over the years we have moved away from this and more awareness of the important role and the passion required is breaking through. People are now more knowledgeable about what is expected within the role. We need the right people in Early Years. 

The job title has changed from a Nursery Nurse as it used to be known, to an Early Years Educator over the years, giving the role more recognition regarding what the role actually entails; educating children to succeed, but we really should promote the vital role this truly is and shout about the professional qualities that are required to be an Early Years Educator to keep the momentum going.  

Those pictures a child has drawn especially for you, those big beaming smiles a child has had at the door when they are in your care, helping that child to complete tasks they may have once struggled with and in 20 years time, when a child thanks you for being a part of who they are today, these are the most rewarding perks of the job that are actually priceless. 

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