Air hostess Lorraine Kirkwood decided to retrain to work with children – and her new career took off.
The Record are backing an early years careers event and a manager in the sector tells how it is rewarding and valuable. She’s now manager of the Monkey Puzzle Nursery and After School Centre in Glasgow, and is a former winner of Nursery Manager of the Year at the Nursery Management Today awards.
The Government are planning a big increase in the number of jobs in the early years sector by 2020 and Lorraine is keen to recommend a career working with children.
The 40-year-old, from Glasgow, said: “It is such a rewarding profession because you can see the impact of your role in influencing children’s development and making sure they are reaching their full potential.
“As a career, it allows you to grow and develop your interests and passions.”
With 11,000 recruits needed in Scotland in this sector, there’s now a great chance to find out more about working with young children.
The Daily Record have teamed up with Early Years Scotland to organise a careers event on February 1 at The Studio in Hope Street, Glasgow.
Lorraine said: “I worked as an air hostess from the time I left school until I was 23.
“After becoming a single parent, I quickly realised I couldn’t do 3am starts so, when I was on maternity leave, I was looking to see what else I could do.
“My dad said, ‘You’ve always been good with kids, what about childcare?’
“I accessed a course through the lone parent organisation One Plus. They had a nursery so I was able to leave my son there while I completed my SVQ Level 2 over a year.
“My tutor encouraged me to apply to Langside College and I did an HNC in Early Education and Childcare, which I passed with merit.
“I had done a placement with special needs children and could use sign language, so they encouraged me to do an HND in Supporting and Managing Learning Needs and I completed that in 2005 with merit.
“At that point, the college were in negotiations with the University of Abertay in Dundee and were looking for candidates for their degree course.
“I was accepted on to the last year of the degree and commuted three days a week while my dad and mum supported me with childcare.
“In between, I was a part-time practitioner with children with
additional support needs.
“When I was coming to the end of my degree, my manager at the nursery left and I was offered a management role.
“I’ve worked in management ever since. I’m finishing an Early Years Masters now with the University of the West of Scotland.
“For someone who left school with eight standard grades, it just shows what can be done.”
Early Years Scotland are committed to providing the very best start in life for every child in Scotland. At their careers event organised with the Record, there will be a panel of experts with exhibitors from colleges and training organisations from across Scotland.
The Early Years Career Morning takes place at the Studio, 67 Hope Street Glasgow on February 1st.