Routes into ELC

Jobs you could have

Below are a variety of jobs you could start in and progress to with a career in ELC.       

Support Worker
As a Support Worker you'll spend your day looking after small children - playing, caring for them and making sure they learn lots. This is an 'entry level' role and it's a great way to get started in ELC and train while you work. Many settings offer a Modern Apprenticeship which lets you learn on the job and allows you to work towards a qualification that will enable you to apply for a Practitioner position.  You can find more information about Modern Apprenticeships click here.

Everyone working with young children needs to be registered with the SSSC:
Support Worker registration information

Practitioner
It's an ELC Practitioners responsibility to identify and meet the care, support and learning needs of every child.  You'll work to plan activities and games to support the children to learn. You could be tasked with looking after a particular room or group of children and could choose a traditional nursery environment with access to the outdoors or join an outdoor nursery making use of our outdoor environment to help children to learn and develop.  You will need either an HNC or SVQ Level 3 to apply for Practitioner posts.

Everyone working with young children needs to be registered with the SSSC:
Practitioner registration information

Senior Practitioner
As a Senior Practitioner you'll be tasked with the development, management and quality assurance of the setting - including the supervision of staff and the management of resources. You'll often find yourself planning an activity calendar or monitoring the growth and development of children in your care.  You will need to be working towards/or already achieved a degree(BA or PDA) in Childhood Practice to apply for these posts.

Everyone working with young children needs to be registered with the SSSC
Manager/Lead Practitioner registration information

Childminder
As a childminder you will welcome children into your home and identify and meet the care, support and learning needs of every child. You'll have a really close bond with the small group that you support and know the families extremely well. As your own boss you will be able to plan your day fully around the needs of the children in your care.

Although childminders do not need to register with the SSSC they register with the Care Inspectorate (click here for more information) the SSSC can help with professional development. Childminders can visit the SSSC supporting your development page to find out more.

It is good practice for childminders to follow the SSSC Codes of Practice.

SCMA (Scottish Childminding Association) experts have written a Guide to Becoming a Childminder in partnership with the Care Inspectorate. Click here to access this resource.

What qualifications do I need?

The qualifications you need vary depending on the different roles but there are a variety of ways to achieve qualifications in ELC.

If you consider these three options it will help signpost which route is best for you.

  • Do you want to work in a support role where you will get all the training you need when you start and undertake further training to progress into another role – check out your apprenticeship options.
  • Would you prefer to work towards your qualifications whilst working in a nursery and earning a salary? (Training usually takes around 18 months to complete and then you can apply for an ELC Practitioner post) – consider SVQ Level 3.
  • Or are you keen to attend College or University first? – perhaps the HNC or Degree is the one for you.

The qualifications can be a little confusing so why not contact us for some help.

If you’re looking for some inspiration listen to Andrea’s story below to hear of her route into ELC.