Everything You Need To Know About Childcare Qualifications

There are many types of childcare qualifications out there and when reviewing CV’s it can be hard to know what level the Nanny is at. In this blog, we explain some of the most popular childcare qualifications and what that course entails.

At a minimum, all Nannies should hold these basic qualifications:

  • Paediatric First Aid
  • Enhanced DBS (convictions check) (Please see our blog on the different levels of DBS checks)

Paediatric First Aid

Current guidance in the EYFS is that at least one person who holds a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises and available at all times, and must accompany children on outings. The training must be renewed every three years. It is the employer’s duty to make sure that any training provider that they choose is competent to deliver the training and must cover the course content as for St John Ambulance or Red Cross paediatric first aid training.

Food Hygiene

In group provision, all staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene ( Level 2 Food hygiene training will need to be sourced and funded independently.

We also recommend they also have some training in:

  • Safeguarding
  • Food Hygiene
  • EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage)

Most popular Qualifications you will see

BA Honours Early Years Degree

The Early Years Degree will give the student an understanding of the core values of the early years. They will have studied cognition, health and wellbeing, review practice and policy, and learn the importance of encouraging a child’s development in partnership with their family. The student will have been on placement twice a week in an early years setting and would have had the option to graduate to an Early Years Teacher Status by studying for another year (EYTS). Foundation degrees are higher education qualifications that combine academic study with work based learning. The first year of a foundation degree is at level 4, whilst the second year and the final qualification are recognised as level 5. Foundation degrees provide a career development route for practitioners who want to progress to senior positions within early years, childcare and playwork settings. Some training providers offer options for foundation degrees such as leadership, special educational needs or early years routes.

NVQ Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are for those who work unsupervised with children 0-5 years, learning to plan and organise their own work and perhaps supervising others in a setting. This qualification will allow you to work as a practitioner in an early years or playwork setting, or be a childminder working in their own at home. There are two level 3 qualifications available, the Level 3 Diploma Early Years Educator (EYE) and the Level 3 Diploma in Playwork (if you work in a playwork setting – after school club, breakfast club, holiday playscheme). From September 2014, full and relevant level 3 qualifications will include Early Years Educator in their title.

NVQ Level 2

This course introduces the student to caring for children and young people. They learn how children develop physically and emotionally, as well as how they learn to interact with people. They understand how to work with children aged 0-5 years of age and prepare for employment. The Level 2 qualifications allows the student to work in early years under supervision. Getting a qualification at a Level 2 is excellent preparation for doing a Level 3 qualification. However, you do not need to complete a Level 2 before progressing onto a Level 3.


This course provides a good starting point for a career in childcare. This course will help the student develop a basic understanding of the key skills needed to care for children.

BTEC in Childcare at Education (Now T-Level-Education and Childcare)

The core element of a T Level in Education and Childcare will boost the student’s knowledge in a range of topics such as child development, safeguarding and special educational needs; as well as their understanding of the role of families and support agencies. They would of learnt the specifics of social interaction, behaviour, and how language is acquired, as well as building their skills in becoming a reflective practitioner. Students then tend to choose a specialism designed to support their interests, so they can get deeper into their chosen subject and build up the skills they need.

Ofsted Common Core

This is a 3 hour course that nannies normally take to be registered on the Ofsted Register. It will cover the basics of communicating with children, young people, their parents and carers, child development, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child, supporting transitions.


An NNEB diploma stands for Nursery Nursing Examining Board. It was a full time 2-year course covering the ages of 0-7. This was the most widely recognised qualification from 1945 until 1995, and gave the student practical experience in addition to the academic course which covered the physical, social, educational, intellectual and emotional needs of a child. Other areas of study included health, hygiene and play, and the student will have had to have studied First Aid and Food Hygiene. This was replaced by the Cache NVQ L3.

Norland Diploma/Princess Christian/Chiltern College

These are all private childcare colleges where aspiring child carers went to study their childcare qualifications alongside the colleges own designed diploma. Sadly the Chiltern College is only a nursery now, and Princess Christian has closed. (This is where Princess Diana trained as a Nursery Nurse). Norland College is still the most famous childcare college in the world.

Other Qualifications include The Montessori Childcare and Teaching Diploma. The Montessori Diploma is a privately run course which is taken either full time or by correspondence and covers children aged 2-7. The course promotes the philosophy of Maria Montessori who believes in Children’s ability to teach themselves independently within a structured learning environment. You will also hear of other similar methods Emilia Reggio-this method focuses more on collaborative learning and the classroom is set up much more open ended, where Montessori is much more structured. You may also see Waldorf approach-a play based approach to learning by Rudolph Steiner, and also Emmi Pikler, which is a method based on kind and respectful relationship between carer and infant, learnt through free movement and uninterrupted play.

Other qualifications which may transfer into being a Nanny are:

  • PGCE (teaching qualification)
  • Health and Social Care Level 3
  • Play Therapy
  • Childminding

We have developed a booklet with all the different childcare qualifications explained. Please contact us if you would like one.

Published on: Last updated: 1st December 2023

Any Questions?

We would be delighted to discuss any questions you may have! Please do not hesitate to contact us.