Career Opportunities in Early Years and Childcare

Learning logo with yellow paint background
Children & Families

Working in the Early Years and Childcare (EYC) sector is a rewarding career. Each day is different. You will help children learn and develop, while building relationships and supporting their families.

On this page you will find information on the many opportunities and rewards a career in Early Years can bring and the way Halifax Opportunities Trust can support you in your Career and Learning Journey. We’ll cover:

Career Progression

You can develop your career while you work and/or study with a work-based apprenticeship through Halifax Opportunities Trust (other providers are also available). Through work-based learning you receive on the job training and learn while you earn so you can build your career in an Early Years setting and put your newly learned skills into practice.

Through an apprenticeship, you have the opportunity to follow a number of career progression routes, which we will explore in more detail in the next section.

You also have the chance to start your own business or take on a wide range of roles, such as:

  • A childminder.
  • A nanny.
  • Or work in:
    • A nursery or preschool.
    • A children’s centre.
    • A school – as a teaching assistant or on a pathway to become a teacher.
    • The health sector on a children’s hospital ward or in a health visiting team.

Career progression routes

Early Years Worker – Level 0 to 2

You can be an apprentice or work in an EYC provision such as:

  • Private or school nursery;
  • School Reception;
  • Children’s centre;
  • Out of school / holiday club.

You can progress on to:

  • An apprenticeship;
  • Level 2 or 3 qualifications;
  • Play work.

Homebased provision – Level 0 to 7

You can be a:

  • Childminder;
  • Nanny.

You do not need early year’s qualification qualifications for either role. However, it is recommended at least a level 2 or 3 professional qualification.

Early Years Practitioner – Level 3

You can work in one the EYC provisions listed under Early Years Worker Level 0 – 2, or:

  • Residential provision;
  • A health team;
  • A hospital on a children’s ward;
  • Community child and family work.

Specialist roles include:

  • Special Education Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO)
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead and Child Protection Officer (DSL and CPO)
  • Special Education Needs and Disability Lead (SEND)
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition Co-ordinator (PANCO)
  • Speech Language and Communication lead
  • Literacy or Maths Leader.
  • Teaching Apprenticeships
  • Residential Childcare Worker 0-19 (Level 3)

You can progress on to roles such as:

  • Early Years Room Leader or Senior Practitioner
  • Designated Safeguarding lead
  • Deputy Manager
  • Manager
  • Local Authority quality / regulatory role
  • Early Years Assessor

Higher Education

You can study for level 4, 5 and 6 in:

  • Early Years Teaching
  • Teaching Adults
  • Youthwork
  • Play work
  • Social work
  • Early Childhood Studies
  • Leadership and Management
  • Early Years
  • Access to Health courses
  • Route to MA and Doctorates
  • Graduate Practitioner Competences

At level 6 and above you can explore:

  • Social Work
  • Early Years Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Tutor or Early Years Lecturer
  • Early Years Advisor
  • Manager
  • Early Years Leader in a school/college/university
  • Ofsted Inspector

You must complete a Paediatric First Aid course for most roles. You may also need to complete a basic food hygiene course for some roles.

All roles require elements of Continuous Professional Development training, including Safeguarding.

HOT Apprenticeships

Unlock career opportunities that suit you

Apprenticeships give you the freedom to learn, work and earn, in a career path that suits you.  With Halifax Opportunities Trust (HOT) you can learn your way with one of our specialist Early Years Apprenticeships. Gain qualifications, while you work in a real work setting and gain experience, while earning an apprenticeship wage, from a real employer.

If you are looking to launch or boost your Early Years career with an apprenticeship, HOT can provide a high level of support and expertise. Blending theory with hands-on practical skills and experience, the apprenticeship package will provide a nationally recognised qualification along with functional skills where these are a requirement of the apprenticeship standard.

We have developed high quality training programmes that incorporate Intermediate (2) and Advanced (3) levels of the framework. Additionally, we have recently introduced the Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner framework; offering a full package that will support you throughout your career in Early Years.

Career Opportunities with HOT Children’s Centres and Nurseries

Working with Halifax Opportunities Trust you can achieve an Early Years qualification and a career in the Childcare Sector through a work-based apprenticeship, working with children from 0-5 years.

You may have no previous experience and are at the beginning of your career, or already hold a level 2 childcare qualification and wish to progress your career pathway through to Early Years Teacher status. This is an ideal opportunity to gain your qualification in an early years setting with experienced Practitioners.

We have a number of Early Years Practitioner apprenticeship opportunities available across Central and Upper Halifax

The apprenticeship will be delivered by the HOT Apprenticeship service.

This is a fantastic opportunity to build a rewarding Early Years career within the childcare sector, following a nationally recognised qualification.  You will spend around 80% of your time working and interacting directly with children, in an Early Years setting, on a day-to-day basis. You will support the provision of a stimulating and effective Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which will enhance children’s emotional, social, physical and intellectual development.

Related News

  • Case Study – HOT Early Years Career Progression

    Case Study – HOT Early Years Career Progression

    As an employer, HOT supports our own employees through their learning journeys to help them reach their career development goals. Hannah Gaukroger joined the Trust in 2014 and, through the support of teams throughout the organisations, has found a new path that builds on existing Early Years skills and qualifications. 

  • HOT Opportunities Event to help people take their Next Step

    HOT Opportunities Event to help people take their Next Step

    Local Charity to Host Employment and Careers Event to Unlock Opportunities and Connect Employers with Potential… read more

  • Case Study – HOT Professional Development Journey

    Case Study – HOT Professional Development Journey

    We want our employees to feel valued, fulfilled and part of something bigger, this means being flexible to their aspirations and supporting their professional development. Serish Majid joined Halifax Opportunities Trust in 2009, embarking on a fulfilling professional development journey.

  • Halifax Opportunities Trust Apprenticeships Team Delivers Industry Approved SEN Training

    Halifax Opportunities Trust Apprenticeships Team Delivers Industry Approved SEN Training

    Calderdale based Apprenticeships service provides valuable Special Education Needs (SEN) Training with 100% of participants feeling… read more

  • Salina’s Teaching Assistant Career Progression

    Salina’s Teaching Assistant Career Progression

    Specialising in providing high quality apprenticeships in the education and business sectors, HOT Learning has a deep knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and delivery of its Early Years, Teaching Assistant and Business Administration qualifications. Salina recently completed her Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification at local school, Ravenshall School, through the HOT Leaning Apprenticeship team.

  • Salma’s Story – Case Study

    Salma’s Story – Case Study

    Successful Early Years Apprenticeship Journey Summary Service Area: HOT Learning – Apprenticeships Course: Early Years Qualification:… read more

For more information and advice, please visit the Calderdale Council Early Years and Childrcare Careers website, here:

(Some of the information on this page is sourced from Calderdale Council, via the link above)