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How to get started

Advice to help get you started with your Early Learning and Childcare career.

Female playworker helps young children tear and glue tissue paper to a hat

Start college or start a job?

To get a job in Early Learning and Childcare you can either:

  • Complete a course (with work based practice) and then apply for a job.
  • Apply for a job and train as you work.
  • Apply for a Modern Apprenticeship and train as you work.

Tip: You can get a job as a Support Worker or Practitioner without any relevant qualifications, as long as you achieve a relevant qualification within a few years.

A career that can go wherever you want

With a wide number of roles and qualifications available, you can build your career according to your preferences and circumstances.

You might start as an Early Learning and Childcare Practitioner then become a Manager later down the line. It all depends on where you are now, what your goals are and where you see yourself in the future.

There’s no set career path in Early Learning and Childcare. So, if you start working in one particular area, you can always change direction if your interests and situation change.

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“In childcare you’re building relationships with the families and the people in the community – helping to shape the lives of future generations.”


Early Years Practitioner

When you play and interact with young children you:


develop their character and personality


stimulate over a million brain connections every second


help them develop emotional resilience and coping mechanisms which last a lifetime.

Getting Disclosure Scotland Status

Before you start working in Early Learning and Childcare you will need to join the PVG Scheme through Disclosure Scotland.

You will also need to register with SSSC, the regulator for people working in social care in Scotland.

There could be jobs available in your area. View live jobs now!