With Level 3 qualifications like A levels, and considerably more experience, you would be given further responsibility.

This might include planning the children’s curriculum and activities, writing reports and supporting and monitoring less experienced staff. You might do administration work, check DBS checks for new staff members and monitor less experienced staff doing observations for their Level 2 or 3 qualifications.

Case study

Make sure you really like working with very young children and babies and get some work experience...

Carrie Packham, deputy manager at a pre-school

Example jobs

Learning assistant
Supporting the learning of children in a nursery setting.

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

Working in your own home to look after children (sometimes with your own children), either before or after school, or during the day with pre-school children.

Working in your employer’s home to look after one or more children. You will usually have qualifications and/or experience. You could live in or out, and sometimes a car is provided so you can take the children to and from school.

Things you need to know

Typical working conditions

  • Working with children is always a hectic, responsible, busy and tiring environment, so you must enjoy working with both very young and school age children.
  • Childminders often work during school holidays, looking after the children of parents who work during the holidays.
  • As a nanny, some foreign travel could be included when the family goes on holiday.

Qualifications needed

You will need Level 3 CACHE or NVQ, NNEB, BTECs or other Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Level 3 qualifications. You could be working towards Level 4 qualifications.

To become a nanny you will usually need a childcare qualification, together with lots of experience. 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. You will also need a recent enhanced DBS check.

Career path

Gaining qualifications in special educational needs (SEN) and additional learning needs can help you take on more responsibility and earn more, when coupled with higher level teaching assistant qualifications. You could do further study such as an Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) degree at university, then do a degree to obtain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to teach in a primary school.

With further qualifications and experience, you could become a senior childcarer or assistant manager of a larger centre in a college, university or commercial business setting. You might choose to set up and run your own childcare business. If you are working as a childminder, you could develop your business by taking on staff. You might choose to undertake Norland Nanny training.

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