What qualifications do I need to work in a nursery?

Keen to work in a nursery but unsure which qualifications you’ll need? Navigating the confusing world of childcare qualifications and nursery role requirements can be tricky. We’ve looked into the types of qualifications nurseries are looking for, and created our free online childcare course, which is great place to start.

Comparing different forms of childcare in London doesn't have to take weeks. The image shows two small children and their childminder exploring a book together.
There are numerous routes you can go down to land a career in a nursery.

Keen to do an online childcare course?

So…what qualifications do I need to work in a nursery?

Each nursery role has its own set of entry requirements. They usually include some form of childcare experience and a qualification, like an NVQ or BTEC. You’ll also usually need a GCSE Maths and English at a grade 5 (C) or above.

Childcare experience can be voluntary or paid. This includes babysitting, volunteering at kids camps or caring for your own children (if you’re a parent).

The qualifications you’ll need to work in a nursery also depend on the role you’re applying for. Nursery assistants are likely to need a Level 2 Childcare qualification, whilst room leaders will need a Level 3.

Some nurseries offer apprenticeship schemes. These allow you to study for a childcare qualification whilst working in an early years setting. Around 20% of time is spent studying in a typical apprenticeship, so you can earn whilst you study.

Typical qualifications nurseries look for:

  • NVQ Level 2 Certificate in Childcare
  • NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care
  • CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Child Care and Education

Do I need the same qualifications to become an Early Educator?

As an Early Educator, you care for children in your own home—your home nursery. Unlike working in a traditional nursery, you don’t need qualifications to work as an Early Educator.

If you’re keen to do some childcare courses before embarking on your childcare career, take our free introductory childcare course. You’ll get a taster for a range of introductory topics—from the EYFS to food hygiene training—and it takes less than an hour to complete. You’ll finish the course with a clearer idea of whether a childcare career is for you, reared and ready to take on the next steps.



Becoming an Early Educator with Koru Kids (an Ofsted-registered agency) comes with our support every step of the way. The cost of all your training is covered, and you don’t have to find a childminder course yourself. We do all the hard work for you! You can read more about our childminder training package.