There are many different career paths in childcare and early education, offering opportunities to try different things, develop new skills and progress. Here are some of the main roles you could consider:
Nursery Workers help babies and children up to 5 years old to develop and learn in a safe and supportive setting. You can become a nursery worker through gaining a qualification from a college course, an apprenticeship or applying directly.
Nursery Nurses and Assistants care and provide early education for children from birth up to seven years in day or residential nurseries, children’s homes and maternity units. The majority of employees in this role will hold an advanced apprenticeship or Level 3 qualifications (A levels or equivalent).
Nursery Managers run early years childcare centres, providing day care and early education for babies and young children from birth to 5 years of age. Many people start as a nursery worker, then move into a management role. You will usually need at least two years’ experience working in a childcare setting, or you can apply direct with a university degree in child development or other related college qualifications.
Childminders care for babies, toddlers and children, supporting their learning and development. You must register with Ofsted (external website) and be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). The role gives you plenty of opportunities for flexibility, as it involves working from your own home and you can set your hours to suit yourself.