Melissa is 16 years old and doing a Level 2 apprenticeship in childcare. She’s training to be a nursery nurse whilst working in a Montessori day nursery. Here’s a list of 8 essential qualities Melissa thinks you need if you're thinking of starting work in childcare:

  1. You need patience because working with children, in my case, (sometimes 20 a day) is not easy, it is in fact challenging, you need to be in the right frame of mind and push yourself to have a smile on your face.
  1. Working with children, you need to use your initiative, for example, if one of the children in your care were to fall over but you were already cuddling and cheering another child up, you would need to do some quick thinking. But, just remember, do not panic!
  1. You need to be hard working, working long hours, sometimes five days a week and the many different tasks that you have to accomplish day-by-day, in my case endless nappy changing, kitchen duties, keeping the nursery tidy and meeting parents. It does not sound much, but when you are faced with it, it can seem like a lot to take on.
  1. You need to have a smile on your face because it brings a positive attitude towards the children. It is especially important to have a positive attitude to make sure the children have fun and enjoy their day at nursery.
  1. Motivation is key! 7.45-6.00 days are not easy... So just remember to drink plenty of water and take your full lunch break.
  1. Remember, to be warm and friendly, there is nothing that a child would want more but comfort within a nursery environment.
  1. Dedication towards the job is the main factor you need to take into account. This is important. Remember to pay attention to the children, advice from staff and listen carefully to what parents have to say.
  1. Have an interest in childcare and know what to expect when you go to start your new job. Maybe, do some research, get some study books or speak to professionals beforehand.

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