Meet James, Our Tinies UK Childcarer Champion 2023

Step into the world of childcare with James, our esteemed Tinies UK Childcarer Champion of 2023. With over 15 years of experience, James's journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to shaping young minds.

22/02/2024

 

 

From nurseries to after-school clubs, he has donned various roles, including childcare officer and mentor to trainees. Join us as we unravel the experiences and insights that define James's exceptional career in childcare.

 

 

 

Tell us about your professional background and what led you to join the Tinies team. 

I have been working on and off in childcare for over 15 years. I've worked in nurseries, crèches, and after-school clubs. I've been a childcare officer as well as a mentor to trainees. I started at Tinies after being a stay-at-home dad for a few years. I wanted to get back into working in my specialist field and I wanted to do it in the hours that work for me and my family.

What do you love about working with children?

I love that I get to make a difference in young people's lives, whether it is just being there to read a book or bringing my hobbies into the nursery to teach the children about music or even small cooking jobs like baking bread.

How have parents responded to you in nursery settings? Would you say this response has changed in recent years? 

When I first started in childcare as a trainee, I felt like nurseries would go out of their way to show off the one man who worked at the nursery. Now it's a lot more common and it isn't a thing like it used to be. Even as a temp I've been told by my coworkers for the day that I get good feedback either from the parent seeing me do something or the child telling their parents about me.

Do you think that the children respond differently to you as a male? If so, how and why do you think that is? 

I think it's the case you do get children who are more comfortable with one gender than another. I have some children that are shy of me or avoid me and then I have some that run up to me when meeting them for the first time. Children are always curious and sometimes wary at first unless they have a lot of confidence. Once they know me, they are always fine and even the shy ones will come out of their shell.

What do you think would encourage more men into the sector?  

More money within the sector to attract a diverse pool of people. I also think that more campaigns focusing on the opportunities in childcare for men would help. Talking about the rewards such as seeing children grow, being there for them, and having strong bonds with the children. I also think that explaining that childcare settings are receptive to showing the children your hobbies, such as music might appeal to more men.

When I first started, I was in college and there was one other man in more than 30 students. Now when I go to many different nurseries, most have at least one man and some even have male supervisors or even a manager so there is change happening.

What advice would you give anyone who is thinking about working with children?

If you're patient and caring, you will do well. The children are paramount. You have days where you are on your feet all day long but knowing you're making a difference to a young person is great. I have lots of great memories in my career and I wouldn't change it. It's not just a job it's a passion.

Anything else you'd like to add?

One of the main reasons I love being with Tinies is the great staff who help me find work so easily.

I am very overwhelmed by this prestigious award. I know I'm good at what I do but this has made me halve a little less imposter syndrome and realise I'm great at what I do.

 

 

 

As we bid farewell to James, our Tinies UK Childcarer Champion of 2023, his story leaves an indelible mark on the landscape of childcare. Through his experiences, we've witnessed the evolution of a dedicated professional, from a stay-at-home dad to a champion in the field. James's journey reflects not only a passion for childcare but also the transformative impact it has on both him and the children he nurtures.

Thank you for joining us on this insightful journey with James, a true champion in the world of childcare.

 
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This is the second time I've used Tinies and they've impressed me both times. The service is far better than other agencies. They take the time to understand your requirements so that they can match candidates to the post. Really easy dialogue and a refreshing honesty.
Joanne, Kingswood