Debunking the top misconceptions of working in Early Years

I’m currently in my second year of college studying Early Years Educator and sometimes when I tell people the field I am planning to go into they act like they’re slightly disappointed, well this is in my experience anyways. Early Years is such an underrated sector, people don’t know or appreciate how important it is. I am here to tell you what people think the Early Years sector is like and what it actually is like.

  • “I would love your job, it must be so easy. All you do is play with the kids all day”
  • First of all, I do more than play with the kids all day: I change their nappies, wipe their tears, give them their lunch, I make them laugh, I teach them important parts of life and I become an important figure in their lives. Second of all, play is actually a really important aspect of a child’s learning. The child will absorb so much information from play, that we incorporate their learning into it. What people don’t realise is that what they play with is also part of their learning, when a child is playing in the sand they are working out and estimating the measurements of the sand. When a child is singing nursery rhymes with numbers in they are learning maths. As long as the activity is fun they will interact and engage with it, and therefore take in all the information. That is also how we do observations and reports on the child’s learning, we incorporate their targets and next steps into their play activities so we can monitor what the children can and can’t do.
  • “Your course must be so easy considering it’s just childcare”
  • My job and my course takes an insane amount of patience, resilience and hard work. Do you know why? Because you are training to teach the basics of life to a child who had very minimal knowledge of anything, it’s like starting to paint on a blank canvas. You have to follow a very strict curriculum to teach children the information they need to be able to function in school and in everyday life. We are teaching them reading, writing, numbers, how to use a knife and fork, how to use the toilet and also how to socially interact. This is such an important time in a child’s life and if you have any person off the street able to do it the job wouldn’t get done properly. We provide an enabling environment which helps build the foundations of a child’s life to then help provide the means of skills in later life. ALSO DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TRAINING WE HAVE TO DO?! SAFEGUARDING, HEALTH AND SAFETY, FOOD HYGIENE, INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY TRAINING AND TRAINING ON HOW TO USE CHEMICALS!
  • “If you don’t know what to do with your life you just go into hair and beauty or childcare”
  • Thank you Jack for this one! Funnily enough an Early Years (childcare) course isn’t that easy to get onto these days, I had to go for an interview with certain grades to even get considered to be on this course. It also is a lot of hard work, you’re expected to be in placement 2/3 days a week and in college 2 days and we have to pack in 4 days worth of work into 2 days because it is still such a assignment based course as well as placement based. A result of this is that many people will drop out before the end of the course, on my course for example 11 people have dropped out already and it is only the third week of the second year. I can’t speak for hair and beauty but Early Years is not a drop out option because it can be a damn hard course and your job can not be done by just any person.
  • “So you’re basically an over paid babysitter?”
  • Woah okay no I am going to stop you right there. Yes we provide a care service for your children whilst you work, and yes that child’s care and safety is our number one priority however we are doing more than that. We are creating an environment which allows the children to absorb as much knowledge as possible, where they can learn how to socially interact and form positive relationships and to make sure that all children in our care are receiving the support and help they need so that they can reach their full potential in their lifetime. So no we are NOT babysitters and honey I will tell you now we’re not overpaid. Let’s just say people working full time at a supermarket are getting paid more than working full time in a private nursery. No that’s not me shading supermarket staff, it’s just me highlighting how you don’t go into this job for the money. You go into this job for the passion you have to educate and to care for children and help sculpt the generations of the future.
  • I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope it gave you a little insight into the work/education side of my life. I also hope it gave you something to think about when it comes to Early Years settings and the job practitioners actually do.
  • 41 Comments

    1. I have SO much respect for teachers and those training for it. It is so underrated and even though I have no experience in it or ever wanted to go down this path, I know some of my friends that have and I have been asked to help with certain stuff and I can actually understand how hard some of it can be. You’re going to be great!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much that means so much! People think my job is piss easy but it’s really not sometimes, thanks for reading my love xx

        Like

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, god isn’t that right. I work hard and yet my job still isn’t worth anything to people. That’s why I want to talk about it more and show people how important it really is!
        Alex x

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m currently studying primary school education and I have a background in early childhood – it is no walk in the park! It is so undervalued and overlooked, especially considering how important those years are in a child’s development! I always think the people who think it’s easy and call us “glorified babysitters” are the same people who wouldn’t last a day doing what we do!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, because it is all so true. People will never really understand our job fully until they do it! I’m hoping to talk about this more and more so people become more aware of the job and how important it is
        Alex x

        Like

    3. So many of my friends are early year teachers! In canada, it’s called pre-school or even sometimes kindergarden for young(ish) littles. I always have so much respect for them! Some of the stories they tell me.. oh my. Patience is KEY! And they are sponges and you are the one teaching them all this new stuff! I think it’s really quite amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, it is such a common career yet still so misunderstood. In the UK it’s usually called Nursery but the ages are split into babies (0-2), toddlers (2-3) and preschool (3-5). It takes a lot of work and a hell of a lot of patience but it is also the most rewarding job. Seeing a child be proud of themselves is one of the best things in the world! I just bloody love my job!

