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Advice about working in a pre-school

(8 Posts)
lizardqueenie Mon 12-Sep-11 20:14:20

Going to post this here & in employment but just wanted some advice about starting a new role working in a pre-school.

This is something I have felt I have wanted to do for a while now and I think I may have the opportunity. I have just accepted voluntary redundancy from my ft job and am coming towards the end of my maternity leave. A new pre-school is opening at the beginning of next year a stones throw from where I live and the manager is looking for new staff and has specified that qualifications are not required but a crb check will be undertaken.

I'd really like to move into working with children and gain a related qualification so I was just wondering if anyone could offer any experiences of working in a pre-school or things that I need to keep in mind? I am thinking about the possible working hours as I've accepted redundancy so that I can spend more time at home with my DD but am wondering if I could assist for a few hours a week until DD is older, she would be able to spend some time with my mum during this time.


LucyLastik Mon 12-Sep-11 20:15:57

I am a deputy manager in a pre-school and I love it! Speaking to a disillusioned colleague the other day, I discovered that actually, there isn't anything else I would be able to do.

What specifically would you like to know?

lizardqueenie Mon 12-Sep-11 20:56:01

Thanks LucyLastic

I think i would like to know, from voices of experience what it is really like and what are the good and bad things, as you see it, about working in a pre-school.

Hope thats not a bit over simplistic, but it would be quite a career change for me so it would be good to hear what issues are facing pre-schools as well as, what I can already imagine are the great things about the job.

I feel really excited about this possible prospect and that tells me that it is probably going to be the right path for me to take. smile

inmysparetime Tue 13-Sep-11 09:23:38

Be prepared for preschoolers to be loud. Very loud. Even when they are sitting right in front of each othersmile.
If bodily fluids of any sort make you queasy, hide it well, as you will see all sorts at some stage, often in the same day.
Be prepared for the cold you will constantly have for the first few months working in preschool as they are plague carriers and will cheerfully sneeze in your face.
Learn a few basic fairy story plots, they love a story "from your head" and it's easier to keep an eye on them when you're not trying to follow text in a book.
Get good quality comfy shoes as you will be on your feet for a while.
I'm not trying to put you off, just warn you of the things that surprised me about preschoolers. A class of them is totally different from one at home.

littlerach Wed 14-Sep-11 20:13:31

I am a preschool manager and love my job. I've been there for 4 years paid,and 3 years prior to that as a volunteer/committee member. I worked in a big nursery before that.
I agree with the volume of noise, today we had 15 children in but they were noisier than when we had 24!
There is a lot of paperwork, record keeping to be done. And things change frequently so sometimes it does feel like you are playing catch up all of the time.
Sometimes you say the same thing 100 times, and read the same story 100 times, all in one day.
However, you get to watch the children as they learn, and ot be a significant other to them as they develop and progress, and see them begin to understand things.
Plus you get to paint, cut and stick, draw, colour, make dinosaurs talk, sing silly songs and intorduce the children to your favourite books, stories and ryhmes.

inmysparetime Wed 14-Sep-11 20:32:47

You also get to hear the strangest news and stories from preschoolers. I have listened with concealed hilarity as a child said in all seriousness "my dad has boobies but they are hairy!" Another child made up a story where a magic tunnel appeared in his bedroom that led to a sweet shop.
I have had a group of children clamouring to eat the last piece of freshly picked runner bean too.
It is tiring, hard work, but you really do not know what you're going to get each day at work, except laughsgrin

PinkEmily Thu 15-Sep-11 22:25:02

Hi, I've worked in a pre school for the last 8 years, I love seeing them grow and develop, I love the fact that sometimes you can have a real giggle with them, make up wrong words in a book, see their delight in telling you you've done it wrong! Singing songs, making up funny verses. Their excitement as they tell you what they did that weekend.

The only thing I don't like is the paperwork and the planning, often taken home in my own time.

But what I love most is the bond that you feel with the children, and the bond they often clearly have with you. When they run through the door and seek you out for a cuddle. That's the most rewarding part for me!

lizardqueenie Sat 17-Sep-11 15:27:48

Thank you for sharing all of your experiences everyone, it really is useful.

I think all of the things that you all love are what I would really enjoy too, although from having my own daughter i know that is not all painting and sticking and is bound to be real hard work.

Today I am trying to put together a cv. My career history revolves around working in the public sector, lots of management, giving advice, policy and working in some areas which would be relavant, like child safeguarding.

I have been in touch with the prospective employer to ask if she has a person/ job specification so that I can tailor my cv. Other than experience with my own daughter (should I add that on my cv?) and some first aid training, what other things should i add that might be relevant & desirable?

The employer knows I do not have qualifications or much experience in this area but is still asking to see my cv I Would be grateful for some quick fire ideas as I'd like to submit my CV this weekend.

Many thanks smile

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