If you work in Childcare and would like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear all about it.
If you are interested in becoming a childcarer in the future then pop your postcode into the "Find Your Local Agency" blue box and contact your local Tinies Childcare branch for guidance and advice. You can also explore Childcare Careers Guidance which provides you with other organisations that can provide you with guidance on the qualifications/apprenticeships that you can consider to enable you to become a childcarer.
Lynn - Northants (Nursery)
I often get asked what inspired me to choose a career in childcare and I can pin point it exactly, it was during a 3 week work experience placement in a primary school when I was about 14 years old. I was tasked with helping a very upset 5 year old little girl who was struggling to count to 10, her class mates and twin sister had all achieved this so the teacher asked if I could spend some time with her. With some reassurance and a bit of extra help and encouragement she grasped it and her tears turned to delight. It was such a great feeling to realise that I had helped towards her achievement.
26 years on the feeling of helping a child accomplish something is still just as brilliant! I can honestly say that I have never had a day where I haven't wanted to go in to work in the morning. Working in childcare is demanding, it's hard work and the hours are often long but for me this is offset by all the fun that there is to be had, the relationships that are built with families and colleagues, the laughter, smiles and cuddles the children give a long with all the funny things they come out with (I could write a book!) I have laughed every single day.
Working with children enables you to share fantastic moments with colleagues and families such as watching children take their first steps, say their first words and even just generally seeing them settled in your care. It's lovely watching them grow and then them coming back to you in years to come with their memories of their time with you. The best thing for me is watching the magic of childhood itself, seeing children get excited about Christmas, the tooth fairy, their birthdays etc. and enjoying that with them.
Every day working with children is different, it is never boring. There are so many different roles that you can choose in childcare too such as working as a nanny in a private home, working in a nursery / crèche, working in a school, children's ward etc. and you can even work abroad. There are also lots of additional training opportunities available and new avenues you can take once qualified such as specialising in working with children with additional support needs or progressing in to management.
For me choosing a career in childcare was definitely the right option and I haven't been disappointed. I have spent my working life being happy and interested in my occupation and I still wouldn't want to do anything else.
Tom - Surrey, South and West London (Nursery)
Whilst in school I decided that I wanted to work with children/young people in some way, although I was unsure as to which specific route to pick. After some time volunteering after my GCSE's I decided a good starting point would be a level 2 certificate in Early Years.
Whilst helping in a nursery I learned how vital the first few years of life are and how fulfilling it can be to guide a child through their development and early learning, so much so that I have continued my learning via a degree in Early Years Education. I especially enjoy working with children in the outdoors, playing, and exploring risk and adventure through Forest School.
I decided to join an agency so that I could learn from as many different setting as possible as a temp, whilst searching for a new job. I also knew that working with a national agency, would open up a range of opportunities including nurseries, schools, and Nanning, therefore allowing me to explore a range of options for the next step in my career.
Ashleigh - Central London (Nanny)
Why do I love working as a nanny? For me, there is nothing better than knowing that I have had a hand in helping raise a child and had a life-long impact on their lives. I don't just like what I do, I LOVE what I do. Not many people can say they enjoy what they do for a living, and really mean it, but I can.
No matter how many tantrums, errands, dirty nappies, last minute school projects, and chaotic days you have, when you work as a nanny you know at the end of the day the children will look at you with love, respect and admiration. They admire you because they know they can trust and count on you to wipe every tear, to laugh at their jokes, to play a round of hide and seek, to comfort them when they are sad or sick, and to just be silly with them.
As a nanny I have been lucky enough to travel the world - Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Mauritius, France and Italy to name a few. Combining a job that you love with visiting new places and absorbing new cultures is an ideal fit.
In my last nanny position, I had a very demanding and emotional role, when the Mother of the children I was a nanny for was diagnosed with brain and breast cancer and was given 6 months to live. I knew at that moment of her diagnosis the children were going to need me more than ever. My love for what I do became very apparent at this point in my life, their mother - my friend, lost her battle with cancer 10 months after diagnosis. I felt it a privilege that she had chosen me to guide her children though this emotional time. I was to be their role model, their mother and their friend.
