A children’s representative is responsible for looking after groups of children (from babies to young teenagers), organising a varied programme of activities throughout the day, keeping them happy whilst in a safe environment. They are also called kids reps.
You could be:
organising and supervising activities throughout the day and early evening
ensuring the children are kept in a safe environment at all times
meeting holidaymakers at the airport and travelling with them on the coach to their hotels
taking part in welcome meetings with other reps to give families information on local attractions and customs
trying to sell excursions and special events, anything from a visit to the local waterpark to team sports
acting as link between families and hotel staff
keeping records and writing reports including any accidents.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates vary a lot, depending on whether you are a children’s representative abroad living on site.
Starting salaries for children’s representatives range from around £450 to £525 a month. With experience this could rise to around £700 to £800 a month. This may include commission earned on selling excursions. Accommodation is usually provided and you may get free or discounted meals.
You work long hours, including early mornings and evenings. You will usually get one day off a week.
Work is seasonal, with summer usually from April to October and winter from October to March.
You usually live in at the resort for the whole season.
You might be away from home for about eight months at a time, with no personal holidays during this time.
Resorts are usually abroad in a non-English speaking country.
You work both indoors and outdoors.
You could be working in extremes of temperature – very hot or very cold.
There might be lifting, carrying and running about.
You will wear a company uniform, which will be provided.
To be a children’s representative you often need to have a relevant childcare qualification, such as SVQ Social Services (Children and Young People) or Playwork at SCQF Levels 6 or 7; or an NC in Early Education and Childcare (Level 5). You might be able to get work with some companies without a formal qualification, but childcare work experience.
If working in the crèche at the resort with babies, you must have an SVQ at SCQF Level 6/7 or equivalent.
You would require at least 6 -12 months' experience working with children in a professional environment.
You should have a relevant first aid certificate or be willing to get one before you start work.
A foreign language is an advantage.
For working in a winter ski resort, knowledge and experience of snow sports is useful.
Experience of dealing with the public is useful.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
You must be over 18.
Vacancies appear in trade journals such as Travel Weekly, Travel Trade Gazette and on websites which advertise travel jobs such as traveljobsearch.com. For the summer season the main recruitment drive is usually between October and April. For the winter season recruitment takes place from April to November.
IT and maths skills for dealing with admin and currency
flexibility to adapt to new countries and cultures
to be fun and creative.
You should have:
a responsible attitude
leadership and organising skills
a sense of humour
a caring approach
the ability to deal with emergencies and remain calm under pressure
sales skills to promote trips and excursions.
After a company induction course and in-house training, most training takes place in the resort supervised by experienced staff.
Each season you would complete a week's refresher course in the resort you are placed in.
The Holiday Rep Diploma online course is aimed at various kinds of holiday rep work. Those enrolled on the course get a recruitment adviser and access to jobs with tour operators. See the Holiday Rep Diploma website for details.
Some people work in this field for only a few seasons and then move on to a second career.
If you work for a large firm, you might get promotion to team leader then team manager.
You may want to move to other areas of travel and tourism such as tourist information centres, travel agencies or the hotel industry.