Are you interested in a career in childcare?
Fantastic! But before you embark upon your new venture, there are a few things you need to know.
We’ll try to cover everything in a series of guides. This particular page is all about childcare courses you can take.
For a lot of jobs within the childcare sector, you will need the necessary qualifications. Earning them can requires commitment and can take a few years, but the rewards are worth it.
If you want to begin your career in childcare, you need to enroll on the right course.
We’re here to help you get started. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Where Can I Enroll on a Childcare Course?
There are plenty of options for childcare courses.
Many local colleges throughout the UK offer something that allows you to take your first steps towards becoming a childcare practitioner.
Simply search for colleges (or sixth-form) in your area and check out what’s on the prospectus.
There are university courses you can take in childcare, but these are not necessarily needed to work in a nursery.
The different types of courses you can take include NVQ, BTEC and CACHE. We go into more detail on childcare qualifications in this guide.
Another option is to undertake an apprenticeship. They are quite widely available, simply ask at one of your local nurseries to see if they’d be interested in taking you on.
That way, you can earn money and study at the same time.
We’d always recommend looking at the standards of care on offer at any nursery you might be keen to work at because the standard of care on offer will directly relate to the the quality of training you receive.
All Ofsted reports are available online. It’s important to make sure you’re working in a high-quality setting – and ideally somewhere that offers genuine long term career options.
Childcare Courses Online
In the digital age, it’s also possible to enroll on an online childcare course.
However, it is very often the case these are not officially recognised childcare qualifications.
They might look convincing, but if they are not officially accredited they do not count and don’t provide you with any formal qualification. We can only advise you to be very careful.
At Shine, we would always prefer candidates to have real-life experience. As such, we wouldn’t recommend taking a childcare course online.
In the past, we have had to inform individuals they are not qualified – even though they think they are because they’ve taken an internet course.
So be careful when browsing online for courses in childcare.
Paid or Free Childcare Courses
There are both free and paid options when it comes to enrolling on a childcare course.
Local colleges will very often offer them for free. These are typically aimed at people leaving school, who are interested in a career in childcare, and are highly sought after by employers.
However, if you’re looking to do an online course – you will probably need to go for a paid option.
The exact costs can vary. It depends on who is providing the course, the type of qualification it earns you, and how long it takes.
For a year long course, expect to pay between £250 and £500. Again, be very careful with online courses as to whether they are accredited or not.
Which Course Is Right for Me?
That depends entirely on what you want out of a career in childcare.
As mentioned, there are a variety of different qualifications you can earn – and different levels to which you can be qualified.
Read all about that in our qualifications guide.
If you are able to attend a college or sixth form to complete your course, then we’d recommend doing so.
Here at Shine, we generally require our employees to work towards having an NVQ Level 3 qualification in childcare, so that should give you an idea of what to aim for.
Shine Childcare is dedicated to training and our managers provide support to all students, ensuring they have the best possible experience. It isn’t just about formal qualifications it also about working in an environment where we provide ongoing training and development combined with a structured career plan for those practitioners who want to be the managers of the future.
Each of our trainee members of staff has access to one of our student mentors – someone who has gone through the exact same training, and is now keen to support new members of staff.