|Who works as a child carer?|
|If you are a student, graduate or young person who enjoys spending time with babies or children, then caring for children in some way could be a good way to earn some extra money. Indeed, it's also possible make a career from working with children. Depending on the type of work you take on, hours can be flexible so you can still continue with studies, social life or any other commitments you might have.
There are many types of roles available for working with children, from fully qualified nanny jobs, to being an au pair, or even just doing a bit of babysitting every now and then to top up the bank account. What is essential in any of those jobs is that you are committed to the welfare of the child or children you are responsible for and you are dedicated to the role. Parents need to be able to trust rely on anyone who cares for their children.
To get work as a nanny, au pair or a babysitter, these days there are online companies which are a database for introducing families to carers. These databases are ideal if you are a student or graduate living away from home where you might not necessarily know any local people who live nearby. For example, you can always check out companies who advertise via E4S such as Care.com. They have bases both in the UK and abroad and introduce families to babysitters, au pairs and nannies all over the world. Sites such as this can help you build up a profile where you can build up trust with families and take on more work if you want to. Obviously, for students and graduates looking to travel and work abroad with children, these sites can introduce you to families looking for au pairs, too.
If you are doing any type of qualification in childcare or nursery or early years education, setting yourself up with a profile on sites such as Care.com and building up a portfolio can show future employers that you are dedicated and proactive in finding ways to work with children.
|What qualifications do I need for child care work?|
|When working with children, the type of childcare job you want to do determines the qualifications needed to do it. Students and graduates with no childcare qualifications but an interest in children will be pleased to know that working as a babysitter has no official entry requirements. This is perfect for those who just want to earn a bit of extra cash either on a regular basis or just babysitting as and when on the odd evening or weekend. Babysitting hours can vary greatly so by registering with an online database, there's a strong chance that babysitters can be better matched with families where hours are mutually agreed.
Students studying towards nationally recognised qualifications can use babysitting or au pair jobs as a way to build up their child care work experience and may be able to negotiate a higher babysitting fee. Achievements and experience can be recorded so that finding jobs after graduation is easier.
|For those students who are working towards being a nanny, you will no doubt be aware that the NNEB (National Nursery Examination Board) merged with Council for Early Years Awards (CEYA) to form CACHE (The Council for Awards in Children's Care and Education). They are the body that awards qualifications and diplomas that show future employers your knowledge and understanding of child development and education needed to work as a nanny.
Being a childminder is different to being a nanny in that a nanny is employed whereas a childminder runs an independent business from home. In the UK, childminders must register with Ofsted and have a qualification in childcare as well as a certificate in child protection and an up to date first aid certificate. Childminders must also go through a home check to make sure the building is suitable for children. Of course, for those looking to make a full time career out of childminding, there are also other qualifications in early childhood education, right up to postgraduate level, that can be achieved.
|What types of jobs can I do if I work with children & what are the duties?|
|Whatever type of childcare position students and graduates do, whether part time or full time, there are many common duties that carers in all childcare jobs will undertake. These include picking children up from school or nursery and looking after them until parents return from work. You may have to prepare light meals for the children, dress them or put them to bed.
All child carers, whatever their level of experience, should provide stimulating activities for the children they are looking after. For example, not allowing them to sit in front of TV all night or in front of the laptop.
Also worth bearing in mind for those looking for casual babysitting work is the fact that the children can be different ages and there may be more than one child to look after. It's the responsibility of the babysitter to check this with the family.
|Compared to other part time, casual work and even graduate careers, the pay for working in childcare is not substantial but those students and graduates who work in childcare are there because they get a lot of reward from spending time with children.
The role of the nanny is to be a positive role model for the children they are looking after and be on time. Some nanny positions are live in jobs but that is increasingly rare. These days, most nanny roles are full time or part time live out nanny jobs. Nannies need to make sure the house they are working in is kept clean and in good order. as well as looking after the children, they are in charge of running the home while the parents are not there. Cooking, washing clothes and food shopping might be included in the list of duties. Many nannies keep a professional journal where things are recorded for the parents. This might be the child’s achievements, behaviour issues or any mishaps in the house.
Au pair Jobs
For students and graduates who would like to spend time working abroad, working with children could be a good option. There are sites such as Aupairnet24 which can introduce au pairs to families abroad.
Payment for being an au pair is usually in the form of ‘pocket money’ but accommodation and meals are provided by the host family. In return, an au pair lives as part of the family, will look after the children, prepare meals and maybe organise day trips. Being an au pair could be a rewarding post for gap year students who want to experience local life abroad and also study a new language.
If working abroad with children seems like an attractive option, you can get childcare jobs on cruise ships, or consider working at kids camps or working as a nanny or kids club assistant in a ski resort.
A childminder often looks after more than one child in their home and usually takes children to school and picks them up while parents are working. See the Qualifications section above and the legalities section below regarding working as a childminder.
A good babysitter obviously needs to love children and spending time with them and be responsible. Babysitting can be a good way for students and graduates to make extra money at evenings and weekends. It’s especially useful for those who need to be able to work flexible hours because some babysitting posts can be one off jobs or regular evenings where the parents may want to go out and socialise.
It goes without saying that even though no formal qualifications are needed to be a babysitter, the children are the first priority so babysitting jobs should not be seen as a way to make easy money.
|Are there any legalities I need to know about regarding doing care work for children?|
|Anyone who works with children will need to have a valid DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. It's worth having one of these, even if you are just doing casual babysitting for friends as it gives parents that extra piece of mind.
While there is no law that states a minimum age for babysitting, the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) recommends that no one under the age of 16 should be left alone to look after young children. The good news here is, any students who have just left school and are studying childcare in college can take on small babysitting jobs to gain both experience and extra money.
Childminders have a number of regulations to meet that nannies don’t have to meet. This is because a childminder is a business owner and uses their own home to look after a number of children. If they are looking after children under the age of 8, childminders in England must be registered with Ofsted. In Wales, childminders must register with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales. Childminders in Scotland need to register with SCSWIS (Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland and in Northern Ireland, it’s the Health and Social Services Trust.
It is an offence to work as unregistered childminder in the United Kingdom.
|Apply for jobs in childcare|
|Whether you are a student or a graduate, whether you are looking for full time or part time child care jobs, E4S may be able to help you out. Check out the latest jobs in child care below. Other options to work with children include summer camp jobs, activity centre jobs, and tutoring jobs.|
London & Kent
National Minimum Wage
London & Kent
£7.35-£9.41 per hour
National Minimum Wage
London & Kent
£7.35-£13.88 per hour
£9 per hour
Robinwood Activity Centre