Worrying about what your child should do once they finish school? Do they enjoy working with children? An apprenticeship in childcare could be just the thing to kick start your child’s career in a busy and rewarding industry.

Apprenticeships combine work based training in a childcare setting, like a nursery or pre-school, with learning. Some people don’t realise that an apprenticeship also counts as an option in respect of the legal requirement for children to stay in education until they are 17 or 18.  Therefore, it would suit anyone who is eager to leave school early and enter the world of work.

The additional benefits to your child will be:

-       Support and mentoring through their studies

-       Ability to learn from senior staff

-       No training costs (if aged 16-18)

-       Hands on experience of work

-       They will earn a wage whilst continuing to learn

Your child can become an apprentice if they are aged 16 or over and living in England. They will need to find a job in a childcare setting before they can start their apprenticeship and will need to be committed and willing to learn.

Nurseries and pre-schools put more emphasis on finding the right person for the job than academic qualifications. Whilst your child will not need to have GCSEs to do an intermediate level 2 apprenticeship in childcare, the law is changing in August 2014 which will make it mandatory for everyone taking a level 3 advanced apprenticeship to have GCSE grades C or above in English and Maths.

Naturally, people that enjoy the company of children and have a nurturing, caring and patient personality will benefit from a vocation in childcare. They will need to take responsibility for their own learning outside of work and manage their time appropriately. Childcare apprenticeships normally take between 1 and 2 years to complete and will involve assessors coming to observe your child at their place of work.

Many childcare apprentices will progress to more senior positions – from room leader, to assistant manager and even nursery manager. Whatever the next steps they choose to take, a childcare apprenticeship is a widely recognised qualification which will make your child more employable in the future.

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