Caroline Matthews – playgroup manager
Where do you work?
I manage Trehafren Children’s Centre in Newtown, Powys.
How did you get into this job?
I got involved in the playgroup when my first daughter started attending. I helped out as a volunteer and joined the committee and then when a job came up, I went for it. As the centre has grown, I’ve taken on more responsibility and now I manage eight staff looking after 24 children per session for 10 sessions a week.
Is it important to get qualifications?
Absolutely. I’ve done the NVQ level three and am just about to start level four, but I’ve also done lots of short courses and Early Years education training as well. It all helps.
What does your job involve?
Supervising the playgroup workers, liaising with parents, managing the accounts and registrations and other administrative work.
What do you find most challenging about your job?
I have recently been appointed regional executive officer for the Wales Pre-school Playgroups Association, so balancing that with my commitment to the playgroup can be quite a challenge.
What do enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy the amount of contact I have with staff, parents and other people involved in the playgroup, and even though I don’t work directly with children as much these days, it’s still nice to work in this kind of environment.
What advice would you have for anyone considering a career in childcare?
It is a really enjoyable job, but you have to be 100 per cent committed. There is a lot more to it than just playing games with the children and you have to be prepared for that, but the rewards are worth the effort.