Working in early years and childcare

You can get so much out of working with small children. It’s a job with impact, where you get to be part of their early education and make a difference that lasts a lifetime. You can be part of a team, lead a team or be your own boss and become a childminder. Do something big.

Where you can work

There are many different roles in early years and childcare. You can work in:

  • nurseries
  • pre-schools
  • playgroups
  • schools
  • your own home as a childminder
What you’ll do

You’ll support children’s development by being part of their early education and opening their minds to new ideas every day. This could involve:

  • providing structured learning 
  • engaging in creative play
  • encouraging physical skills and independence 
  • shaping each child’s learning based on their needs 
  • providing a safe and stimulating space
  • building relationships with parents and carers 
What you’ll need

The qualifications and skills you’ll need will depend on the role, but for most jobs, you’ll need a DBS check. Your employer will let you know the type of check you’ll need before you start your job. 

Search for jobs

If you’re ready to apply now, you can search for jobs in the early years and childcare sector. There are around 30,000 nurseries and pre-schools in the UK, so there are lots of opportunities out there.

Real stories

Discover the real stories from early years educators making a difference, their way. Hear what they have to say about where they work and what their role is like.


A man reading to children in a classroom.

Training and qualifications

If you would like to grow in your career and get involved in other roles, find out more about the qualifications you can take.

Two women and 3 children playing hopscotch