Retraining in childcare or teaching

Have you thought about retraining since you’ve had children? Many mums consider a career in childcare for several reasons. You may be more interested in children since you had your own, and / or keen to find a career that fits in with school hours. Read on to find out more.

If you have thought about a career in childcare, you may want to check out your local Early Years unit, part of your local authority. They may offer courses to help you get started as a childminder, at little  or no cost. These courses may have childcare provided, as many people wanting to work in childcare are parents already. If you complete the course, you may also get assistance with start up costs, as part of government initiatives to increase the availability of childcare. Becoming a childminder allows you to stay home with your children, but think carefully about how you will manage if, for example, your child is sick.

Teaching is another career that you may want to investigate, not least because of the benefits of school holidays. There will always be a few days to cover, if you are called in for a staff training day,or if your children are sick.

Vanessa  chose a teaching career as she wanted to be able to be financially independent but focused on her family. She says, “My job involves some flexibility in terms of more vacation time and fewer obligatory hours on site than most full time jobs. It does not require fewer hours, but I have the flexibility of working at home or at school on the weekends or late at night. A teaching career has allowed for the flexibility I need to prioritise my family, but I had not foreseen the cost of childcare, and the problems when my daughter is ill. On a teacher’s salary, her day care is half my post tax earnings. When she is ill I have to pay the nursery and pay our back up person,or get docked my pay for taking a day off during term. Either way, it is twice the cost of her regular care”.

Training as a teacher can take a year if you already have a degree, and up to four years if you need to complete a degree. There is also the option of schools based training. You will need to show that you have some interest and experience in the field: many colleges are asking for a year of volunteer experience with children of a relevant age, or time spent working as a classroom assistant. Find out more about how to attain Qualified Teacher Status.

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