Being a Nanny is not just a job, it is a vocation. It is tough at times, it is tiring at times, but above all it is fulfilling and rewarding, it is simply the best job I have ever had.
Claire - Berks, Bucks & Herts (Nursery)
I worked in a school for 14 years where I studied for my CACHE levels 2 & 3 NVQ in Children's Care Learning and Development. With my qualifications, I became a key person and learnt how to use my skills to support children to make excellent progress. I made the decision to take early retirement and have time out for myself, however after a year I decided to look for employment that would give me flexibility and job satisfaction. After searching for permanent part time jobs I came across an advert for a company offering agency work. This offered me flexible working hours, and meant I was not tied to a fixed permanent contract, giving me the opportunity to make my own choices.
I enjoy working with children as they have very inquisitive minds challenging both themselves and myself creating a fun and enjoyable environment.
I particularly like the variation of work that an agency offers me from Day Nurseries, Emergency Nannying, working in crèches for Local Authorities, Private Wedding functions and large prestigious Hotels doing private babysitting.
Overall, I like to meet people and share my skills with parents and encourage young children to develop their own individual needs. Working with an agency has given me the flexibility to still work and have the enjoyment of quality time.
Eileen - Northants (Nursery)
I came to work in childcare purely by accident through becoming a parent myself! On leaving school I gained a Cadet Nursing role which led to formal training as a nurse. However, I met my husband and let's say that was the end of that!
I had always enjoyed working with children, even when undertaking my paediatric placement during my nurse training. I was an auntie at the tender age of 5 so by the time I reached my teens the number of nieces and nephews had grown, most for whom I babysat. My mother was a children's nanny in the late 1930's which showed in how she parented me and I have many happy memories of her gathering everyday objects together to entertain her grandchildren, the early days of heuristic play you could even say!
As a parent, I helped at playgroup which I absolutely loved so when my girls grew up and left, mum was still 'playing' at the playgroup! Every day is different and for me it was being able to make a difference to a child's life that would set them up for their education journey as they developed into their teens and adult life. Being able to witness a young child's development from when they first started in your setting until they left to go to school and knowing that you had supported that child to develop their independence, their personal, social and emotional intelligence was what made the job worthwhile.
I have been very fortunate in being able to access lots of professional development across my 30-year career, gaining knowledge about how babies and young children developed. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to help babies and young children grow and develop. I cannot imagine doing anything else. Every day is different; you just don't know what each day will bring.
I have been working with an agency for over a year now. The work is varied, from nannying for individual children on the Emergency Childcare Scheme to working in Nurseries where there is a shortfall in staff. Visiting lots of different settings gives you a broader perspective on the range of facilities and staff that are working with young children. You can learn so much from this as you pick up ideas which you can take with you when you decide to undertake a permanent role.
I have found that my current agency is very supportive, professional, and they always monitor the settings which you are going to in order to ensure that as a temp you are working in a supportive and professional environment. There is never any pressure to undertake an assignment, so if you can't do it for one reason or another this is fine and they continue to offer you work.
Hayleigh - SE London and Kent (Nursery)
I started my career working with children when I was still at school, in year 10. I did two weeks work experience and really enjoyed it so I ended up working there 3 days a week for a couple of hours after school just to get bit more experience and because I really loved my work experience.
Childcare also caught my attention as I'm from a big family and I have 3 sisters and a brother so I used to babysit my younger siblings and did some babysitting on the side for family and family friends. My mum is also a nursery manager and was an Ofsted inspector so I learnt from her as well.
I love working with children from birth to 5 years as I find it so rewarding giving children the best start in life socially, and helping them reach their full potential and also interacting with children from different backgrounds and their parents.
