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Children and young people

Jono McCulloch

My name is Jono McCulloch. I’m a playworker and I’m registered with the SSSC as a practitioner in a day care of children service.

I’m employed by Broxburn Family Centre at The Range Playground’s youth club (primary school age children) and ABC Private Nursery, Livingston, in their out of school care service.

I’ve been going to out of school care since I was in Primary 1. I always looked up to the playworkers and wanted to be like them.

The main moment I knew I wanted this career was when I turned 13 and got hands on experience helping the children my mum looked after as she is a foster carer.

When I was older I got told about a modern apprenticeship at the local family centre and I applied for it, of course.

A typical working day for me is providing care for the children. I set up play spaces with different activities for the children or if I am on snack I start preparing it.

Looking after children is like looking after your own children, you care for them and respect their needs.

Play is my work, or is it?

Yes, I play with the children but we also respect them. I make sure the children have fun so they love coming back.

Helping my mum with the foster children gave me lots of experience with all ages of children and this then helped me when I started my modern apprenticeship.

During my modern apprenticeship I learned so much. I’ve moved clubs and I’m now giving my new club lots of new ideas.

The qualification I gained during my modern apprenticeship is the SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF level 7.

During my training I also gained certificates in Emergency First Aid at Work and Introduction to Child Protection.

Before I started my modern apprenticeship I had my food hygiene certificate so this meant I could prepare snacks with the children.

I love my job. Seeing or putting a smile on a child’s face will make anyone’s day.

Most people tell me ‘you must hate your job as you’re looking after 30 to 40 screaming children’ but I tell the truth that the children are funny, they make you laugh and you make them laugh.

The main thing I love about my job is getting the children to go outdoors or try things that are out of their comfort zone.

My best words of advice are to never give up on your dreams of working in childcare.

The older children (9-11 years) will look at you as a friend but just make sure you help them learn rules and listen to you because it’s your job to keep them safe.

Childcare is the best job in the world.

Jono outdoors in a paddling pool full of balls and inflatable toys

My best words of advice are to never give up on your dreams of working in childcare.

Jono McCulloch Playworker