        Like

    4. Spot on. I studied education and early childhood studies & it infuriates me how people think there isn’t much to it. It’s such an important time in children’s life and your abilities to care and teach can affect so much. Early intervention and play are so important. And yes, education is definitely not something you get into for the money! X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, since you’re in the same field your feedback is appreciated. Yeah it’s hard, people just don’t understand what it’s like. I hope that will start to change so we stop saying things like “I just work in a nursery” or I “just do Early Years” NO ITS NOT JUST, it’s amazing and we should be proud of our jobs!

        Liked by 1 person

    5. This was a really cool eye opening post 🙂 you’d never think of it that way until you hear it from someone working in the field! It was similar to mine. I never knew how in depth it could be until I had to study it. It’s crazy!
      Totally appreciated this Alex! 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, yeah nobody really sees the hard work we put in until you get told about it. Working with kids can be crazy but it’s so so worth it! What field do you study in??
        Alex x

        Liked by 1 person

    6. I did the Early Years Educator course at college and these misconceptions are all so true. It annoys me so much that working in early years is seen as easy and unimportant. Most of the human brain development happens in the first five years, so working in the early years is just about one of the most important jobs out there. It really needs to be more respected. Thanks for making this post to highlight some of the misconceptions. Good luck with your course!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, your feedback is much appreciated. Yeah I totally agree, people don’t realise how much of an important a child’s early years education is on the rest of their life so it is so important. I’m glad that you agree with me and I appreciate any feed back! I hope to help people see how important it is so people who work in that sector stop feeling ashamed by their job! Thank you so much!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ahh right that makes sense! Yeah I am really loving working with the little ones but I do prefer preschool to say the babies. It’s all about finding which group you can gel with the most and what you prefer teaching

          Like

    7. Major props to you!!! I work with college athletes and they can be difficult at times but working with young children is totally different. We run a few youth clinics so we work with younger kids occasionally but you have it daily. Also I think they are changing a lot of aspects of teaching making teachers lives harder. At least that is what my husband’s aunt says. Not sure if you find that true as well?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In Early Years we don’t have to follow any specific curriculum but whichever one we choose can have a significant impact on the children, we have to be able to implement that to the best of our ability so that the children get the best chance which they may not be able to get at home or in other situations. Rules and regulations change all of the time and we have to incorporate everything and learn pretty quickly. It’s hard but it’s definitely worth it. Thank you so much for your comment and your feedback. I’ve always wondered what it’s like to work with older children/young adults, what’s your favourite thing about it??

        Like

    8. You have pretty much hit the nail on the head AND GOOD ON YOU!! Im a registered Early childhood Educator and graduated in 2000 the sad part what your saying is right and 18 years ago that was the case then as well 😦 however I do see things looking up, and as long as you know in your heart it is one of the most rewarding jobs out there GOOD LUCk

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment, it is so much appreciated! Yeah it is still really prevalent in this sector in 2018. I love the job so far and can’t wait to really delve in and specialise and do all that exciting stuff! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and could relate to it. Thank you for your feedback! Alex x

        Liked by 1 person

    9. Yes! Brilliant read. I’m currently studying a degree in childhood and youth studies with open uni, and I’ve had apprenticeships in the past in nursery’s, so many people underestimate the time and effect working with children takes. This was a great read and very informative, everyone should read this post. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, I really appreciate your comment and your thoughts. I really liked writing this and I glad you agree it’s an important topic xx

        Like

    10. I did a weeks experience in a nursery and it was actually really difficult! Loved this post – and I take my hat off to everybody who works with young people! xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your comment and your feedback. Yeah it can be hard and a lot harder than people will imagine really but if you’ve got a good team you can achieve anything. Thank you so much x

        Like

    11. Don’t listen to any of those people. Being a teacher is the hardest job in the world- next to being a parent. It is far more complicated than anyone else truly understands and even far more complicated than what they’ll teach you in school. But if you are passionate about it, you will be fantastic!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for your comment and your kind words. It can be so hard yet so rewarding and I hate that people still deem it as a cop out job. It is not and it takes a certain person to be able to work with the kids and to have the time to help them when they need it the most🧡

        Like

      1. Thank you so much for your comment and your kind and amazing words. It is so nice to be appreciated sometimes. I didn’t aim this post to get people to feel sorry for me or to then start to praise me but to let people know what they assume isn’t always right and there is more to Early Years education than you will know. But I’ve appreciated all the amazing feedback so thank you so much. Even if that child doesn’t particularly remember you or everything you do, I know that I have helped them and that family to give that child the best start they could have🧡

        Liked by 1 person

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s