Thursday, 7 September 2017


Hey guys,

Here I am, back again with a blog post all about working with children. I know there are many stories and myths floating around about what it is like working with children... But is that what it is really like?

Third year of uni, I was so broke and I knew I needed a regular income. I was not in uni a lot, so I decided to get a full time job. Now this was my third year of uni, so I had deadlines and a dissertation to write whilst juggling a full-time job. Yes it was very hard, but I was desperate and I needed a resolution. 

There I was late one night searching through looking for a job that I could use to fit around my studies. Nothing. Nada. I could not find anything for the life of me, so I decided to let out a silent prayer to God. I refreshed the page and a 'sponsored' job popped up on the top of the page. This job was looking for a creche assistant in an English learning school in the city centre with an immediate start. I thought to myself, "I have the qualifications so why not?" So I applied right away. Within 4 days, I was interviewed and given the job. 

Now this were to be completely different to the work experience that I previously carried out. The majority of the students in the building where I work are Muslim mothers and fathers who have come over from Saudi Arabia to learn the English language, so we therefore work in the creche inside of the building to care for their children. The language barrier between ourselves and the children is quite high, and I was scared that I wouldn't be able to create a bond with the children. What I found out though, is that because of the language barrier the bond between the children and yourself is stronger because they have to give you all of their trust. Over time, the children to begin to understand English and they pick up new words too which is even more rewarding. 

So what is it really like working with children?

Getting to know the children

First thing's first, you have to get to know the children and this is not an overnight job. It can take weeks to eventually know the children on a personal level- know their comforts and discomforts, know when they're tired, how they like their bottles being made etc. Every little detail to their personality is important. That important that we have to ensure we observe and note down their improvements and what they like/what they don't like. 

A child may only like to sit in his pram for the entire time that they are in the creche. Even though this is annoying and frustrating on your behalf, you have to respect that the child thinks of you as a stranger so you have to earn their trust. Eventually, they will be running around the rooms and interacting with the other children. I think the creche that I work in can hold up to 28 children ranging from 0months to 5years. That is a lot of children. Each child is unique and has different needs and preferences that all have to be acknowledged.

Language Barriers

Now not all establishments that care for children will have language barriers, but because I work within an English learning school and Manchester is a large city within the UK, there are language barriers in place. 

Believe me when I say this was daunting when I first began at work. I did not understand a word of what was being said to me, I felt like I couldn't communicate with the parents properly and I felt as though I was not going to get anywhere with the children. It is hard work. You feel like you have failed when a child is sobbing uncontrollably for their mother, they are crying to you in Arabic and you cannot understand what they are saying at all. All that can leave your mouth is "Mama soon". Eventually, I began to pick up words and phrases from the Arabic language without even thinking about it. The parents are great at helping you too. They will provide you with useful words and phrases that can be used with the children to make it easier for both parties, and it also gives us creche assistants the opportunity to get closer to the parents and the children and take another new challenge on. Something that I love.

Although the language barrier may seem like an issue to some people, it has encouraged me to self-teach myself Arabic. This is through online teaching, but also working where I work and being given that opportunity to converse with the parents. 

The illnesses and the sicknesses

It is true what they say about getting ill when you work with children. If one child has something, not only will the other children quickly pick it up but so do the creche assistants. This can range from a common cold, to a sickness bug to head lice. It is inevitable what you are going to encounter and have to deal with. This can put a lot of people off working with the children, but it honestly isn't all as bad as it is made out to be. It is not that common for a child to get ill and pass it on in the creche. It isn't all of the time that you pick up an illness from a child you were comforting a few weeks back. Everyone gets ill, and unfortunately because children have weaker immune systems than most adults they encounter it first. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. 

The messy bits

You cannot be shy when it comes to the time of changing a nappy, a leaked nappy or cleaning up sick. It has to be done, and you probably will have to do it. I can honestly say, this was the highest factor of working within the care environment that was putting me off. 

On my first day, one of the first things that I had to do was relieve a choking baby and change a heavily leaked nappy. When it comes to the point of actually having to do something, you don't ask yourself questions. You don't consider doing anything you just do it. You see past the messy bits, and realise that the children are helpless and can't do it for themselves so you have to help care for them. This really increases your bond with them. 

I've had heavily leaked nappies, children throwing up all over themselves, I've been urinated on but it doesn't change my perspective of the job. I love it nevertheless.


You will get attached to the children, it is inevitable. There's always that one cheeky toddler that catches your eye, the adorable 5 month old baby with the biggest smile or the little girl with the most gorgeous curly hair. But the children choose you too. You will always have at least one child acting as your shadow throughout the day; demanding your attention by throwing countless amounts of Duplo and train track pieces at your head... But it's all part of the job! Fab!

When people say, "don't ya cry when the kid leaves? Couldn't do that job me." Yeah I have cried. I can remember when it was one of the children's last days in the creche, and they were flying back to Saudi Arabia the next morning meaning I knew I would never see them again. I had spent every day for 8 weeks with this little boy, caring for him and being a part of his life. It absolutely broke my heart and I sobbed. It didn't put me off my job though. I meet incredible children all of the time, and when it is time for them to leave I feel proud and privileged to have been there for them at the beginning of their lives. It makes ya feel goooood.

So, if you're considering working with children or you have the qualifications but don't know if it is the path you want to take... I honestly advise to go for it. It isn't something that I pictured within my career path, but I am glad that I chose something different and I am glad that I chose something which has a positive impact on children's lives.