­­Janet King, CACHE Senior Subject Specialist Childcare, shares inspirational career journey within the Childcare and Early Years sector

This week is National Career’s Week, so we spoke to Janet King, CACHE Senior Subject Specialist Childcare, to find out about her experiences of working in the Childcare and Early Years sector and her reasons why she thinks other people should consider a career in the industry.

Janet has worked within the Childcare and Early Years sector for 30 years. After completing O Levels and A Levels Janet was unsure what to do next but knew that she wanted to work with children and young people, going on to complete the NNEB, a further degree and Masters study at university. Janet worked as a Pre-School Leader and Nursery Officer as well as a wide variety of roles including a Day Nursery Manager, a Teaching Assistant in a Special School and a Local Authority Child and Youth Play Leader. Janet has also worked as an Early Years Teacher and within lecturing and management positions in Further Education and Higher Education, eventually joining CACHE in 2012. Janet continues to study in her field of work.

The decision to enter the Childcare and Early Years sector was an easy one for Janet, who wanted to work with children and young people to support, inspire and raise aspiration through inclusive educational opportunities. When asked about the most rewarding part of her roles within the sector, Janet mentioned: “Working with children and young people is the most rewarding experience I have ever had. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to influence a young person and it’s wonderful to see them fulfil their aspirations and overcome challenges.”

Janet highlighted the main positives of working in the sector; including being able to work with a variety of age groups - babies, children and young people - and contributing to their holistic development, as well as working alongside parents and carers.

She commented: “I have been inspired by the wonderful, professional teams I have worked within. Whilst the work was often challenging, the commitment and the camaraderie was consistent and I can never recall a day when I woke up and didn’t want to go to work.”

Reminiscing about career highlights, Janet couldn’t narrow it down to just one: “There have been special highlights and unforgettable moments in every role I have held, involving children, young people, their families and my teams at work.

The thing I have most enjoyed about my roles within the sector has been the chance to contribute to and improve outcomes for children and families.”

Janet shares words of wisdom and encouragement for young people thinking of entering the sector: “You will have one of the most important job roles in society. Children deserve to be cared for by people who genuinely want to be there.

The Childcare and Early Years sector offers fantastic career opportunities and progression routes. The roles within the sector can be challenging and involve a high level of responsibility, but they are also very exciting and you will have the privileged opportunity to inspire children and have a positive impact on their, and indeed your own, development.

With the sector currently experiencing a challenging recruitment crisis, it’s really important for everyone who works in this fantastic industry to shout about the great career options it provides to people.”

There are many diverse opportunities within the Childcare and Early Years sector, including Apprenticeships, CPD qualifications and Higher Education qualifications. View the Childcare and Early Years careers progression map, supported by the Department for Education (DfE).

To find out more information about CACHE Childcare and Early Years qualifications please visit our Qualhub website.

Join Janet in celebrating National Career’s Week by sharing your career journey and the reasons why you think others should follow your footsteps into the sector.