I have worked in childcare, in nursery settings, for 9 years and even though I loved every moment of it I joined an agency to start a new path and to go into being a nanny. I always want to learn new things as well as helping children and their parents.
Katherine - Three Counties (Nanny)
I love working with babies and children. Sometimes I get asked what my favourite age is and I can't answer because every stage is so different and so exciting as children learn new skills and start to understand their world.
Sometimes this can be challenging for parents as they struggle to cope with the changing demands of caring for their children. As they always say, the children don't read the baby care books, they are all individuals with their own ideas, feelings, wants and needs and I love helping frazzled parents work out why everything isn't quite the fairy tale they thought it would be.
There are often small changes that can be made that can help the child sleep better, eat better, co-operate more easily. Sometimes there is an underlying cause that can be identified that can make a big difference to a child's behaviour and I can help parents access the support they need. I love being able to walk away from a consultation or a few days supporting a family knowing that I have helped them make little changes that may have a huge impact on their lives. Sometimes it's just about supporting parents to find the parent within them that they want to be.
The agency I work for are very professional and are efficient at all the basics you would expect. DBS checks, first aid courses and references are all carefully monitored regularly. But they go above and beyond this. They take the trouble to really get to know the people they send out to help and to understand the needs of the clients.
Different parenting styles require different personalities to support them and the agency is proficient in matching up the needs of the family and the skills of us nannies, maternity nurses, sleep and behaviour consultants. When people ask for support they can often be at a vulnerable point in their lives, they may need emergency childcare for a crisis or they may need guidance in how to manage the needs of a new-born.
Kayleigh - East Midlands (Nanny)
I am the eldest of four children and helped my mum to look after my younger siblings, so childcare felt like second nature to me. I went onto to study childcare (CACHE Level 3 Childcare and Education) and enjoyed my placements throughout college and knew from then I wanted to be in the childcare industry.
What I enjoy the most is how rewarding caring for children is, as you teach them and help them grow, seeing them develop and become their own person.
Stephen - North East (Nursery)
I wanted to work in an industry which best fits my lifestyle. I can have a lot of fun, apply logic and theory to situations, and continue to find new paths of interest within children's services.
My passion is to offer holistic support and guidance so that children and their families can thrive.
I need a professional organisation to support me whilst I develop my career.
Lorraine - Devon and Cornwall (Nanny)
I was drawn into the Childcare industry 23 years ago! My first 'childminded child' was adopted, this made him very special! The job fitted perfectly around my own family, who also enjoyed helping out. As time went by, more children were introduced into my family, who then became part of it. After many years of childminding, some of the children that are now teenagers stay in contact with me through social media. This is one of the reasons my career with babies to teens has become so rewarding.
Within the last 7 years, I became a 'Nanny' for one family whom I stayed with for 5 years, but not through an agency. The difference with that compared to having an agency is there was no support and became a little isolating at times.
The first time I registered with an agency I was impressed, they were very thorough checking my relevant qualifications, experience and legal documents. I felt at ease talking to them and felt they were very supportive and professional.
I enjoy my job, because:
- The support is there, I don't feel isolated.
- I enjoy meeting new babies/children and their families.
- I enjoy the variety of work, from occasional babysitting to working in a holiday club.
- The excitement of never knowing where I will be, from one week to the next!
- Enjoying a range of different age groups at different times.
- I have travelled to some beautiful parts of Cornwall, where I stayed overnight with children which was fun!
- The pay makes it worth my while.
- The keeps in regular contact with me, offering all types of work that I can decide what suits me.
Sue - Bath, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire (Nursery)
I am a fully qualified childcarer (NNEB) with over 30 years professional experience. Over this time I have cared for a number of children ranging from babies to 5 years of age, from various different backgrounds. Originally I chose childcare as a career because of my experience looking after, and helping, my younger sister. The enjoyment is in getting to know the individual children that I work with and to help them develop new and existing skills.
