This is the third in a series of guest blogs by Coalition members Male Childcare and Teaching Jobs, an organisation that tackles gender stereotypes and male underrepresentation within the teaching workforce.
Starting a career in education might sound like a daunting experience, especially if you do not have any previous experience working with children and young people.
However, if you do enjoy being around young minds and get to appreciate the way they show curiosity, ask questions, and learn through play, you should not let your lack of experience stop you from applying for a job in education.
Whether you have done some babysitting in the past or never had any formal experience in a childcare setting, if you would like to work with children, it is time to change that and start making a difference in their young lives.
Four Top Tips on Starting a Career in Education with No Experience
1. Looking for nursery apprenticeship opportunities
To start a career in education without any experience, it will help to apply for nursery apprenticeship opportunities. On an apprenticeship, you will be employed by a nursery manager to do the real job while studying for a formal qualification, typically a level 2 or level 3 childcare qualification in early years. By the end of the apprenticeship, you will hopefully have gained the skills and knowledge required to either succeed in your career in education or progress to the next apprenticeship level.
2. Sign up to free online Early Years Training
Even though you may not have decades of experience in childcare and education, make sure you do not dismiss all of your other relevant experience, especially from training courses. A variety of coursework on your CV shows potential employers you have a well-rounded background that has prepared you for working in education. As you may suspect, education and child development courses can serve as great resume boosters for childcare positions you may apply for.
How do you choose the right courses for your career? For instance, a course in Child Psychology is very applicable to a classroom setting because it prepares you to nurture a child’s developmental needs. A course in sociology helps you become aware of and sensitive to cultural differences among children of different backgrounds. An interpersonal communications course can demonstrate your ability to interact with clarity and ease.
If you have special areas of expertise, such as music, math, art or a foreign language, then don’t forget to include these. They may come in handy in the classroom as well.
Below are some training providers that you can contact to enquire about fully funded Early Years relevant courses:
3. Volunteer with children to gain experience
If you want to land a nursery job without any previous experience, anything to do with children will work in your favour and make a difference to any potential employer.
You should not underestimate the importance of doing volunteer work. You could offer to babysit for friends or family to experience one-on-one or small groups of children. It will also allow you to experience different age groups, making you a potentially suitable candidate for a nursery job.
Similarly, you could also volunteer with young children at a breakfast and after school club, a holiday club, or as a tutor. Another great idea is to contact local churches in order to work with children’s ministries or Sunday school programs.
You could also coach a sports team or volunteer in a non-profit organisation that serves and cares for children.
Any of these experiences will demonstrate that you are capable and invested in working with children.
4. Showcase your relevant and transferrable skills
Overlooking your previous, non-childcare-related experiences might be a mistake when applying for a job in education.
The key when applying for a childcare role without any previous experience is your ability to demonstrate verbal, written and technology skills you may possess. These transferable skills are highly valued by employers who are usually willing to help train you in technical skills of the job.
The way to do this is to showcase a strong set of transferrable skills on your CV and cover letter. Problem solving, communication, coordination, and the ability to build relationships are all valuable skills for a job in education.
Start your childcare career today!
Even if your CV is not packed with relevant childcare experience, your personality can do a lot of the heavy lifting. Find ways to highlight how your everyday personality can be an asset. Are you enthusiastic? Do you love to organise things? Are you patient? Find anecdotal examples of your personality and do your best to show how that can be applied to a childcare job.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to switch the job you tolerate for the rewarding childcare career you will love. Get in touch with Male Childcare and Teaching Jobs to learn more about entry-level job opportunities in childcare and education in your area.