Working with children can be hugely rewarding and interesting, allowing you to use your creative skills and get away from traditional desk jobs. Many entrepreneurs start off on a career path before they go it alone, and if you want to work with children, it’s worth getting a few years of experience and some qualifications under your belt before you launch your business. This gives you something to fall back on, as well as reassuring people that you can care for their kids. If you are hoping to start your own business in the future and will be doing something child-focused, here are some career ideas to get you started.
When you become a nurse, you open up a multitude of potential career paths and can specialize in working with children if that’s what you’d prefer. For example, taking one of the neonatal nurse practitioner programs at Baylor University qualifies you to work with the under twos at an interesting point in their development, or you could become a pediatric nurse and work with kids up to the age of 18. Once you’ve become a registered nurse, there are lots of possibilities.
Those who work in nursing will often get a few years of experience in their career and then go it alone. Registered nurses may go onto careers such as:
• Doulas – these professionals help women before, during and immediately after birth, and having a nursing certification can be a big advantage
• Home health professionals – you could start a business offering your nursing services in a home environment for sick or disabled children
• Private pediatric nursing – some parents will hire a pediatric nurse for one-on-one care for their child, or you may have a small roster of clients, which allows you to offer high levels of service
• Lactation consultants – women who are struggling to breastfeed will often hire a lactation consultant, and they will usually prefer someone with neo-natal experience such as a nurse
• Telehealth nursing – you could offer your services via the internet for when parents need help out of hours or when they are away from a clinic
Becoming a nurse doesn’t mean you have to work for someone else. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, your career may move towards starting your own business.
An obvious career choice for those who want to work with kids is going into childcare. If you’re friends with any parents, you’ll know what a struggle it can be for them to access good quality childcare, so there’s certainly the demand in some areas.
There are many different types of childcare providers, including:
• Nannies – they usually work for one family at a time in the family’s home, meaning the kids can enjoy a homely environment and individual attention
• Au pairs – often coming to the USA from overseas, au pairs live with the family and provide a certain number of hours of childcare in exchange for room, board and an allowance, often while studying part-time
• Daycare centers – daycare is non-residential childcare, where parents drop the kids off for half or full days. Usually catering to kids from babies until the age of five, they have a structured environment and allow children to socialize
• Family day care – like a daycare center, but based in a home, they usually cater for a small number of children
• Pre-K – based in a classroom, pre-K is usually for three to four-year-old children, and can be a good way to prepare them for the structured setting of kindergarten
If you’re thinking of starting your own childcare business, getting experience is important, as parents will want to know their kids are being looked after by someone who knows what they are doing. You should also check out the requirements for starting a daycare center in your state, from the licensing laws to what first aid certificates you’ll require.
Childcare is not generally a well-paid job, so starting your own childcare business is worth considering in the long term. Take a look at the average cost of childcare per state, then work out your expenses and overheads to see if this type of business startup could turn a profit.
Teaching is another career that isn’t known for being well paid, but your teaching experience could certainly be used as a springboard to start your own business. If you love kids, then teaching is certainly an interesting career choice that’ll challenge you every day, whether you teach the pre-K kids at the start of their school journey, or high schoolers who are about to take the big step into college.
There are lots of ways to become a teacher, and requirements will vary from state to state. Once you’re a qualified teacher and have some experience, you can think about where to take your career next.
Tutoring is the obvious choice for qualified teachers who want to start their own business.
Whether it’s done face to face or online, good tutors are highly in demand, especially for students who are doing exams or their college applications. However, tutoring is by no means the only business you can set up. Many teachers start businesses that create educational materials, allowing them to use their creativity, or they deliver corporate training. Others start businesses that offer services to the school, from sports training to specialist art lessons. It all depends on the subject you specialize in and where your strengths lie.
Many people want to work with children as part of their career, as it can be rewarding and make you feel like you’ve made a big difference to their life. However, going into this kind of career doesn’t mean you can’t also be an entrepreneur, as there’s still lots of potential to go it alone and start your own business. Think about what skills you could offer to the public based on your career choice, and that’ll be the basis of your business, whether you want to teach children or help them heal.