Early Years Educator/Nursery Practitioner: Interview

We spoke with Rosie Faulkner, an Early Years Educator Nursery Practitioner who lives and works in South London. She delves into what it's really like working in the industry. She discusses the daily work life, pay, working hours,  controversies surrounding male early year practitioners, and her plans for the future. Read on to see what she says about this rewarding yet challenging job. Why did you want to join the child care industry? “I have always loved being around children and enjoyed babysitting so I decided to enrol in a childcare college course, I completed both level 2 and 3, alongside a Nursery placement. Since being qualified I have worked in a private day nursery.” What's each day like in the nursery? “A day in the life at work? Well, every day is different, each day there are different children and they all have individual needs. “Working in a nursery is not predictable. The daily routine is the same but we mainly follow the children's interests. The first thing that is done each morning is setting up the room and the planned activities are put out.
Nursery practitioners are seen as babysitters and people don't realise what they have to do every day.
“The children arrive at different times throughout the morning but the majority are there by 9:30 when we have the first snack. After snacking, we usually have a group activity such as dance, yoga or tennis. “The children are in the garden until lunch time at 12:00. After lunch is rest time until 2:30. From then until 5:00 the children are in the garden, they have a snack during this time. At 5:00 is tea time, the parents start collecting the children from 5:20 to 6:00.” What are the working hours like? “My working hours are 8 until 6, I am at work over 50 hours a week including my lunch break. I also have to arrive early to set up and end up staying after 6 because a parent is usually late. “The hours have to be long because we need to cater to working parents, meaning we need to be there for the children to be dropped off and collected out of their parents working hours. You do get used to the hours but they are tiring." And what about the pay? “The average Nursery practitioner wage is low, I am lucky that my boss does pay above the average but it's still low in comparison to how much effort and how many hours we put into the nursery. “Personally I don't feel there will be a pay rise anytime soon because Nursery practitioners are seen as babysitters and people don't realise what they have to do every day. I think we deserve to be paid between 22,000 and 24,000 depending on experience.”
“The job does have its rewards, especially working with younger children
Only 2% of the early years' workforce is male. Have you come across many men working in the industry? “I have worked in childcare for nearly four years and only once I have known a man to work in a nursery, there are hardly any men working in childcare. “My course had only girls in so there are not many men training to become Nursery Practitioners. I think this is because women usually have a more kind and nurturing nature, people are more inclined to leave their children with a woman.
“I have worked in childcare for nearly 4 years and only once I have known a man to work in a nursery, there are hardly any men working in childcare.
“A Nursery practitioner has to offer more affection towards the children than a teacher would and men are not always comfortable doing so. “I'm not sure I would be completely comfortable leaving my children in the care of a male practitioner as I know the level of care involved, they need to change nappies, clothes and comfort the children. I'm not against the idea. Is it a demanding job? “I would say the job is demanding, the hours are long and there is a lot of paperwork involved that most people don't realise. We have to keep a constant record of the children's development, this involves observations, planning and writing reports. “I have 10 children which I have to record on. At the same time, we need to ensure that the care of the children is not overlooked. I go home physically and mentally tired.” “The job does have its rewards, especially working with younger children. Each day you see a difference in a child, it can be something as little as putting their own coat on or something big like they are toilet trained, but you know they can do it because you have taught them how to. The children do make each day enjoyable.” Do you plan on doing more childcare courses in the future? “I would like to complete other child-related courses in particular in special needs but I feel that my job is too demanding now with the long hours and I wouldn't be able to put my full effort into another course while working. “I don't feel that with further training there would be any more opportunities for me in my current workplace, I'd have more knowledge which would benefit the children and my practice but there aren't any other roles to take on.” Childcare courses: From people with no experience to those who are managers in the industry, there are childcare courses at various levels. Thank you to Rosie for sharing some insight into her career and her opinions surrounding. Comment below with your thoughts on working in this field and email [email protected] if you would like to have your say.
← Previous Next →

Like this post?