Below are listed a number of qualifications in childcare.

An NNEB diploma in nursery nursing indicates the holder undertook a full time 2-year course covering the ages of 0-7. This is probably the most widely recognized qualification and gives student’s hands on experience in addition to the academic course which covers the physical, social, educational, intellectual and emotional needs of different ages. Other areas of study include health and hygiene, play and first aid.

CACHE (The Council for Awards in Childcare and Education), have recently taken over the conduct of this diploma and now also award a one-year certificate in Childcare and Education.

A BTEC National Diploma in Child Studies (Nursery Nursing) indicates the holder studied for a full time course of a higher level than the NNEB diploma. The course places more emphasis on the academic work and includes modules for those interested in teaching, nursing, social work and childcare. This BTEC diploma is a full time two-year course, and thus distinguishable from the BTEC National Certificate in Childhood Studies which is a lower level one-year part time course offered to mature candidates.

GNVQ courses operate at various as a vocational alternative to A levels. They are administered by City and Guilds and deal in Childcare and related studies. NVQ Levels 2,3 & 4 can take up to two years to complete and are competence based Students are given hands on experience and subject to assessment in the workplace. These courses have replaced the old one-year City and Guilds course.

The NAMWC Certificate (National Association of Maternal and Child Welfare) is aimed at 16-18 year olds and covers children from 0-Teenagers, whilst an advanced certificate is aimed at more mature students such as Childminders who wish to study for a Professional Qualification. Another alternative here is a two-year diploma course.

ADCE (Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education). This is an advanced course open only to experienced Childcarers. A Nursery Manager is likely to have this qualification.

Private Colleges offering specialist training include the Norland College, The Princess Christian College and The Chiltern Nursery Training College. Courses are 2 years and are generally followed by a probationary period of 6-9 months. A wide range of subjects are studied and students are awarded the NNEB and Health Diploma.

NEC works with the lead bodies in childcare to develop quality distance learning materials. NEC's childcare and early years distance learning courses result in exactly the same qualifications as college courses - it is just the way of learning that is it different as you can study from home without the need to attend classes, whilst at the same time having expert tutor support. NEC helps workers gain essential qualifications in areas such as childminding, Pre-School Practice, Children’s Care, Learning and Development, Family Learning, Professional Development and Nutrition Awareness

NEC's childcare and early years resource packs can be used to support training in a wide range of vocational qualifications. They can be used for face-to-face training, open learning or to support private self-study with anyone working with children and young people in a nursery, playgroup, pre-school or out-of-school club, or anyone working as a childminder or foster carer.

Other Qualifications include the Pre-School Play-Group Diploma and 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 within a structured learning environment


Job Roles Vocationally-related qualifications Occupational qualifications
  • Nursery assistant
  • Pre-school assistant
  • Crèche assistant
  • Parent/toddler group assistant
  • Playgroup assistant
  • Toy library worker
  • Homestart worker
  • Mother's help
  • Baby sitter/au pair
  • Foundation Award in Caring for Children(CACHE)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Child Care and Education(CACHE)
  • Level 2 Certificate in Pre-school Practice(CACHE)
  • Level 2 Progression Award in Early Years Care and Education (C&G)
  • Intermediate Certificate in Developing Skills Working with Children and Young People (NCFE)
  • NVQ level 2 in Early Years Care and Education
    (This NVQ is awarded by C&G, CACHE, Edexcel, The Open University)
  • Nursery supervisor
  • Pre-school leader
  • Crèche leader
  • Playgroup leader
  • Toy library leader
  • Special educational needs supporter
  • Nursery nurse
  • Nanny
  • Childminder
  • Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education(CACHE)
  • Level 3 Certificate in Childminding Practice(CACHE)
  • Level 3 Certificate of Professional Development in Work with Children and Young People(CACHE)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Pre-school Practice (CACHE)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Care & Education (Welsh Medium)(CACHE)
  • Level 3 Playgroup Practice in Wales(CACHE)
  • Level 3 BTEC National Certificate in Early Years(EDEXCEL)
  • Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Early Years (EDEXCEL)
  • NVQ level 3 in Early Years Care and Education
    (This NVQ is awarded by C&G, CACHE, Edexcel, The Open University)
  • Manager
  • Development officer
  • Advanced practitioner
  • NVQ level 4 in Early Years Care and Education
    (This NVQ is awarded by C&G and CACHE)


By using this website you agree to our cookie policy and personalising your online experience.