What do Qualifications mean?
Qualification certificates can be confusing if you’re not sure what the actual qualifications mean (and many existing qualifications & awarding bodies have recently been renamed) so the following summary might be helpful. There are many childcare courses currently available in the UK but Nannies looking for placements generally have an NNEB (now CACHE) Diploma in Nursery Nursing, a BTEC National Diploma in Childhood Studies or NVQ level 3 which are all explained below along with any other courses you may come across.
CACHE (Council for Award in Childcare and Education) is the awarding body for Certificates in Childcare. They can be contacted on 0845 347 2123 or visit their website www.cache.org.uk
Don’t rule out a nanny with experience but no qualifications. Common sense and on the job practical experience can often be just as good as a paper qualification. An experienced (but unqualified) nanny is likely to be mature and confident with many years of sole charge experience backed up with good references from previous employers.
What qualifications do British nannies have?
CACHE Level 3 DIPLOMA in Childcare & Education (DCE)
The CACHE diploma was formerly known as the NNEB and is probably the most widely recognised qualification. It is a two year course and gives students knowledge of the physical, intellectual, social and emotional needs of different ages. Other subjects include first aid, learning how to interact with parents and other professionals in childcare. Practical placements are an integral part of the course. Students completing the course are well qualified to start working in a nursery. and can also start working as a nanny although we would recommend that with newly qualified DCE’s (NNEB's) there is an element of parental guidance.
CACHE Level 2, Certificate in Childcare and Education (CCE)
A one-year full-time or two-year part-time course for students wanting to be child care assistants. Having gained the Certificate, they may progress to other qualifications such CACHE Diploma in Child Care and Education or, once working, to the Level 3, NVQ in Early Years Care and Education which offers assessment in the workplace.
CACHE FOUNDATION AWARD in Caring for Children (CFCC)
A taster course formerly known as the NAMCW (National Association of Maternal and Child Welfare). This year long, full time course is not as comprehensive as a CACHE diploma but is considered a good basis for further training.
BTEC National Diploma Childhood Studies (Nursery Nursing)
A BTEC National Diploma in Child Studies (Nursery Nursing) indicates the holder studied for a full time course of a higher level than the NNEB diploma. The course places more emphasis on the academic work and includes modules for those interested in teaching, nursing, social work and childcare. This BTEC diploma is a full time two-year course, and thus distinguishable from the BTEC National Certificate in Childhood Studies which is a lower level one-year part time course offered to mature candidates. What the qualification allows the STUDENT to do: People with a BTEC diploma are qualified to work either in a nursery or to begin their career as a nanny. The BTEC diploma is well run although it has a slight emphasis on the academic, as opposed to the practical, side.
Tel: 0844 576 0026 www.edexcel.com
ADCE (Advanced Diploma in Childcare Education) ADCE (Advanced Diploma in Childcare and Education).
This is an advanced course open only to experienced Childcarers. What the course involves: Advanced course work dealing with special educational needs and with appraisal and training methods of childcare and education. What the qualification allows the STUDENT to do: People who have an ADCE diploma are qualified to do almost any job in childcare and the course is only open to experienced child carers. The manager of your local nursery will probably be run by someone with an ADCE diploma.NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications)in Early Years Care and EducationThe NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) is a government initiative to give people with experience, but no formal qualifications, the opportunity to get a recognised qualification. This is not an academic qualification but based on practical experience in the work place. NVQ's are assessed within the workplace where students have to prove that they have achieved a certain level of competence and capability. Students have to complete 15 modules and courses can take up to two years to complete: Candidate can take as long as they need to complete the award.
The NVQ level 2 is a qualification obtained by a childcare worker in a supervised role, e.g. a nursery assistant or a mother’s help. The NVQ level 3 can be obtained by professional childcare workers and largely considered the equivalent of an NNEB (DCE). A childcarer undertaking this training shows a commitment to learning about high quality childcare and is qualified to work as a nanny. An experienced childminder or mother's help could apply to be assessed at this level. The NVQ level 4 is undertaken by a childcare worker who would already be trained to management level - and tends to be more academically challenging.
Norland, Montessori and Chiltern Colleges
What the course involves: These are private colleges, which also have their own nurseries for training on site. The courses are two years and are generally followed by a probation period of 6-9 months. Wide range of subjects covered and the students receive an NNEB and a health diploma.