Information for job seekers

Careers in Early Years & Childcare


You have come to the right place!

Whether you are a school leaver or graduate looking to start a new career, looking for a career change or returning to work after a break we hope that the information here will help you to make a more informed choice about your career options so that you feel confident about what steps to take next. This is the place where you can find out about the different job roles within early years, what qualifications and training pathways are available and where to look for the latest jobs.

'Every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and it provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up. When parents choose to use early years services they want to know that provision will keep their children safe and help them to thrive'.

Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Working in early years and childcare

The Early Years & Childcare Service have produced a guide to working in the early years & childcare sector which we hope will help you to make a more informed choice about your career options as well as helping you to be clear about what steps to take next. You will find information about job roles, qualifications and training and where to look for jobs.

Starting out

Arranging work experience in a local early years setting will provide you with valuable skills and knowledge. You will get to find out what it's like to work in a nursery or pre-school and also find out if it's the right career choice for you. To make contact with an early years setting near you please visit the DISC Family Information Directory.

If you have not yet undertaken training towards achieving a full and relevant early years and childcare qualification, you can start working towards gaining some important common core skills and knowlege. The common core describes the skills and knowledge that everyone who works with children and young people is expected to have. The six areas offer a single framework to underpin multi-agency and integrated working, professional standards, training and qualifications across the childrens workforce.

The six areas are:

  • Effective communication and engagement with children, young people and families
  • Child and young person development
  • Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child or young person
  • Supporting transitions
  • Multi-agency and integrated working
  • Information sharing

More information about Devon County Council’s common core package can be found on our training website.

Training and qualifications

It is important to have the right skills and knowledge to do your job properly. Different qualifications are needed to perform certain roles depending on your job level. Some qualifications are essential as part of the job role and are needed to comply with Ofsted and EYFS regulations and standards. Training is also important if you want to further your skills and progress to a higher level.

There are a range of qualifications and short courses suitable for every stage of your career to support your continued professional development. For a full list of training opportunities please visit the early years training website. Funding is subject to availability and eligibility. Please refer to the eligibility criteria for full details.

Further training information can be found on our training pages.

Looking for jobs

All the latest job vacancies in early years and childcare and wider roles can be found on the Devon County Council jobs website:

You will find a wide range of careers from Assistant to Supervisor posts, full-time, part-time and term time vacancies. You can sign up to receive email alerts so that you are notified as soon as a job comes up that matches your search criteria. Jobs are also advertised in the weekly Choice bulletin which can be picked up from Jobcentres and libraries across Devon.

Universal Jobmatch has replaced the Jobcentre Plus job search tool. Jobseekers can match their CV and skills to jobs posted by companies.

Do you live in Torbay or Plymouth?

If you live/work within the Torbay or Plymouth areas you will need to visit your local Family Information Service for information and advice about working in early years as these are seperate local authorities and do not fall under the remit of Devon County Council's support and funding arrangements.

Contact us

We hope that this information provides answers to some of the questions you may have about working in early years, however, if you still have further queries please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do our best to help you.

Further information: