Early Years Professional Vacancy

The Garden is looking to hire a part time early years professional to work within a small, supportive team, with a group of early years children (mostly aged 2-4 years), in a low child:adult ratio outdoor setting in St Werburghs, Bristol. The position is 12 hours per week (10 hours contact time) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with the potential for more work in the future and for wraparound care provision for the children at our setting. The level of pay is £10-15/hour dependent on experience and qualifications. Ideally we're looking for someone to start on or before 8th November.


What is The Garden?

The Garden is an alternative education and childcare project that came from but is not exclusive to the home education community in Bristol. Our vision is for a self-directed, play-based space where children can decide how they spend their time and learn to build and maintain a community. Although there is a small indoor space, the setting is largely outdoors in an acre of privately owned woodland and meadow in the heart of St Werburghs.

Our values:

  • Play is the highest form of human expression

  • Community is central to wellbeing

  • Autonomy is key to fulfilment

  • Connection to nature is essential

You can find out more about our ethos and approach here: http://www.thegardenbristol.org/vision/


Job description

The facilitator will mainly be responsible for the pastoral care of the children.



  • Ensuring children’s physical and emotional needs are met

  • Facilitating the children’s interests and play

  • Overseeing conflict resolution and fostering cohesion

  • Inspiring without directing the children

Person specification

We are primarily looking for someone who understands our vision and who feels their values are at least compatible with ours. Relevant qualifications are helpful but not essential, though a commitment to professional development is expected.

Essential qualities:

  • Experience and love of working with young children

  • Commitment to the values and vision of The Garden

  • Ability to empower children to solve problems themselves

  • Enjoyment of being outdoors

  • Paedatric first aid (ideally with outdoor specialism - this can be arranged if not held)

  • Willingness to work towards an unconditional approach (no punishment or reward, including praise)


Desirable qualities:

  • Early years qualification (ideally level 3)

  • Forest school qualification (ideally level 3)

  • Experience of making and recording observations

  • Familiarity with the EYFS

  • Not dogmatically attached to any particular pedagogy or educational theories

  • Understanding of Non-Violent Communication (NVC)


This is an especially exciting opportunity as we’re looking for someone to be involved with developing and shaping the early years element of project, as part of a network of similar settings and a growing worldwide movement of self-directed education and childcare.  


How to apply

If you share our passion for creating a nurturing space where children’s rights are respected then please get in touch. To apply for the position or to find out more about the role or The Garden please email hello@thegardenbristol.org for an application form that should be submitted by midnight on 13th October 2016.