People of all ages and backgrounds 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.
Aysha Nyass started her career in ELC after leaving school, and is encouraging others to do likewise.
She said: “My interest in working in Early Learning and Childcare began whilst I was still at school.
“Initially, when I said I wanted to work with children, people assumed I meant becoming a teacher, but I knew teaching wasn’t for me.
“I had just finished my fourth-year exams when I found out about the Early Learning and Childcare apprenticeship and my teachers really encouraged me to pursue childcare as a career.”
Aysha found her apprenticeship courses incredibly interesting to study, but the days in the nursery were her favourite.
“Putting my studies into practice at the nursery has really given my confidence the extra boost it needed to help complete my qualification.
“I plan to stay at the nursery and broaden my experience before taking my qualification further.
Aysha’s job includes spending quite a lot of time with the families as well as the children, but says the best thing about her job is getting to know all the children and seeing their personalities grow.
“I love listening to all the funny stories they tell me,” she said. “I find watching each child develop and grow is the most rewarding thing about this job.
“I can see where they were a year ago compared where they are now and can recognise all the things that have developed in that past year. It is a lovely rewarding job and has been worth all the hard work.”