Pre-schools (also known as playgroups) provide morning or afternoon care, play and early education for children aged between two and five.
Most are organised by community or voluntary groups, providing a number of morning and afternoon session each week, usually in term-time only.
Many will ask parents to help out on a rota basis (parent volunteers) or to become part of the management committee which takes responsibility for the overall management of the pre-school.
Duties will involve developing language skills, social skills and encouraging exploration of the world through play. You would be encouraging children to experiment with messy play (water, sand, etc.) to paint and draw, to dress up, to cook, to sing and enjoy music, to build with construction toys and to play imaginatively in other ways.
Pre-school work often offers staff the flexibility to fit their working hours around their other commitments.
As a trainee you will start off in a supervised role as a Pre-school Assistant, working towards a Level 2 Certificate for Children and Young Peoples Workforce. This is a stepping stone towards a Level 3 qualification, like the Diploma for Children and Young Peoples Workforce. With further experience you could work as a Pre-school Manager or Leader and undertake an Early Years/Early Childhood Foundation degree and ultimately go on to achieve the full graduate degree as an Early Years Professional Status practitioner.
If you think you might be interested in working with children, what are your next steps?