As the primary education provider for childcare programmes in the region, Fife College has a well-deserved reputation for providing quality training and for producing talented and confident childcare workers.
Currently we have over 600 students on childcare courses across the College as we continue to play a leading role in the workforce development plan for the expansion of funded early learning and childcare hours.
The Scottish Government plan will see all three and four-year-olds, and around a quarter of two-year-olds, benefit from 1,140 hours of childcare a year.
This has led to a huge increase in the provision of childcare for children and young people in Fife in order to meet this demand. This, in turn, means that there are greatly increased opportunities to work with children and young people in Fife and across Scotland.
An initial August deadline to start rolling out the expansion programme has, quite understandably, been put on hold due to the impact of the current coronavirus pandemic.
However, the government remains fully committed to delivering the expansion meaning there will continue to be many opportunities to start a rewarding career in childcare when things start getting back to normal.
To help with the growing demand the College has been playing a key role in the region by creating extra places on our already popular HNC Childhood Practice and introducing a new part-time HNC Childhood Practice course.
There will also be a HND Childhood Practice course introduced for the new academic year while we are continuing to develop a degree level study option in Childhood Practice which would enable graduates to work in the industry at manager level.
The part-time NC, alongside our other flexible study options, make our childcare courses a great choice for those with existing commitments, such as their own family or work commitments, to consider.
The childcare sector itself is very much flexible too. At the moment, only 50% of early years officers in the UK are in full-time employment in schools or nurseries, etc – the other 50% are either part-time or self-employed.
The Scottish Government expansion includes plans to increase this part-time provision, in order to mirror the wider ambition of building a more flexible workforce across the country.
Full-time provision will also continue to increase in the sector as well while there is a real focus on providing high quality training and career progression options. This will offer lots of further opportunities for those looking to retrain and upskill within the sector.
The most appealing thing about working in the childcare sector remains the job itself though. A career in childcare really can be one of the most rewarding things you can do - and it can also be a lot of fun!
There’s more to childcare than building sandcastles, making dens, or creating glitter paintings too. Early learning professionals are responsible for giving children the best start in life using ideas and activities that help their little personalities grow.
Children are naturally curious and enthusiastic for learning and play, and this often rubs off on those working with them. In the same way, the people who work with children are able to help them by encouraging and supporting them to explore and develop an understanding of the world around them.
So, despite the challenging times we find ourselves living in, there is still no better time to start thinking about making those first steps towards a fulfilling career in childcare.
For more information about childcare courses on offer at Fife College visit our Childcare pages.