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Working in early years and childcare

Early years and childcare is an expanding and dynamic sector. It's also an important career, as those who work in it play an incredibly valuable role in shaping the lives of future generations. It's a career you can be proud of.

If you have passion, enthusiasm, and of course love working with children, this could be the career for you.

Working in a Setting                   Working in Childcare

What are the options?

  • Childminder, home based childcarer or nanny
  • Work in a day nursery, pre-school or school nursery
  • Out of school club or holiday playscheme

Qualifications and training

There are many ways in which to increase the skills and knowledge of the workforce from formal accredited training to individual reading or research. Some of which are covered below.

What do the levels of qualifications mean?

Level

Example of qualification

Examples of types of job role

1

Common Core of skills and knowledge.

Induction programmes.

Assistants, volunteers or those just starting out. This level is just a stepping stone to higher level training.

2

Certificate in Children and Young People's Workforce.

Common Core of skills and knowledge.

NVQ L2 Playwork.

Assistants, volunteers or these just starting out. This level is just a stepping stone to higher level training and should not be seen as a stand alone qualification.

3

Diploma in Children and Young People's workforce.

NVQ L3 in Playwork.

Leaders, supervisors and managers. The vision is that all staff working with children and young people will be level 3 qualified as standard.

4

NVQ L4 Playwork

Level 4 qualifications have reduced in number due to the workforce tending towards foundation degrees.

5

Foundation degree

Managers, leaders and those with aspiration to become an Early Years Practitioner / Qualified Teacher.

6

Full degree.

EYPS: Early Years Professional Status.

QTS: Qualified Teacher Status.

Graduate leaders, managers, local authority support staff, teachers, trainers, lecturers, Children's Centre Managers, Inspector.

7

Masters.

PGCE: Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

Graduate leaders, managers, local authority support staff, teachers, trainers, lecturers, Children's Centre Managers, Inspector.

8

PHD / Doctorate

Graduate leaders, managers, local authority support staff, teachers, trainers, lecturers, Children's Centre Managers, Inspector, researcher.

In order to work with children 0-5 years old under the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, you must ensure your qualification is full and relevant to do so.  More information can be found on the following links: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-qualifications-finder and https://www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean

What is CPD?

Continued Professional Development or CPD is a critical part of any workforce development and ensures all staff are kept up to date with skills and knowledge expected of them to perform to their best. More commonly thought of as short courses, CPD is much wider than that and can be any of the following:

  • Staff meetings
  • Seminars / conferences
  • A piece of reading or research
  • Professional / reflective discussions
  • Peer mentoring
  • Coaching
  • Work shadowing

All CPD and it's relevance and impact should be recorded and kept as a record for staff. A sample CPD record is available in this site.

Managing staff training and development

It is crucial that managers keep a close eye on each member of staff and their development in role. As such it is useful to complete a training needs analysis with your team and follow a training and development plan, ensuring that their skills and knowledge are current and ongoing. The Early Years Foundation Stage expects providers to "support their staff in improving their qualification levels" and this is especially so for staff with no qualifications. Some training will be a specific legal requirement. Training can be accessed through  SmartSolutions.

Providers must have an up to date understanding of safeguarding children issues and a basic awareness safeguarding children course can be accessed online at the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board website http://www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/ The website also includes information about more in depth safeguarding children courses.

Working in Early Years it's not just child's play

Useful downloads
Professional development plan [47kb] [word]
A sample professional development plan.
Training needs analysis [48kb] [word]
A sample training needs analysis form.
Training Need Analysis (Excel) [25kb] [excel]
Training needs analysis in excel format
Download Word Viewer
  Download Excel Viewer
 


North Yorkshire County Council, County Hall, Northallerton, North Yorkshire, DL7 8AE | Tel: 0845 8 72 73 74 | Fax: 01609 797141