As the owner and manager of a nursery, where I acted as a Deputy Manager in the past, I have had to have a hands on approach, acting as the chief, cook and bottle washer at times. I believe that to be a great childcarer you need to have the ability to be flexible with all age groups and work in different environments which is another reason why I love working in childcare.
During my years as a professional childcarer I have always enjoyed engaging with children and their play. After working full time for many years I decided I would like more flexibility in my working hours whilst keeping my hand in. Working for an agency has enabled me to do this, when offered work I am able to accept or decline depending on my other commitments. The consultants at the agency I work with are always friendly and helpful regardless of how often I decline work. Clear instructions for placements have always come through promptly, and they are easily contacted by phone or email. I have been very happy working for the last 5 years through such a reputable agency, as this has enabled me to continue doing the work I love, at my own pace.
Frances - Glasgow (Nanny)
After raising my 4 children, and being an au pair abroad, I was inspired to gain the relevant qualifications (HNC Early Education and Childcare) and enter into a career in childcare.
I subsequently spent 14 years as a leading childcare practitioner in education. Dealing with challenging situations, achieving positive outcomes, watching children and families grow in confidence was a very rewarding aspect of my job.
Deciding it was time to move on and broaden my horizons within childcare, I began to look into working with an agency. After various interviews with several agencies, I decided Tinies was the one for me:
- They have a positive and welcoming attitude.
- Their interview process is second to none.
- They are clear and concise on what is required and expected of their staff.
- The team are extremely approachable and professional.
- Always willing to discuss any issues that may arise.
I have had various assignments whilst working for Tinies. Babysitting, nanny shifts, crèche work and temping in numerous nurseries, all very enjoyable. I now have my dream job as a nanny thanks to Tinies.
Lyndsey - North West (Nursery)
I have just started my new post as nursery manager within a nursery in Bolton. I have worked within nurseries and schools for the past 16 years having gained an equivalent Level 5 EYPS (Early Years Practitioner Status) qualification. Initially I was a HLTA (Higher Level teaching Assistant) within a Blackpool school moving onto working my way up through nursery settings. The fulfilment and enjoyment I get from watching children in my care develop and grow is so rewarding. My main aim as a manager now is to help provide care that I would want my own three children to have experienced.
Working with an agency helped me make the leap back into nursery management after a change and returning to work within schools. The support, advice and guidance have been amazing from the start and I will be using them to help make my own recruitments.
Emily - Essex (Nanny)
Growing up as the eldest of 3, and being the only girl, I naturally took on the role of second mother to my two younger brothers. I remember my mum always saying how good I was with them and that I would be great working with children!
Although I always wanted to be a hairdresser, at the age of 14 I got offered part time work after school in my mum's friend's nursery, and that is where my love for working with children started! And, 15 years later, I'm a highly qualified early years professional and I still love my job! I find it highly rewarding and love to see the children achieve their goals and grow in confidence! It's a fun job to have as children will always put a smile on your face! Being trusted to take care of someone else's child is a massive responsibility and it makes me feel proud of myself that people have that trust in me!
I worked as a nursery nurse for 11 years working in different settings and taking on different roles. I became a fully qualified level 3 Early Years Practitioner and worked my way up to room leader and safeguarding officer. I decided that although I loved working with children I wanted to do something different so decided to become a nanny.
Working as a nanny wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be, maybe I just had the wrong family! But after talking to another nanny at the school she told me about an agency who had found her the job she was in and helped her within her nanny career! Funnily enough I already had a connection to the agency, so I rang them and have been working for the agency as a temporary nursery nurse and nanny ever since!
Meeting new people is great for me and being in different settings is just what I needed!
Shontel - East Anglia (Nanny)
I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with children, after completing my two week work experience at a primary school and was always told I had a natural way in encouraging children to be themselves and to feel comfortable around me.
