If you want a career in childcare, you’ll need to ensure you have the right qualifications.

Being qualified isn’t absolutely necessary to working in a nursery – depending on the role – but if you want a long and successful career, it’s best to take a course, sit your exams, and obtain the certificate.

So, which qualifications do you need?

We’re going to go through everything you need to know. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

Don’t forget – it’s not all about earning a certificate. Experience is essential, and is even a requirement in a lot of job listings.

If you have neither right now, don’t worry.

Aim for Level 3

Qualifications in the childcare world are awarded at ‘levels’. Most nurseries will require you to hold a level 3 qualification in childcare, although some may accept level 2.

If you don’t have either, then there are a few ways to obtain one. The first is to find a relevant course at a local college – you can read all about Childcare Courses in our dedicated guide.

Or, you can learn on the job. There are often apprenticeship opportunities for those looking to break into the childcare industry.

There’s no right way of doing things. Simply choose whatever options works best for you.

What Childcare Qualifications Are There?

You have lots of different options.

There is not just one qualification that everyone needs to take in order to work in childcare.

As there are a number of different jobs within nurseries, there are different qualifications to reflect that.

Here are a few different certificates you can earn, that will help you land a suitable role:

  • Level 3 NVQ in Caring for Children and Young People
  • Level 3 NVQ in Childcare and Education
  • Level 3 NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning and Development
  • Level 3 NVQ in Early Years Care and Education
  • Level 3 NVQ in Play work
  • Level 3 Diploma in Play work (NVQ)
  • Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce (Early Learning and Childcare)

These qualifications are offered by a variety of organisations. We’d recommend checking with local education institutions, such as sixth-form and colleges, to see what’s available.

Not all of the above may be offered in your local area. But each is generally considered suitable and relevant enough for nursery-based roles.

Shine has been delighted to employ people who are qualified in a wide variety of different ways.

If you have a level 3 NVQ or Diploma, and the right amount of experience, we’d be happy to consider you too.

Browse our current job listings here.