Childcare recruitment drive
THOUSANDS more childcare places should be available in Suffolk during the next two years thanks to a new drive to recruit more people.More people are being urged to consider jobs within childcare to boost their own careers as well as helping someone else get back to work.
THOUSANDS more childcare places should be available in Suffolk during the next two years thanks to a new drive to recruit more people.
More people are being urged to consider jobs within childcare to boost their own careers as well as helping someone else get back to work.
At the moment demand for childcare places is outweighing the amount available.
But in the New Year, taster courses are being run for people to go along and see if they would enjoy working with children and encouraging them to work towards a qualification.
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There are many areas of childcare to work in from child minding to working in schools and nurseries.
Since 1999 Suffolk County Council has increased staffing levels by more than 3,000 and in the next two years are hoping to boost childcare places by around 4,000 – although targets have not yet formally been set.
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In the last year 146 people gained childcare qualifications but more are needed to help create the spaces.
Mark Parker is childcare planning manager at Suffolk County Council.
He said: "This will bring Suffolk closer to the average across the country as opposed to our previous position of being in the lower league.
"We are now moving up towards what we should be at."
Mr Parker said that sometimes one childcare space can help two families as they are often only used on a part time basis.
He added that there is a huge demand for childcare places, particularly because Suffolk has relatively low unemployment.
He said: "When you speak to some people they have trouble getting or keeping jobs because of child care."
Mr Parker said that child care could be a more attractive option for people now, particularly as they could now work their way up to a degree in the subject.
He said: "You can start off with no qualifications but the sky is the limit."
n. Eight free taster courses, called Making Choices are being run across the county – the first one is in Ipswich on January 7.
People will have the chance to look at their options to see whether they prefer working with babies or school age children and even get the chance to play.
For further information about where the courses are taking place contact the Suffolk Childcare Information Service on 01473 581493.