What qualifications do you need to become a nanny?

If you have experience in childcare, or you simply love working with children, you might have considered becoming a nanny. There are many different parameters to consider - for example, whether you want to work full-time or part-time, or whether being a live-in nanny would suit you - and depending on the needs of your clients, you may need additional skills or qualifications to meet their requirements. As a result, you may ask yourself: “What qualifications do I need to become a nanny?”

Here, the childcare experts at Nannies Matter explain what the requirements are to become a nanny, and suggest some qualifications that may interest you if you want to earn qualifications before starting your career as a childcare professional. Starting off on the right foot can give you a great foundation from which to build a career, which could take you into teaching, nursery care, or even to a work placement in another country.

Officially, you do not need any qualifications to become a nanny. You can start by volunteering or work as an apprentice when you leave school to gain the necessary experience to become a full-time nanny. However, if you are interested in studying and gaining qualifications before embarking on a career as a nanny, there are some great opportunities available.

College courses

There are several college courses that are suitable for those seeking a career in childcare and childminding. The UK government suggests that Level 1 awards in Safeguarding and Introduction to Health, Social Care and Childrens’ and Young People’s Settings are both a good way to gain a foundational understanding of childcare.

There are also a series of courses available at Level 2, including the Certificate for the Children and Young People's Workforce and the new Level 2 Early Years Practitioner qualification, introduced by the UK government in 2019. While you do not usually need qualifications to become a nanny, these courses can help you to understand your legal responsibilities and many will combine classroom-based learning with work experience, so this can be a good first step into the industry.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework

While there is no requirement to earn a qualification, the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework is mandatory for all educators, childminders and early years providers who are responsible for children from birth until the age of four years old. Introduced in September 2021, the EYFS framework specifies the learning, development, safeguarding and welfare requirements to be fulfilled by early years providers.

As such, you should be familiar with the framework and the responsibilities you will have as a childcare professional. Your employer may also provide resources on this, but it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that children in your care are properly provided for. The framework is a useful resource as it can also help to identify developmental problems or other challenges that children may be facing.

DBS Check

While not a qualification, it is very important that you pass a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check before working with children. For most roles in childcare, you will need an enhanced DBS check and a children’s barred list check, which will check your criminal record and ensure that you are not banned from working with children or vulnerable adults. These checks can only be arranged through your employer, and are a legal requirement for certain types of regulated activity (including childminding).

Childminders can also apply for an enhanced DBS check through Ofsted. If you are self-employed, you must apply for roles through a recruiting agency or other organisation. They can apply for the types of enhanced DBS checks you require on your behalf.

Depending on the role you are interested in, you may require other qualifications or be asked to attend training due to the varying needs of different roles. For example, you may need to obtain a first aid certificate, although it will be up to your employer whether you must achieve this yourself before starting the job, or whether they will pay for your first aid training.

If you feel like you have what it takes to deliver an exceptional standard of care, consider working with us. You can browse our current job listings, or get in touch by calling us on 0800 121 4881 or filling in the contact form on this page.

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