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What does looking after children involve?

Care assistants provide basic personal care and social care to children and young people in a variety of settings, including special schools, day centres and residential care homes. They help children and young people with everyday tasks, as well as encouraging their social and personal development.

Usually working in a team, assistants plan and supervise activities that encourage the children to develop new skills and form relationships with each other.

Some care assistants work with children who have special needs, perhaps because of a physical or learning disability. Depending on the age and abilities of the child, a care assistant may help them to wash, dress, go to the toilet, and prepare or eat meals.

What skills will I need?

To work with children you will need to have:
  • a love of children and a commitment to giving them high standards of care
  • patience and a sense of humour
  • flexibility
  • good communication skills
  • an awareness of health, safety and hygiene
  • knowledge of child protection issues
  • the ability to keep written records and do simple financial calculations.


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