Childcare credentials

Childcare is a career which is open to most people but to work in childcare you need to have certain character traits and attributes: these include:

  • Getting on with children (this sounds obvious but not everyone likes being around children and some people feel uncomfortable around small children)
  • Patience and tolerance: children can be demanding and many people in childcare work long hours so it is important to be patient and have plenty of stamina
  • Lots of energy: children have bundles of energy and are always on the go so it’s important that you can keep up with them
  • Compassion: it is important to be compassionate and caring when working with children
  • Nurturing

Qualifications and Education

Many people who work in childcare have qualifications and a great deal of experience but these are not always necessary. Many people learn on the job and complete college courses and training courses while they work. Some jobs (such as nursery nurses) require certain levels of qualifications and if you don’t have any qualifications, you will probably have to go in an entry level (for example, being a nursery assistant) and work your way up the career ladder.


If you do not want to follow an academic course, you may wish to consider becoming a nanny or a childminder. You can become a childminder by registering with the National Childminding Association, paying a registration fee and passing an Ofsted inspection. Childminders also have to do a paediatric first aid course and complete an early years course. Many nannies do not have formal qualifications but many have experience in childcare and may have relevant skills and training.