Due to being bullied throughout my own school years, I am passionate about encouraging each child to fulfil their own potential whether that be being brave enough to try something new to simply being proud of themselves for completing a painting they've done. I love working with children. Each day is a new adventure and poses new challenges so you can never say you're bored. Working with children is a challenging but very rewarding career in which you are key to those children's first steps into becoming themselves.
After a knock in my confidence and losing my job I decided I was going to work with an agency for a short while to meet new people, boost my confidence and gain new experiences. I did a lot of research and found an agency that I liked. I enjoyed the friendly feel of it as they focused on finding the right match, for both nanny and family.
Tracey - Hants and Dorset (Nursery)
I started working in childcare 30 years ago - a lot has changed since I began to work with children, and there is a lot more paperwork! I particularly enjoy being hands on with the children and seeing their development as they grow up and turn into little adults!
I had heard of an agency when I was working in the setting that I was at, and had used staff from the agency to cover staff absence, and I knew that they provided excellent staff cover!
I began work with them in February 2013, initially it was to find permanent employment, and whilst doing this I began work as a temp, which I loved and continue to enjoy, (hence still working as a temp 4 years on!), I wish I had done it years ago!
Working as a temp is a real confidence boost, it provides flexibility of hours and days that you work and so you pick and choose your hours. It is a real eye-opener to different forms of practice! There is no obligation to do paperwork however, as I have an awareness of the EYFS - Early Years Foundation Stage, if I notice something that may be of use to the key person I jot it down on a piece of paper and find out who is the child's key person and then give it to them, sometimes as an outsider you notice things that maybe the key person hasn't spotted, as they have so much to do! It's like being a fresh set of eyes.
As a temp I get to be hands on with the children and have no other responsibilities except for ensuring their safety and wellbeing, and having great fun with them through communication and play! Also you have a choice, as to whether you return to a setting, I have to say in the 4 years that I have been a temp, I have loved every setting I have been sent to, they all have different ways of practice, some of which reflect on my own practice! Even at my time of life and years in practice I continue to learn! Just because I am a temp there's no reason to stop reflecting on my practice!
Rachael - West Midlands & Warwickshire (Nanny)
My name is Rachael and I'm 31 years old; I have worked within the childcare sector for the last 15 years. My passion to work with children began when I was at high school and took a childcare qualification. This led to me going onto college to study a childcare and development course. Following my course and qualifying, my career started by working as a nursery nurse within a private day setting. Over the years I have worked in two private day settings and have enjoyed helping children thrive, develop and grow over the years, as my own career grew and I worked my way up to Deputy Manager. During this time I have managed to complete a number of different courses including a management qualification helping me to enhance and develop my skills further.
Following a short of period of time away from childcare due to illness and sadly having to end my career with the nursery, I joined an agency to help me get back into the industry. They allowed me to become part of their team and I started working for them to help me find a permanent job. To begin with I worked on numerous assignments from working in nurseries, babysitting, nannying and working as part of their crèches. They helped me to go on and find the current nanny job I'm in today. The role was initially for a 3 month contract however, nearly 3 years later I'm still with the family. Not only did they help me to find my job they also believed in me and allowed me to continue working with them to manage a variety of their crèches. If it wasn't for the team's hard work I wouldn't be where I am today, their communication, listening skills, and determination is what makes the agency a successful business.
Katherine - Aberdeen & Edinburgh (Nanny)
I have always been the one that children gravitate towards - my younger cousins, children on holidays, new children at school - I was always the one that looked after and interacted with them.
I didn't have a nanny growing up but my mum told me about nannies and what they do and it sounded like such a worthy, rewarding career.
From a very young age, I wanted to work with children and become a Nanny. To have such an important part in the lives of children is wonderful and although there is an aspect of being an authoritative figure; setting boundaries and disciplining children, there is so much more fun and laughter involved in the role. Being a Nanny is a demanding, yet fantastically rewarding career.
I grew up having my family teach me about the outdoors and nature and I am fortunate that I can embrace that knowledge and experience in my role as a nanny. The activities that the children do with me are not only fun but are educational too!
