What Career Paths Are Available in Child Care?

an image of a teddy bear on a bench There are many career paths in the child care industry. Deciding what path to take is a matter of taking many things into account. It is not enough to simply know that you want to work with children. There are many factors you have to take in to account. For example, children obviously come in all ages, levels and abilities. You will need to consider where your strengths lie and what you will find most fulfilling. There are many careers paths in child care. In this post we will be focussing on childminding, nursery, pre-school and playerwork environments. We'll look at an entry-level role in each work environment, so you get a better picture of what to expect.


Childminding can be an easy way for you to start your career in child care. In fact, doing it informally may have prompted you to consider it as a career in the first place. Following this path can help you to start a career in childminding. This offers a way to work on a flexible basis in terms of hours and number of children. If you choose to work in the same way as many childminders, you will work on a self-employed basis. This will allow you work as you like and make adjustments as they suit you. It will also mean that you can gain more business through networking. It is important to bear in mind that as a self-employed person, your income could fluctuate. As a childminder, you need to register as such and understand the basics, which can be obtained through a course, including first aid. You will also need to take steps to ensure that your home meets any necessary regulations.

Nursery Assistant 

If you prefer the security of being employed rather than working for yourself, there are other options. By working in a nursery, you can experience career progression in the industry. This is a common way for people to get into child care after gaining a qualification. Being an employee means that you will not have as much control as when working on a self-employed basis. However, there is the ability to learn in a professional childcare environment. Nurseries are either publicly or privately funded, which will have a bearing on your workload and salary. But when employed as a nursery assistant, you can be certain of your guaranteed salary. Some nursery workers may choose to set up their own business, which gives them the opportunity to work for themselves.

Pre-School Assistant 

Working in a pre-school is an important role as this means looking after children from two to five years old. This age is a critical time to many aspects of a child's development. Though this will be all about play for the children, a pre-school assistant can enhance this. They can help to ensure that play is structured in a manner that turns it into learning. Pre-schools are often run by local community groups or privately. They tend to be either morning or afternoon sessions. Though it is not essential to have a qualification as you can start as an apprentice, this can come later.


Though a playworker may seem like a casual role, it is actually quite an important one. A playworker can be required in a wide range of different circumstances outside of school hours. These can include after-school clubs and homework clubs. Children from the ages of four to sixteen will use these clubs, and a playworker will need to be responsible for them. Not only will they help to keep the children safe, they will assist them with their activities. It can also mean that you need to be able to keep children engaged and entertained. A playworker does not usually require a qualification as a short course will be sufficient. Thanks for reading. If you have an ambition to work with children and the above roles appeal to you, then you can get started by getting a recognised qualification. Here at The Learning Station you can complete our accredited Level 2 Child Care course through online distance learning. Our flexible courses allows you to work in your own time and at your own pace. And help and support is only a click away.