Martin Winters

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 comments:

“I researched the qualifications I would need to be able to work in Childcare and realised that I had to start at the NC level.  I had been recommended to study at Anniesland College so I applied there and was accepted.  After the first couple of weeks I knew that I had made the right choice and also that I wanted to do well in it.”
It was a big step to leave the security of his job and income but Martin managed to pick up some part-time work while he studied and he was fortunate that his partner was able to support his return to study too.  
“I really enjoyed going on placement which gave me experience of different nursery environments, including one placement which was at the college nursery.  This was great as I could still access the college to study which can be difficult when you’re out on placement.”

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.”


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