Practitioners - Early Years and Childcare | NCFE | NCFE

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Develop as a practitioner

Early Years 3

Sector opportunity 

Early years and childcare careers are rewarding and impactful. There are few careers that give you the chance to significantly contribute to children’s lifelong outcomes. Whatever your interest in childcare, there are diverse roles to accommodate your unique skillset.  

The world of early years and childcare continuously evolves as sector knowledge and pedagogical techniques emerge. To provide the most positive experience for babies, children, young people and their families, practitioners should continuously develop too, to provide exceptional care. 

We care deeply about continuing professional development (CPD) so that every practitioner can deliver the highest standard of support possible for the next generation.  

We aim to empower practitioners to seize opportunities for growth. We’ll connect you with the latest developments in pedagogy so you can continue to elevate your practice. 

CPD opportunities

We’ve made it our mission to open up access to professional development for early years and childcare professionals. Through our membership network CACHE Alumni, our childcare careers toolkit and our CPD qualifications, we provide a range of resources for you to continue to grow. Many of these resources are free, to reflect our belief that everyone should have access to the tools they need to advance. 

View our CPD guide

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Case Studies

Pioneering the PANCo qualification

Linda Baston-Pitt, former nurse and early years professional, worked with us to develop the Physical Activity and Nutrition Coordinator (PANCo) qualification. Her mission was to improve the holistic wellbeing of everyone in the vicinity of an early years setting - children, practitioners, parents, and carers.

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Men in early years and childcare

Men face unique barriers when pursuing careers in early years and childcare. We spoke with two practitioners, Gary Simpson and Jake Forecast, of different generations with different career experiences, to hear their insights on what can be done to improve the gender disparity in early years settings.

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Conversations with specialists and practitioners 

Listen to the best in their field discuss the future of the sector in our podcasts and webinars

Embedding sustainability into early years 

Our sector specialists, in collaboration with Dr Diane Boyd of Liverpool John Moores University, have created an early childhood education for sustainability resource, aimed at embedding sustainability and STEM into early years experiences for young children.

The resource aims to support practitioners working directly with young children, students during their training, and parents with young children. This holistic approach to entrenching sustainability into early years education will help to secure long-term impact. Through providing innovative, yet simple and straightforward ideas, practitioners will more easily be able to make sustainability a central part of their practice.

View the resource

Progression maps

We’ve created a progression map to identify career opportunities from wherever you begin, so you can navigate to where you want to go. You’ll experience meaningful professional advancement, as you develop subject expertise.

View the map