East Renfrewshire school leavers urged to consider careers in childcare

Eileen McGeoch has been working in Early Learning and Childcare since leaving school, and says it is a very rewarding career.
Eileen McGeoch has been working in Early Learning and Childcare since leaving school, and says it is a very rewarding career.

People of all ages and backgrounds in East Renfrewshire are being encouraged to consider a career in Early Learning and Childcare (ELC).

The Scottish Government is expanding free ELC by 2020 – increasing entitlement to funded hours from 600 to 1140 per year for all three and four year olds, and eligible two year olds – so there’s a need to recruit many more ELC professionals.

With many young people having recently left school, there’s a particular emphasis on encouraging them to consider providing children with high quality play and learning opportunities in their formative years.

Eileen McGeoch, deputy head of centre with East Renfrewshire Council, started her career in ELC after leaving school, and is encouraging others to do likewise.

She said: “For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to work with young children. A high-school placement in an additional support needs school sparked my passion for working in Early Learning and Childcare.

“Nineteen years on, I am a Depute-Head of Centre.

“Staff within a nursery environment are so influential to young children and their families. We become secondary attachment figures, so positive, nurturing relationships are key.

“The early years of a child’s life are vital, and our role is significant in a child’s development. Good nurseries advocate individuality and creativity, and I encourage staff and children alike to use their imagination. We support creativity for all.

“I enjoy sharing conversations and experiences with the children, and love to see them develop and learn. Nursery staff adapt daily to suit the needs of the children and the service – each day is unique.

“Working with children is very rewarding. Seeing a child happy, settled and having fun is the best feeling.

“I would say to anyone considering a job in Early Learning and Childcare to go for it. It’s a joy to see your enthusiasm and passion for the job positively influence a child and their family.”

There are lots of jobs available in Early Learning and Childcare, and opportunities for on-the-job training and qualifications.

Roles available include support workers, ELC practitioners, managers and lead practitioners.

For opportunities in East Renfrewshire, go to Childcare Career Scotland (East Renfrewshire)