Childcare student Amy is gaining work experience to become a Play Therapist

Amy Allen, a Level 3 Childcare and Education Learner, spoke to us about her second year on the course and how she is going off to Camp America this Summer to gain more experience working with children. Amy also spoke to us about her ambition to become a Play Therapist and the journey she plans to take to secure this occupation.

Amy allen - childcare student

Amy’s part time jobs in childcare settings helped confirm her career options.

“When I started getting into the course more, and doing all the assignments, I realised how much of a fit childcare was for me. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else, I wasn’t drawn to anything else. Plus all the jobs I had looked at, such as horse riding teacher or dance teacher, they all involved working with children. Working at the stables in my free time also confirmed this.”

Working with a range of age groups has been important.

“I have enjoyed the work placements the most on the course. I’m working in a nursery at the moment, but from last years placement, working in a school, I know I prefer that age group. I like both but I like working with 4-5 year olds the most. This year I have been in a nursery with ages 0-2 and 2-3. Its very cute. I’ve enjoyed going out and seeing what its like in industry.”

Amy wants to apply science to her work with children.

“Next year I’m going to university to study Childhood studies with Applied Psychology. I want to be able to apply the psychological practice to my work. I went to an open day the other week and it looks like I’ll be expanding my knowledge on childcare whilst learning about child development and mental health.”

Camp America is an amazing addition to Amy’s CV.

“I’m going to Camp America this summer in New York. I’ll be on a creative arts camp doing Horse Riding. My Mum told me about it and I researched it all, ended up applying without really thinking about it. On my agreement plan I’ll be working with 7-13 year olds. I’ll be out there for 12 weeks, including travel time. After that I’ll be going straight to university. It’s great work experience to add to my CV.”

The independent aspect of the course is a great halfway point between school and university.

“When picking the course, I was impressed with all the opportunities and also work placement opportunities. I also wanted a different setting from school, plus its easy to get to with my living arrangements. The tutors have been so supportive, we’ve been more independent this year with studies but If Im struggling I know I can ask. We have our own little community in the department too, we get on well together.”

Amy plans to work in a hospital setting as a Play Therapist.

“After university I want to go into Play Therapy. I’m hoping to go straight into a job or if I want to be a named Play Therapist, I’ll do a postgraduate qualification. Hopefully, I’ll end up in a hospital, as a Play Therapist, woking with children. Through this course I’ve learnt that play is a great way for children to learn. It’s a technique to get children to talk about what they are worried about. If they are in a hospital they might be worried about surgery, their illnesses or in some cases, I might need to speak to children that are being abused. Having play, been able to express and distract themselves, will allow them to relax and speak about how they are feeling. From there you can refer them to the right place, social workers and doctors etc.

I had never heard of the occupation until our careers talks last year. We had loads of people come in and talk about what we could do, after or during college. Someone came in to talk about going into foster homes doing play therapy and it intrigued me. The careers talks are really useful to find out about the range of jobs out there and what we might like to research.”

Find out more about our Childcare courses here.

Find out more about the range of courses and apprenticeships available at Chesterfield College.