Choose a career in childcare

If you have ever thought about working with children, right now is a great time to try! Childcare is a career you can be proud of and there are many fantastic career opportunities in Reading. You can gain qualifications, continue to train, learn and progress while providing valuable support for children.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you enjoy being with children?
  • Do you like to help babies and children play, learn and develop?
  • Do you have a positive and friendly approach?
  • Can you communicate effectively?

Did you answer ‘yes’? Then you could play a key role in helping children to have the best start in life.

Childminders are professional child carers who are self-employed and work from their own home. They choose the age range of children who they wish to care for and are required to register with Ofsted or a Childminder Agency. 

Childminders in Reading are offered support, advice and training from the Early Years Advisory Team  to help them meet regulatory requirements and raise the standards of childcare provision.  

Find out about the £600 childminder grants scheme available from September 2023 for childminders registered from 15 March 2023 onwards.

In most cases your childminding registration with Ofsted will be linked to your own home. Check your post code to make sure your property is in the Reading Borough Council local authority area. 

To work as a childminder in Reading: 

See our dedicated childminder webpage. Book here to attend a FREE virtual introductory session  

Book on relevant training courses: 

Other requirements:

For further information, visit:

Childminder | Explore careers | National Careers Service 

Become a childminder | PACEY 

A childminding assistant is employed by a childminder to assist them in caring for children and can be a great first step towards a childcare career. Contact childminding@brighterfuturesforchildren.org to find out about local vacancies.  

Find out more:

childminding assistant (Pacey)

Childminder | Explore careers | National Careers Service 

 Nannies are childcare professionals who work at the home of one family at a time and are employed by a parent rather than being self-employed. Nannies often have sole charge of a family’s children, and can also work for two families at once as part of a nanny-share arrangement.

It’s optional to be registered with Ofsted and you may consider undertaking a Level 2 or 3 Childcare Course – see the qualifications section for more details. 

Contact the Early Years Advisory Team  to receive local information and training offers.  

Find out more:

Nannies (Pacey)

Become a childminder/nanny (gov)

Nanny | Explore careers (National Careers Service)

Nurseries usually provide care for babies and children up to the age of five, though some may also provide holiday or after school care for children aged 5-8 years. Practitioners are guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework to set the standards for the learning, development and care of children. 

Nursery provision in Reading is provided in four different ways: 

  • Day Nurseries are usually open 10-12 hours per day, Monday to Friday all year round and staff work in shifts to care for the children. 
  • Pre-Schools are usually open 3-8 hours per day, Monday to Friday term time only. 
  • Nursery Schools are usually open 6 hours per day, Monday to Friday term time only with some providing extra hours early morning and evening.  
  • Nursery classes in a school are usually open 3-6 hours per day, Monday to Friday term time only. 

In addition, Reading provides creche provision which is open 1-3 hours per day to provide short term care and learning for babies and young children while their parent/carer attends onsite training or study.  

There are a wide variety of roles held in early years provision including: 

Early Years Apprentice 

As an apprentice no previous experience is required. You will be mentored by qualified staff members alongside studying to understand child development, building relationships and how to keep children safe to achieve a childcare qualification.  

Find out more:

Nursery worker | Explore careers (National Careers Service)

See also the Early Years apprentice section in this accordion. 

Early Years Practitioner/Teacher 

As an early years practitioner or teacher you will work with a team to provide high quality provision for children under 5. Your role is to value every child as a unique individual, nurture relationships, provide an enabling environment with a focus on play to ensure all children make good progress.  

Find out more:

Nursery worker | Explore careers (National Careers Service)

 Early years teacher | Explore careers(National Careers Service)

SENCo 

A special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) is usually part of the leadership structure in a nursery. Their role is to make sure everyone in the setting understands and fulfils their responsibilities to identify and meet the needs of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). They encourage partnership working with parents and collaboration with other professionals to lead the best outcomes for all children.  

Find out more:

The role of the early years SENCO (gov)

 Nursery Management  

If you have a level 3 childcare qualification or above and experience working with children under five, you may consider a leadership role within an early years setting where you can share your expertise and mentor others. Roles are dependent on nursery structure but include room leader, team manager, deputy manager or other manager positions. Speak to your current manager about internal opportunities and progressive steps you can take now.  

See the Early Years Progression section on this accordion for more details.

You can also find out more here: Nursery manager | Explore careers (National Careers Service)

A voluntary role can be a great way to get a feel for childcare roles before making a commitment. A voluntary role will strengthen your CV and interview skills as you’ll be able to demonstrate your gained experience. You can usually offer to volunteer for the hours you are available, even if that’s only just a few.  

