Liam – Level 3 early years teacher

Tell us a bit about your background

What did you do before you became an early years and childcare apprentice?

I’ve always had an interest in childcare, but I studied fashion and worked in a cinema before deciding that I needed to find a career I loved.  

Did you have any concerns as a male entering the childcare profession? 

When I first started, I felt like all the eyes were on me, because I’m a male in childcare. I had that in my mind, like, are people going to judge me? Now, I’m confident and comfortable and all those thoughts have completely gone. 

What inspired you to work with children in early years and childcare? 

Doing my apprenticeship with London Early Years Foundation appealed to me because I love how welcoming and inclusive the organisation is. I’m also an energetic person and naturally very nurturing so I feel like I’m now in the right world. 

A day in the life

Have you specialised in a particular role in the nursery you work in? 

I worked across all the rooms during my apprenticeship to get a feel for each age group to find the best fit and decided on the baby room when I qualified. The babies are a joy to be around. It’s rewarding to see how much they grow and develop their skills.  

What’s your favourite part of your job? 

Watching the children grow and develop as they get older, and seeing how much they progress in their development and communication skills is a real privilege. I enjoy focused activities with the children as I get to witness them having fun and see the new sparks of interest.

Hearing from parents that the children are saying my name at home puts a smile on my face

How do you feel you’re making a difference?  

I see the smiles and excitement from the moment I enter the room, for me that’s a positive impact. Having the children run over to me and give me a hug, is a clear indicator that I am making a difference to their lives. Hearing from parents that the children are saying my name at home puts a smile on my face too.  One clear indicator for me is when colleagues and parents tell me how well I am doing or how much of a clear bond there is with their child. 

What is the most rewarding thing about working with small children? 

We are keeping children safe, nurturing them, scaffolding their learning and building the foundations for their life.  

Career tips

What advice would you have for anyone wanting to work in early years and childcare?  

At first, my friends commented on how I was “just” looking after children but there is so much more to the role than that, and I feel the status of our work needs raising. 

Men considering a career in the early years need to know that they will be welcomed with open arms – remember you’re there for the children who aren’t judgemental, so you just need to be yourself.