Debbie Lamont, Early Year Worker, East Dunbartonshire
“It’s wonderful. It’s a happy, friendly and fun environment where children laugh, learn and play (and so do I!) and where I promote the use of Gaelic by immersing the children in the language”
1. Why have you chosen to work in a career in Gaelic early years?
It’s the growth that you see in the children and knowing that you’ve had a tiny part to play in how the children have progressed and developed.
2. Have you always worked in social services?
After school, one of my first job was in childcare. I then moved to office work and when I was made redundant in 2016, I returned to working with children and young people.
3. Tell us more about your job?
I work with a nursery teacher, 2 early years workers and an early years support worker. I promote the use of Gaelic by immersing the children in the language and I model and repeat Gaelic non stop! It’s such an important part of life which can contribute to shaping the children into the people they want to become and their time with us helps gets them ready for their GME journey. I also send words home for parents to read phonetically, so that they can support their children’s learning. I love how positive my workplace is and recognise how lucky I am to work at this nursery.
4. What inspires you in your job?
I love working with this age group and no day is typical. I always have the best interests of the child in mind and I work hard on building a trusting relationship with the child and their families. I have a parent partnership champion role within my job where I explore ways for parents and carers to engage with their child’s learning. You need to enjoy working with children – recognise that they have rights and that their wellbeing is a number one priority.
5. What are the best bits about your job?
Every day I get a chance to act, dance, sing and laugh. It’s wonderful. It’s a happy, friendly and fun environment where children laugh, learn and play (and so do I!) and where I promote the use of Gaelic by immersing the children in the language.
6. How do you support the children in learning Gàidhlig?
I promote the use of Gaelic by immersing the children in the language and I model and repeat Gaelic non stop! Our nursery signs up to any extra Gaelic initiatives like Leugh is Seinn/Gaelic Bookbug. We use Gaelic every day; in our routines, in our lessons, to reinforce it with the children and to introduce it to families.
7. In what way is you job rewarding?
Every day I get a chance to act, dance, sing and laugh. I play with the children or observe them at play, and I create lessons based on their interests and our curriculum and topics. I clean up and deal with any accidents or incidents and I complete some paperwork and speak to families.
8. What skills & qualities are needed to do your job?
You need to enjoy working with children – recognise that they have rights and that t heir wellbeing is a number one priority.
9. Has the job opened new opportunities for you?
I’ve just been accepted to a Graduate Diploma in Childhood studies which I start soon. I would like to get some supervisory experience in a few years. I’ve completed the Fás course with BnG which has strengthened my Gaelic language knowledge.
10. What would you say to someone who was thinking of working in the Gaelic Early years sector?
Come and volunteer with us for a few hours a week or at another Gaelic nursery, you can pick up some of the language and strategies. Did you know that the SSSC accept qualifications meeting requirements of other regulatory bodies such as health care professionals and nurses which allows you to register as an early years worker. My community education degree is accepted as an acceptable qualification. Many establishments offer on the job training so you can get paid and get qualified at the same time.
Read more #DèanDiofarTrath-bhliadhnaichean case studies here.