Martin Winters is a Child Development Officer at Thirlstane Day Nursery in Yoker, Glasgow. However, this was not the route that he originally saw for himself at school, and following some careers advice that he would describe as ‘pretty basic’, he had originally studied a degree in Communication and Media. Once he graduated he decided that he didn’t want to work in this area and found himself working in a number of administrative roles, including at the SQA. Whilst working there as a PA, he realised that while he enjoyed his job, he wanted a change, but just wasn’t sure what he did want to do. He researched a range of roles and when he found out about the work of Child Development Officers, he felt it was what he was looking for. Childcare wasn’t something that had ever crossed his mind before and, beyond looking after younger family members, not something he had any experience of.
Martin graduated with HNC Early Education and Childcare from Glasgow Clyde College, (the merger took place while he studied) in 2014. He had always hoped to work in a Glasgow City Council nursery, as he felt they provide valuable support to service users across a range of socio-economic areas, and that they provide good staff conditions, and was fortunate to get on the council’s supply list.
“The first role I had was in the nursery Baby Room and I hadn’t had much experience of that room, however drawing on my knowledge from college, and with support and advice from the nursery team, it went well and I had a good report from the nursery Head when it finished. The next job I applied for was my current job at Thirlstane.”
Martin adds “If anyone is thinking about studying childcare, who is maybe looking at a career change like I was, I would tell them just to trust their instincts, to research it and speak to someone working in the area and then just go for it. There’s a perception that studying childcare is for younger women but children aren’t aware of these stereotypes, they just need a range of unique adults around to help them.”