The agency I signed up with has a fantastic reputation and has branches all over the UK. They have been a lifeline at times for advice and employment opportunities for me. Having the comfort of knowing that there is support from them on the end of the phone is definitely worth its weight in gold!
Lisa - Central London & International Nannies (Nanny)
I have always been drawn to the childcare industry since I was a child. Growing up and not having the best start in childhood, I always wanted to be out there and give children the love and care they all so deserve. What I enjoy about it is that each day is a different day. You get to watch them flourish and develop. That in its self is very rewarding to me. I think my job is very rewarding, I love to care, children are my passion and I believe hands down I have the best job in the world.
I wanted to explore my true potential which is why I decided to join an agency. They not only have your back and know exactly what you want but the staff there make it their business to get to know you personally. I have been with my agency for most of my childcare career and have to say I feel like we have more than just an agent client relationship. The staff really do care about you and your interests.
Jenny - Northern Ireland (Nanny)
Having worked as a primary school teacher for many years, I felt teaching was becoming too focused on administration and I wanted a more hands on, practical based job. Having a career which is child centred was important to me, in which I could continue to develop my existing qualities and skills.
I was referred to my agency by an existing employee. After browsing the website, I was keen to apply. The vetting process was thorough and the consultant helped make the transition from teaching to nannying extremely smooth.
I cannot imagine never having met my employers and two delightful boys. They treat me like one of the family. I love that each day is varied and I am helping the children in my care to develop in so many ways. I have made many friends which gives opportunities for playdates and social gatherings. I look forward to going to work as am always greeted with a smile, hug and a story!
Andy - Brighton (Nanny)
I entered the childcare industry almost four years ago as a Child Care Officer in a residential home for children and young people with disabilities. I chose to work in childcare because I have always been told I am a natural with kids. Being an Uncle at 12 meant that I have been around the little ones from an early age and appear to have developed real natural affinity and an ability to get down on their level. I guess I am just a big kid at heart!
To develop my skill-set, I decided to make a change. I now work for a family as a Nanny to their two boys. I have been doing this for nearly a year. As of yet I am yet to come across another male nanny!
Sue - Surrey, South and West London (Nursery)
After spending 27 years in the office sector, I decided to have a complete career change as I really like spending time with children. Also, I had been told "That I was very good with children". I thought working in childcare would be a good move, and it was!
The reason I like working with children is that I really enjoy their company and what you see is what you get! You get down to their level, play, do lots of activities and see the enjoyment on their faces; it really makes me very happy.
I was drawn to an agency, because of the different types of services that they could offer, for instance, nursery work, nanny work, also working as an event nanny. This offers me the flexibility that I require on a week to week basis.
Yu - North London and Middlesex (Nursery)
I've been looking after my first granddaughter since 2003. I have 5 grandchildren and I've lived with them as they grew up. I take them to the library to read and go to the park, take them to nursery, school and I also pick them up afterwards. For a long time, I've lived, worked, and played with children - I love them.
I joined my local agency to work with different nurseries. When I play with the children in the garden and class it makes me feel like I'm young like them again, it makes me feel happy. All the nurseries I have worked in have perfect rules and parenting programs so I can improve my English and other skills as well.
I would like to work with children until I retire.
Nicola - North London and Middlesex (Nanny)
I thoroughly enjoy my role as an emergency nanny and I have been doing it for over a year now. I love the diversity of the families I nanny for and I also love that every day is different for me as a nanny. It has taken me around 30 years to find a job that is so rewarding.
I always like to make the most of meeting new families, and being able to build instant bonds with the children and parents. I enjoy being part of an agency as it has given me the opportunity to see the families that request me grow and mature in positive ways. I pride myself on the gratitude and thanks that I receive from the families that I nanny for, and that I'm always accepted and well received.
If you work in Childcare and would like to share your story with us, we'd love to hear all about it.