Blog: Ruth, Education and Childcare Lecturer


Our Education and Childcare Lecturer, Ruth, went from hairdresser to childcare worker after studying as a mature student. Find out all about a career in the childcare industry, how Ruth got started and how you could too.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Ruth Healy and I’m an Education and Childcare Lecturer at Moray College UHI. When I left school at 15 years old I began work as a hairdresser and throughout the years I would look after my boss’s children and babysit in the evenings. I took a career break to go backpacking around Australia, and when I came home I applied for a job as a nanny because I realised that I got more enjoyment from caring for children than anything else. After having my own two children, I volunteered at the local primary school as a classroom assistant for about 5 years. I decided that I wanted to go to college, and Moray College UHI gave me guidance on where to go with my career as a woman in my forties. I studied counselling then got a job as a residential childcare support worker and during this employment studied to achieve an HNC in Childhood Practice.

Describe a typical day in your line of work?

No two days are the same as I am involved with a wide range of students on SCQF Levels 4, 5 and 6. I am always busy preparing classes or marking assessments, but my favourite part is being in classes, interacting with students. I have to be flexible so that I can adapt my teaching style to suit each student.

What is your favourite aspect of the Education and Childcare courses at Moray College UHI?

The best thing about our courses is that you gain understanding, knowledge and skills about childcare in college before going on placement where you can see all those things in practice. Not only will you gain knowledge of child development, how to provide a caring environment, and the importance of play, but also the policies and procedures of childcare settings. I love interacting with my students and seeing their confidence grow throughout the course.

What opportunities are there for our graduates?

Depending on the level a student graduates at, students can become nannies, playgroup or nursery workers, classroom assistants, nursery or primary school teachers. All of our full time courses involve students going on placement and we have very good partnerships with schools and nurseries in the Moray area, so as students go through the course, they can get a good variety of experiences to bring with them when they enter the world of work.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

My children are now teenagers, so I enjoy time with my family having dinner or watching movies. I am lucky to live by the sea, so I enjoy walking my scruffy wee dog along the beach and clifftops. I am also learning how to sew and crotchet.

What is your favourite food/meal?

Chicken tagliatelle.

What is your favourite song?

This is a tricky one because I enjoy all kinds of music but today, I think it would be Mr Brightside by The Killers!

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I have lived in an underground cave.

What is the best advice you ever received and who was it from?

“Try to listen twice as much as you talk” from my mum because I was a chatterbox.

If you were a super-hero, what type of powers would you have?

Time travel!

Our Education and Childcare team will help you gain the qualifications you need to find your future career. We offer qualifications to suit everyone, from an NQ in Playwork and Early Education and Childcare, to degrees in Childhood Practice or Child and Youth Studies. We also offer the Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in both Primary and Secondary teaching. Find out more and apply.