I Want to Work …with Children
Often when students say this to careers advisers, they immediately follow it with “but I don't want to be a teacher”
So what other careers involve working with children? Here are a few ideas:
- Social worker www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/socialwork.htm
- Playworker www.skillsactive.com/our-sectors/playwork
- Play Therapy www.bapt.info
- Early Years Professionals. These work with children below 5 years and are paid £15,000 - 26,000 p.a. The Government is aiming to have at least one EYP in all 20,000 full time day centres by 2015. The role is open to graduates of any degree discipline although early years, psychology, social sciences, child-related or education degrees may be preferred. It is a managerial/advisory role rather than 'hands on' once basic experience has been obtained. Fully funded training places are available (tuition fees & bursary), very similar to a PGCE www.education.gov.uk
- Art/music/drama therapist www.prospects.ac.uk/links/healtheraspec
- Educational/Child Psychologist
- Counsellor www.ccyp.co.uk
- Psychotherapist www.prospects.ac.uk/links/psychchild
- Paediatric nurse www.prospects.ac.uk/links/childnurse
- Nursery nurse www.prospects.ac.uk/links/preschteach
- Health Visitor www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/PDFs/factsheets/61_HealthVisitor.pdf
- Health Visitor profile www.prospects.ac.uk/links/healvisit
- Health Promotion
- Community development worker www.prospects.ac.uk/links/commworker
- Children's librarian www.cilip.org.uk/jobscareers/careeradvice/choose/Childrenslibrarian.htm
- Children's bookselling and publishing
- Museum education officer www.prospects.ac.uk/links/museduoff
- Environmental education officer www.prospects.ac.uk/links/envadofficer
- Charity fundraiser – may involve working with schools www.prospects.ac.uk/links/fundraiser
- Events organiser www.prospects.ac.uk/links/exorg
- Holiday Rep www.careerintravel.co.uk/holiday-rep-careers-childrens-rep.htm
- Outdoor pursuits manager www.prospects.ac.uk/links/outdoorpursman
- Sports coach www.prospects.ac.uk/links/sportscoach
- Photographer - portrait or schools photography www.prospects.ac.uk/links/photographer
Retail manager www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sitereta.htm in shops or departments catering to children's needs, especially clothing and toys
These are just some opportunities where working with children will be a possible career path or where work with children is an important, although not always the only, part of the work.
And, if you do want to teach (or are prepared to consider teaching) see I Want to Work In Teaching www.kent.ac.uk/careers/siteach.htm
- National Children's Bureau www.ncb.org.uk umbrella body for organisations working with children and young people in England & Northern Ireland.
- Children & Young People Now www.childrennow.co.uk brings together children's and youth professionals across health, social care, education, childcare, youth work, youth justice and advice & guidance for young people.
- Open University www.open.ac.uk/careers/getting-into-working-with-children.php
Education Alternatives. Superb booklet detailing the many alternative careers in education such as playworker, museum education, careers adviser, working with offenders, therapy roles and many others. Download here (PDF format)
This is an excellent way of gaining career-related experience in this type of work, part-time while studying or full-time during vacations or after graduation. Many full-time “voluntary” opportunities provide board and lodging and pocket money.
- Volunteering opportunities through Kent Union www.kentunion.co.uk
- See our Voluntary Work Page www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/voluntaryWork.htm
For all work with children, young people or vulnerable adults you will need to get a Criminal Records Bureau check.
The current legislation does not allow individuals to apply for a CRB check on themselves – this must be done by the organisation for which you will be working.
There are two ways of applying for a Disclosure. You will either be asked to:
Unbreakable toys are good for breaking other toys.
- telephone the Disclosure application line on 0870 90 90 844, in which case you will need to provide the Registered Body name and number (i.e. the name and CRB number (an 11-digit number provided to the employer by the CRB)of the employer you will be working for - the employer will be able to provide you with this information)
- or complete a paper application form handed to you by the person who asked you to apply.
In both instances, you will be asked to provide your name, address and date of birth, along with the Registered Body name and number, and the level of Disclosure. This will help the person who asked you to apply confirm your identity. A guidance booklet on how to complete the form will be provided.
There is an applicants' guide at
Last fully updated 2012