Kerry – wraparound owner

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Tell us a bit about your background

What did you do before you started to work in wraparound childcare?

I have worked in in HR and payroll jobs, and before I started working in wraparound care I previously worked in nurseries and as a childminder.

Was there a specific entry route you took?

After being a childminder, I felt like I needed a new challenge.

I was fortunate to hear of an after school club which was for sale and decided to purchase it. Here I am 10 years later with 8 after school clubs, 3 pre-schools and a nursery.

What qualifications did you have before you got started?

Before joining, I completed my level 3 qualifications in childcare and teaching assistance through evening classes at college. Currently, I am pursuing my level 5 qualification. I have also completed courses in Paediatric First Aid, British Values, and many more.

What inspired you to join wraparound childcare?

I’ve always had a keen interest in childcare and have intermittently worked in the field since leaving school.

Growing up, I was fortunate because my parents were foster carers. This experience sparked my enjoyment of being with children.

Additionally, I’ve organised Girlguiding and Rainbow groups in our local village, which allowed me to work with young children. This positive experience motivated me to take the leap into providing wraparound care.

A day in the life

A typical day for me spans from 7am to 6pm, with around 20 hours spent in the clubs each week and approximately 30 hours dedicated to administrative tasks, club planning, and associated responsibilities.

My day at a setting begins with completing the risk assessments and setting up the breakfast club room.

Because we operate as a pack-away operation we need to set up and pack away in all our after-school and breakfast clubs, each day. As the children arrive, we provide them with breakfast, followed by engaging them in various activities.

After breakfast, the children have the freedom to choose from a variety of activities we’ve prepared for them.

Once the morning activities are done, we tidy up and escort the children to their classrooms as the school day starts. During this time, we clean and organise the rooms, putting away all resources. I then head to my office, where I spend the day handling emails, managing bookings, completing funding forms, and addressing any other requirements for running the after-school clubs and other settings.

In the afternoon, we return to the clubs for the after school sessions, starting with risk assessments and room set up. After collecting the children from their classrooms, we bring them to the designated halls or rooms. The afternoon session includes a snack, followed by a range of activities from arts and crafts to role-playing and messy play.

As the evening progresses, children gradually get collected and we pack away for the day and head home.

What’s your favourite part of the day, working with children? 

My favourite part of the day is being with the children. After dedicating lots of hours to planning there is nothing better than seeing the children enjoy all the activities that have been carefully organised.

How do you feel that you are making a difference?

In our club, we make sure there’s always a mix of fun activities. This way, parents can work without worrying, and the children can have a blast.

My absolute favourite thing is when a parent shows up a bit early, but the child is having so much fun that they tell the parent to come back later!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The dynamic nature of each day, where no two days are alike, is what I love most!

I enjoy engaging with the children, having interesting conversations with them. And discovering and implementing new activities, and witnessing the children enjoy them, is truly rewarding. Baking with the children and exploring new foods are activities I particularly enjoy too.

What’s your career highlight so far?

The most significant highlight of my career is where I find myself today, overseeing various settings and leading an incredible team. It’s not always easy but with the right support, anything is achievable.

Career tips

Why would you recommend others join the wraparound childcare sector?

I would recommend this job to others because it’s incredibly rewarding. Spending time with the children, witnessing their learning and development, is a unique experience. There are few jobs where you can have so much fun with children.

What advice would you have for anyone wanting to work with children? 

For anyone wanting to work in wraparound childcare, I’d say go for it. You get to have plenty of fun with the children in your care.

Plus, it’s so flexible too. For example, if you’re a parent, it allows you to pick up your own children from school if they attend the setting you work at, and it gives you the day to get tasks done.

If you have even a 10% desire to work with children, go for it, and consider wraparound care because it’s the most rewarding job. You’ll get back double of whatever effort you put into the role.

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