If you enjoy taking care of young children from birth to 5+ and helping them to play and learn, childcare could be for you.

Many jobs are based in nurseries and play centres, private nurseries and schools. You can also work as a childminder in your home or as a nanny or au pair in someone else’s home. Childcare is not ‘easy’ work and is not as well-paid as teaching. You can start with very few qualifications and work your way up as you obtain higher relevant qualifications. But it is easier to find work if you already have relevant experience and/or qualifications. To set up a childminding business in your own home you need to register with Ofsted and have relevant qualifications.

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Explore where your qualifications can take you

Career maps

Refer to this useful chart that explains the different sorts of jobs in the childcare sector and what qualifications are required for each role.

Early Education and Childcare


Employer case study

Kelly Perreira, Pre-school Manager

"To get into childcare, you can start out by volunteering, but you must be prepared to undertake relevant childcare qualifications..."

Future careers

Looking after children does not rely on new technology as in some areas of education, but most childcare managers will increasingly need computer skills. You will probably need to use a computer for tasks such as registering children, online learning, handling money and contacting parents and carers. Children start to play games on consoles, smart phones and computers at an early age, and helping them with this will continue to be an important part of working with children.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:

  • You will probably need some relevant Level 2 qualifications or be working towards Level 3 or 4. CRB certification is essential and you will need an up-to-date first aid certificate. You may also need a basic food hygiene certificate.
  • A qualified childminder can care for up to six children, but no more than three under five years old, and must have insurance.
  • After training, a Norland Nanny can earn up to £34,000 living out and up to £38,000 living in with the family.

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