Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.1: An introduction to the role of the Early Years practitioner
Learning outcome: Understand the role of the Early Years practitioner
Assessment criteria: Identify settings which provide Early Years education and care
It is useful to be aware of the different types of settings which provide Early Years education and care.
Day nurseries are run by a whole range of providers, including private and not-for-profit organisations, charitable organisations and the local authority. They care for and educate children from birth up to five years old, and they tend to be split into different rooms according to the age of the children. Each child in a nursery is assigned a key worker with whom the parent can liaise.
All nurseries follow an early years curriculum which is different depending on whether they are in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Pre-schools and playgroups are more informal than day nurseries and usually provide part-time rather than full-time care (e.g. a few hours a day in term-time only). Again, they cater for children aged three to five years old.
Nanny/ Au pair
A nanny or au pair usually lives with a family to provide care for the children and may also be responsible for household tasks such as cooking and cleaning. Nannies tend to have childcare qualifications, although this is not always the case.
Registered childminders care for children in their own homes and may look after several children at once, including babies and young children. Some childminders work together in a childminding network or ‘circle’.
Out-of-school clubs/activity clubs
Out-of-school clubs provide before and after school care and holiday clubs during the school holidays (e.g. Playscheme). They are usually run by schools, local authorities, community groups or private providers.