Training, courses and qualifications

Working with children and young people is a rewarding, challenging and a fun career, with the potential to change lives for the better.

Careers in childcare

Here are some examples of the types of opportunities working with children and young people:

  • nursery nurse/ nursery practitioner/ pre-school worker – working with children from 0 – 5 yrs in a pre-school or day nursery
  • Children Centre worker - working with children and families in a family centre or children's centre
  • playworker - working with children from 5-12 years in an out of school club / holiday playscheme
  • Teaching Assistant - working with children from 6 years and above in a school environment
  • registered childminder – working in your own home, you can decide the age range of the children
  • childcare – a business opportunity – starting your own childcare business
  • residential childcare workers - working in a residential children's home
  • family worker / social worker - working with children and their families
  • youth worker - working in, for example, a youth club
  • foster carers - fostering children in your own home

Get in touch with the recruitment helpline

If you gain a qualification in childcare, this will help your career working with children.

We offer a confidential, impartial service about your childcare career options.

For an informal one-to-one chat with a trained advisor at Borough Hall, please contact the recruitment helpline on:

Helping you decide which job is right for you

Bedford Training and Assessment Centre (BTAC) run a number of short taster courses to help you decide which area of childcare you would like to work in. We currently run the following introductory courses:

CACHE Level 1 Award in an Introduction to Early Years Settings

For people interested in working in a pre-school, nursery or school environment with children aged 0-6 years. These are practical hands-on courses designed for people wishing to take a Level 2 or 3 childcare / teaching assistant course in the future.

We are working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council to deliver and fund this and other qualifications, subject to eligibility criteria.

Course fees

The course fee is £300. However co-funding and full funding by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and European Social Fund (ESF) in partnership with Bedfordshire Employment and Skills Service (BESS), is available to learners aged 19 years or older on 31 August 2018:

  • The co-funded cost is £155, which can be deducted from the cost of your Level 2 qualification with BTAC.
  • If you are registered unemployed and receiving Jobseeker's Allowance or in receipt of a means tested benefit a letter from Jobcentre Plus dated one month before the course start date must be enclosed with your application.

Please make any cheques payable to Bedford Borough Council.

For further information and an application pack, please contact the office on 01234 276339, or by email at

Already a volunteer or working part time in a school?

Are you already working or volunteering with children in a Bedford Borough school or early years setting? There are new Level 2 courses for teaching assistants and early years assistants starting soon.

  • 6-10 hours a week, voluntary or paid work (6 hours+ if you have 12 months or more experience)
  • A series of 1 day workshops in Bedford to help you study
  • A personal assessor to help support you through the qualification.
  • No exams at the end!

Some funding may be available particularly if you are a JSA client.