Working in childcare

Working with children is a fast-growing profession offering plenty of variety and great prospects.

What type of work would suit me?

Firstly, think about the age group you want to work with. Work with children aged from birth up to five years is usually called 'early years' and includes nursery nurses, playgroup and creche workers.

Work with over fives outside school hours is normally called 'playwork' and includes working in before and after school or holiday clubs. You should consider whether you want to work full or part time. See more information about the different roles available.

You could look at becoming a registered childminder, this is where you work in your own home and provide childcare which could include holiday care and before and after school services.

What should I do next?

So you've decided what type of work might be suitable for you - but what's the next step?


Before committing yourself to a job or training, it might be helpful to get some experience working with the age group that interests you. Local playgroups, church groups and holiday playschemes usually welcome volunteers.

It may also be possible to gain experience on a voluntary basis in other settings (you will probably need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before you can volunteer in a setting). Find out more about volunteering.


To work in the childcare field, it is recommended that you gain a childcare qualification. Some courses will require full time attendance at college (eg CACHE Diploma/NNEB) with some of your time spent with children in a placement.

Other courses may be completed by part-time attendance at college while you are working. If you are currently unemployed Jobcentre Plus may be able to fund certain training courses, check with your local job centre advisor.

National Day Nursery Association offers a free online training course, introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The aim of the course is to provide a basic overview and understanding of the revised EYFS, key changes to the EYFS, Development Matters and Ofsted inspection framework.

This will help develop knowledge and understanding of high quality childcare provision. To access this online training course, learners will need to register for a free account on NDNA's Early Years Development Zone. For any enquiries, please contact NDNA's training department on 01484 407070.

To find the right training course to develop your early years career, search the online directory, EYupskill

Current vacancies

Playworker Supervisor - Kickshart Education

16-22 hours per week, term time only, breakfast and after school club

Kickstart Education is a limited social enterprise operating in the Greater Manchester and East Cheshire areas of the North-West of England.

Our core values of delivering excellence, promoting respect and working together shape how we approach our work and the services we provide to the schools, children, staff and parents we support. The successful candidate will be based in our new wrap around childcare provision at Barton Moss Primary School in Eccles, Greater Manchester which will open on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

The ideal candidate for this role will be based in Greater Manchester, within a commutable distance of Eccles.

The role will report to the Director of Childcare and will undertake the following duties:

  • Engage and play with children aged three to 11 in our wrap around provisions
  • During term-time to run and lead the breakfast and after school provision
  • Prepare and serve breakfast and snacks in line with food hygiene regulations
  • Help to prepare, plan and deliver activities that engage children aged 3-11
  • Implement company policies and protect the safety and welfare of children under the organisation’s care
  • Maintain administrative records and support the management team to compile childcare records as required
  • Attend staff meetings and training when required
  • Promote the interests of the organisation
  • Provide a professional service to parents and children
  • Perform any other duties as required by the organisation

It is essential that the successful candidate has:

  • Successfully completed a childcare qualification at least to Level 3 standard
  • Evidence of working in a supervisory role provision for at least 12 months
  • Attended or is willing to attend a Paediatric First Aid Course
  • Obtained or is willing to obtain Food Hygiene training
  • A satisfactory enhanced DBS check and safeguarding training (or is willing to complete)
  • Ability to send/receive emails
  • Excellent administration
  • The ability to work independently as well as part of a small team

If you would like to apply for this position, please email a letter of application highlighting your suitability for the role, together with a current CV evidencing your qualifications, education, and experience to

The successful candidate will be required to undergo and enhanced DBS check, reference checks and evidence qualifications prior to appointment.

Key dates for the role

Due to the large number of applications we anticipate, interviews will be arranged on an individual basis.

  • Closing date: Friday 17 November 2017
  • Start date: Wednesday 3 January 2018

Kickstart is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates.


This page was last updated on 13 November 2017

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