Jo Ashurst – out-of-school club manager
Where do you work?
I run an out-of-school club in Wrexham called Jumping Jack’s.
How did you get into this line of work?
Nine years ago, I moved to Wrexham after 20 years as a social worker in Manchester. I had been considering a career change, but I still wanted to work with children. I decided to set up Jumping Jack’s after noticing how few out-of-school facilities there were and the club has been really popular. We now have places for 56 children and run a club throughout the school holidays as well.
Is it important to get qualifications?
Definitely. There is always something new going on in childcare so it’s important to make the most of training and development opportunities.
What does your job involve?
As manager, I am responsible for supervising staff, taking care of paperwork and admin and managing the financial side of the business. However, I also make sure that I spend plenty of time with the children as well – that’s the whole point of being in this job!
What do you find most challenging about your job?
Ensuring that we have the right kind of people working here and that all the staff are happy, motivated and feel supported in their work. It can be quite a balancing act sometimes.
What do enjoy most about your job?
Without doubt, being with children is the best thing for me. We have a number of children here with special needs and it is especially rewarding to be with them and see them enjoying themselves and playing with other children.
What advice would you have for anyone considering a career in childcare?
Make sure you get your qualifications and keep up to date with new developments in the childcare sector. It is a very interesting job – you’ll never be a millionaire, but there is plenty of job satisfaction.