Careers in Early Years

 £1,000 golden hello for new childcare recruits in Northumberland 

Video:  Hear from the team at Cubs & Kits in Berwick about the rewards of working in early years  

A major new national recruitment campaign has been launched by the Department for Education alongside a pilot of £1,000 golden hellos to give nurseries and early years providers the workers they need and offer more childcare places for parents. 
The “Do Something Big” recruitment campaign aims to encourage people to start or return to a career working with small children and celebrates the life-changing rewards careers in early years can bring.  
A £1,000 sign-on bonus for eligible childcare workers is also being launched in 20 Local Authorities across the UK including Northumberland. 
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet member for Inspiring Young People, said: “The impact of the learning and development a child experiences during their first five years will last a lifetime.  
“The quality of early years provision in Northumberland is excellent with 97% of early years providers rated Good or Outstanding. 
“This year will see the biggest expansion to childcare support that the country has ever seen. This is creating lots of opportunities for children, for families and also for people looking for rewarding careers.  
“Our early years and childcare providers are the absolute cornerstone of our education system, laying those vital foundations so that children will be ready for school. 
“As a council, we are supporting the sector at this exciting time, and we are looking for people with a wide range of experiences who are passionate about giving children the best start in life to join us.” 
It comes as the latest data shows that 102,480 children nationally have been registered on the system, reflecting the strength of demand across the country before the first phase of the largest ever expansion in free childcare kicks in from April. 
In the first wave, eligible working parents of two-year-olds can access up to 15 hours of childcare support. By September 2025, most working families with children under the age of five will be entitled to 30 hours of childcare support. You can check your entitlement here at the Childcare Choices website. 
This means there will be more opportunities than ever to carve a career in this invaluable sector, with jobs and apprenticeships available in preschools, nurseries and out-of-school clubs across the county; and funding on offer for entrepreneurs to set up their own childminding businesses.   
Sam Neil, is a senior early years worker at Cubs & Kits Daycare Nursery based at Northumberland County Council’s Berwick Family Hub. She said: “I just think it’s one of the most rewarding jobs you can do – you come into work and these kids amaze you: they do something they’ve never done before, and you feel that you’ve made an impact.  
It’s so rewarding, and they put a smile on my face all the time. 
“I started on a temporary seven-hour contract then became a full-time member of staff and now I’m a senior early years worker. 
“Once you are in a job like this, the opportunities are endless.” 
The council’s Early Years and Childcare team provide staff development and training opportunities across the sector in Northumberland. 

Kay Summers, Early Years Adviser for Northumberland County Council said: “This is a really exciting time for the early years sector and is creating so many new opportunities.

"Whether you are at the start of your career, looking for your next steps – or maybe a career change – we'd love to hear from you and can offer advice on jobs and apprenticeships available now as well as training opportunities.”  

Video:  Hear from the team at Cubs & Kits in Berwick about the rewards of working in early years  

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