It’s a huge misconception that you don’t need to be trained or qualified to work with children. Part of this view comes because regulation in the childcare sector has been historically lacking, though this has changed significantly in recent decades and in some countries childcare is now one of the most highly regulated industries.
Other people draw this idea that you don’t need to be qualified to look after children from the notion that parents are not qualified yet have to look after their own children. This is a flawed idea on many levels; Firstly because it equates professional childcare with parenting, which is disparaging to both parties, childcare and parenting are distinct roles, and secondly because it seems to suppose that parenting is easy. Ask any parent and they will tell you that having kids can be really hard work.
People pay for professional childcare because they recognise that it is a demanding full-time job, and one that can’t be done well whilst distracted with other things. During the Covid-19 pandemic many parents were forced to take on the role of childcare alongside their own jobs, and sometimes homeschooling too, and most of them will tell you that it was barely manageable. So, having established that childcare is not easy, and is a full-time job in its own right, why is it important to be qualified?
Qualifications offer you value
Gaining qualifications in the field of childcare requires study and effort but through this, you are able to gain the knowledge and skills that you need to do your job properly. Studying how children learn and develop means that you will feel confident to plan activities that will be stimulating to children of different age ranges and will help to support their development across different areas of learning. Having the skills that you need to keep children safe means that you are able to carry out your role on a day to day basis as well as respond appropriately in an emergency.
Engaging in continuous professional development not only helps you to upskill, it helps you to take ownership of your own career too and develop a sense of professionalism and fulfilment. Undertaking qualifications can help you to specialise in different areas, take on lucrative, higher earning roles, and invest in yourself.
Qualifications offer parents value
Parents all want the best for their children and that includes ensuring that they are well cared for, and their development is supported appropriately. Parents who choose a child carer with qualifications will get more value from their child carer as they will be better equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to care for children safely, and in a developmentally appropriate way, but also to observe children’s milestones and learning, and encourage their development in a range of different ways.
Qualifications offer children value
At the heart of what we do as childcarers is love, respect and wanting the best outcomes for children. Studies have shown that well-qualified child carers make a significant difference to children’s development in the Early Years (EPPE, Sylva et al 2004) so by gaining qualifications, and keeping our knowledge up to date through continuous professional development we are able to improve children’s development.
Qualifications demonstrate your value
Completing child care qualifications is a great way to show potential employers that you understand what motivates children and know how to support their development appropriately. It also shows that you take your responsibilities as a child carer seriously, and that you are committed to continually upskilling and developing your professional knowledge.
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