With an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) degree, together with some length of relevant experience, you could set up your own nursery or centre.

Some graduates decide to stay at home with their own children and set up a childminding business.

You could enter the teaching profession as a teaching assistant, which tends to be better paid than jobs with a ‘nursery’ or ‘childcare’ job title.

Becoming a Norland Nanny or gaining another professionally recognised Level 4 qualification will allow you to access much higher salaries. If your job is residential, you could live, eat and sleep on site.

Example jobs

Centre manager of a large private nursery or centre

Managing the centre, responsible for staff training, health and safety procedures, equipment and resources, planning and preparing curriculum activities.

Local authority EYFS adviser
Managing and monitoring local authority schools and nurseries to ensure standards are high and that regulations are being followed.

Higher level teaching assistant (Grade 7)
Working in a school, perhaps taking responsibility for groups and even taking the class in the teacher’s absence.

Learning mentor
Working with identified children who need extra support, such as those with special educational needs (SEN), additional needs or behavioural needs.

Working and perhaps living in the child’s or children’s family home on a 24/7 basis. A car could be provided for the school run and you might go on holidays with the family.

Case study

Every day is different. It is all about the journey we make with the children, seeing them develop as they mature and watching them grow...

Carrie Packham, deputy manager at a pre-school

Things you need to know

Typical working conditions

  • Working with children in any setting is always a hectic, responsible, busy and tiring environment, so you must enjoy working with both very young and school age children.
  • You could work in your own home or someone else’s to care for children. Or you could work in a centre such as a nursery.
  • Childminders must be registered with Ofsted, but you can still look after friends’ or relatives’ children without registering.

Qualifications needed

For work at this level you will need an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) BA Hons degree, a related childcare degree or a CACHE or BTEC diploma.

Childminders must be registered with Ofsted. Health and safety is an important aspect of work with children and special insurance is usually part of any contract. Having an up-to-date first aid certificate is always a plus. You will also need an up to date enhanced DBS check.

Career path

With considerable relevant experience, you could become a centre manager.

Becoming an early years or childcare lecturer in a college or university is possible, especially if you wish to study for a higher degree. Or you might choose to apply for a childcare advisory, administration or management position with a local authority.

You could become a primary school teacher or teach in a secondary school, as long as childcare courses are on the school’s curriculum. You will need to obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

If you are adventurous and entrepreneurial, you could set up your own childcare business.


As a nurse, you can take on more senior roles, including management. You could decide to move into working in a school, company, prison or in the armed forces. Doctors can specialise, become more senior (for example, becoming a consultant) or move into management. They can also work elsewhere, including in private practice.

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