Beyoncé is ruling Coachella, Kendrick Lamar just won a Pulitzer prize and Cardi B is breaking Guinness World Records all over the place. If you’re like me, you might look at these celebrities and think of these people as superhuman. Professional, efficient, driven, inspiring, talented. What if I was to say that childcare professionals could be superhuman too? That you could be a superhero?
What makes a superhero?
On return from the December holiday break I began the year with a group of our Level 5 students, working on identifying the skills and qualities required of a childcare worker. Except I wanted more. I wanted them to identify the ideal worker, a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Superhero Childcare Worker!
An abridged list of their suggestions included; patience, calm, kindness, creativity, empathy, willing to take part, initiative, communication, dedication, ability to work in a team, playful, humour, honesty, respect, responsive, meeting children’s needs, knowing when to step back, knowing when to step in, work with families, the list goes on and on. The students identified superheroes worthy of admiration, awards and even the ability to break Guinness World Records in snot-wiping. What we established is that Superhero ELC workers are already everywhere. Many of them were able to name a person in a care setting that they felt fitted their description, sometimes colleagues, sometimes they were their own childhood teachers or play workers. They identified people who dedicate extra time during their breaks and their home lives to research or make resources for the children they work with. Super-humans who were able to keep a whole class engaged in the most challenging of topics. Incredibles who could scoop up a whole class and take them outside for spontaneous learning sessions in the sun. Marvels who offered a listening ear, a cuddle or some gentle support when they were feeling at their most vulnerable.
Childcare careers are expanding in Scotland
The Scottish Government’s plans for free childcare is generating an unprecedented growth in the Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) job market. On 9th April they announced that for the 18/19 student intake there would be an additional 1,813 places offered at HNC level at Edinburgh College and University of the Highland and Islands to train new practitioners. They are also opening up an additional 490 places at managerial level with a split between universities and colleges.
This opens up exciting opportunities for many people (secret superheroes!) who have been thinking about moving into childcare as well as for school leavers who are looking at options. It is also an opportunity to build awareness of the value and importance of the quality of childcare that is possible in Scotland. There are wonderful policies, guidelines, frameworks and initiatives, all developed to support and develop practitioner practice whilst holding the children and families at the centre of ELC. What we need to make sure is that training providers train quality staff and that this sudden increase in student numbers does not come at a cost to the quality of teaching that students receive nor to the quality of student that we put on placement or into the workforce.
Courses at Edinburgh College for superheroes
With the Government expansion we are now able to offer courses that meet individual student needs. We have many part-time options available to prospective students who may not have been able to attend a full-time course before. We have been developing dynamic and engaging courses that allow students to gain practical experience in various topics such Play, Learning and Development, Additional Support Needs, Leadership, Pedagogy and more. Super courses for Superhero ELC workers! Applications are opening on 14 May 2018 for our part-time August starts. Come and join the Superhero ELC team!
Courses coming up include:
- PT HNC Childhood Practice (those looking to qualify at Practitioner level)
- Childhood Practice PDA Level 8 Childhood Practice (those in a workplace looking to move towards a more senior role than Practitioner)
- Childhood Practice PDA Level 9 (those looking to take on a Managerial role)
All August starts
With childcare becoming an increasingly in-demand career in Edinburgh and the Lothians, our in-house childcare expert, Clarissa, is writing a series of blogs to show you how important a career in childcare is and why you should be getting yourself, or loved ones, interested.