Qualifications are not always required but lots of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn help are! As a volunteer you will always be supported and supervised. A setting will offer training so you have the knowledge needed to safeguard children and you’ll need an enhanced DBS (free) if you volunteer regularly. More information about Enhanced DBS.

Find out more from a local provider  

Ask local providers if they have any volunteer opportunities and how to apply. The table below lists local providers who are keen to hear from potential volunteers. You can find a list of all settings in Reading here Reading Directory|Childcare 

Setting name   Setting type   Postcode   Email contact   Phone contact  
Pine Rivers Day Nursery   Day Nursery  RG30 2AL  Manager@pinerivers.co.uk 0118 989 8232 
Beesknees  Day Nursery  RG30 2UE  beesknees@completechildcare.co.uk 0118 959 0364 
MonkeyMoos Reading  Day Nursery   RG1 3DH  swells@monkeymoos.co.uk 0118 334 3000 
Forbury Gardens Day Nursery  Day Nursery 

 

RG1 3HW 

 

 

clairelittle@bgdn.co.uk 07393 149 210 
Berkeley Gardens Day Nursery   

Day Nursery  

 

 

RG1 6HY 

clairelittle@bgdn.co.uk 07393 149 210 
Abbeymore Bright Horizons Day Nursery   Day Nursery   RG6 1LP  Abbeymore@brighthorizons.com

 

0118 402 2365 

 

Play Day  Day Nursery  RG4 7SD  info@playdaycaversham.co.uk 0118 947 7277 
Little Dragons Nursery  Day Nursery   RG30 2BA  Rebecca.croft@berkshire.nhs.uk louise.wye@berkshire.nhs.uk   0118 9044 638 
St Michael’s Preschool

 

Pre-school   RG30 4JY

 

Stmichaelspreschool@hotmail.co.uk

 

07594 627 139 

 

Stepping Stones Preschool  Pre-school  RG30 4NP  Stepping.claire@gmail.com  0118 942 9492 
Natural Steps  Afterschool Club  RG30 1EA  nsasc@hotmail.com 0118 951 4444 
NSSport After School Clubs and Holiday Activities   Out of school and holiday provider     

RG30 4HP 

mike-nssport@outlook.com  

07740 365567 

Caversham Park Primary School  School   RG4 6RP  admin@cavershampark.reading.sch.uk

 

0118 937 5433 
Churchend Primary Academy  School   RG30 4HP  admin@churchendacademy.com 0118 937 5450 
Welly Boot Lodge Childminding

 

Childminder   RG304SE 

 

Kelliedixon@icloud.com

 

07853 316231 

 

Paula-Jane Wylie   Childminder   RG4 7HE  paula-jane.1611@hotmail.com   

As an apprentice, no previous experience is required and you will be mentored by qualified staff members alongside study to understand child development, building relationships and how to keep children safe to achieve a childcare qualification.  

Questions to consider: 

  • Do you enjoy being with children? 
  • Can you communicate effectively?  
  • Want to play a vital role in children’s care, play and learning? 
  • Like the idea of earning money while you train?

If you answered ‘yes’ consider an early years apprentice position and start a rewarding career with many possibilities.  

Find out more from a local provider  

Find out more and speak to people who have chosen childcare as a career. Approach nursery and school staff, childminders, children’s centres teams and voluntary groups.  

Ask local providers if they have any apprentice vacancies, or you may like to offer to volunteer so you can find out more.

The table below lists local providers keen to hear from budding volunteers, students and apprentices. You can also find a list of all settings in Reading here Reading Directory|Childcare.

Setting name   Setting type   Postcode   Email contact   Phone contact  
St Michael’s Preschool

 

Pre-school   RG30 4JY

 

Stmichaelspreschool@hotmail.co.uk

 

07594627139 

 

Stepping Stones Preschool  Pre-school  RG30 4NP  Stepping.claire@gmail.com  01189429492 
Welly Boot Lodge Childminding 

 

Childminder   RG304SE 

 

Kelliedixon@icloud.com 

 

07853316231 

 

Paula-Jane Wylie   Childminder   RG4 7HE  paula-jane.1611@hotmail.com 

 

 
Pine Rivers Day Nursery   ?Day Nursery  RG30 2AL  Manager@pinerivers.co.uk  0118 989 8232 
Beesknees  Day Nursery  RG30 2UE  beesknees@completechildcare.co.uk  0118 959 0364 
MonkeyMoos Reading  Day Nursery   RG1 3DH  swells@monkeymoos.co.uk 0118 334 3000 
Forbury Gardens Day Nursery  Day Nursery 

 

 

RG1 3HW 

 

 

clairelittle@bgdn.co.uk  07393149210 
 

Berkeley Gardens Day Nursery 

 

Day Nursery  

 

 

RG1 6HY 

clairelittle@bgdn.co.uk  07393149210 
Abbeymore Bright Horizons Day Nursery   Day Nursery   RG6 1LP  Abbeymore@brighthorizons.com 

 

0118 402 2365 

 

Little Dragons Nursery  Day Nursery   RG30 2BA  Rebecca.croft@berkshire.nhs.uk louise.wye@berkshire.nhs.uk   0118 9044 638 
Play Day  Day Nursery  RG4 7SD  info@playdaycaversham.co.uk  01189477277 

Elevate Careers Service

If you’re living in Reading, aged 16-18 years old (up to 25 years old for SEND and care experienced young people), Elevate can give impartial advice to support you into employment, education or training. 

See also the Early Years Career progression section on this accordion.

Local training providers:

Chiltern Training childcare courses 

Apprenticeships and Traineeships – New Directions College

Education and Childcare T Level – Reading College

 Find out more about UK apprenticeships here: Apprenticeships on GOV.UK 

It’s best practice for all practitioners working with children to be working towards or to have gained a minimum of a level 3 childcare qualification so high standards of care and education are maintained.   

Details of the qualification levels can be found within Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) (gov).  

The Department for Education provides more information about full and relevant qualifications for working in the Early Years. 

Local training providers  

Chiltern Training childcare courses

Apprenticeships and Traineeships – New Directions College

Education and Childcare T Level – Reading College

Further Education  

www.reading.ac.uk 

National professional qualifications (NPQs) (gov)

Men still make up a small minority of early years staff in the UK and Reading employers actively encourage more male applicants.

MITEY (Men In The Early Years) is a national network and campaign to bring more men into the early years education workforce and support them once they are part of it. Read MITEY case studies here.

A career in early education and childcare is rewarding, full of variety and offers progression.

The Department for Education (DfE) has developed Pathway Guidance into Early Education. This includes a tool helping you plan your career and see the range of jobs and opportunities on offer.

The NCFE has created a toolkit to help raise career goals and support the next generation of childcare and education workers. They have also developed an essential guide with hints and tips on maximising development opportunities with limited resources.

Explore education and training choices Get the Jump: explore your education and training choices | National Careers Service 

Local training providers  

Chiltern Training childcare courses

Apprenticeships and Traineeships – New Directions College

Education and Childcare T Level – Reading College

Further Education  

www.reading.ac.uk 

National professional qualifications (NPQs) (gov)

Many schools and organisations in Reading provide extended care for children before and after school and during school holidays. The clubs are organised to enhance children’s development, health and wellbeing and include energetic activities and opportunities. 

Playworker Role 

A Level 3 qualification or above in early years and childcare or playwork is an advantage. You will work alongside a wider team to provide high quality provision for children up to the age of 16 years. Your role is to meet the needs of all children and to plan a wide range of fun and engaging activities.  

Find out more Playworker | Explore careers (National Careers Service)

Playworker Leader 

As a play leader you would manage the day to day running of the setting. You set the standards for high quality provision which includes working directly with the children while also supervising staff and working in partnership with parents. Leaders require a minimum level 3 qualification in early years and childcare or playwork with suitable experience of working in a similar setting. 

Find out more Playworker | Explore careers (National Careers Service)

Qualifications  

Playworkers and leaders will be encouraged to develop their skills and qualifications through training which may include work-based qualifications, short courses and e-learning.  

Qualification requirements are dependent on the age range you are working with. 

Find out more  Qualifications for OSC Factsheet (Out of School Alliance)

Local Providers 

Find out more by speaking to people who have chosen a playwork career. You can also visit Reading Play Service.

The table below lists local providers keen to hear from potential volunteers, students and team members: 

Setting name   Setting type   Postcode   Email contact   Phone contact  
Natural Steps  Afterschool Club  RG30 1EA  nsasc@hotmail.com  0118 951 4444 
NSSport After School Clubs and Holiday Activities   After School Clubs and Holiday Activities    

RG30 4HP 

mike-nssport@outlook.com   

07740 365567 

We've created a few leaflets to download for easy reference

Contact us

You can also visit the Reading Education Services website or if you want to get in touch, click the buttons below to email the team you need.

Email the Early Years team

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Email the Childminding team

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