Frequently Asked Questions for early years professionals

Got a burning childcare question as a professional in early years? Here you'll find the answers to our frequently asked questions.

  1. What qualifications do I need to work in a nursery?
  2. Are there any early years apprenticeships?
  3. What research backs up our ‘no sleeping in prams’ policy?

What qualifications do I need to work in a nursery?

Before you can begin working with children you will need  enhanced background checks to be completed by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) - formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).

 To become a qualified nursery worker and be counted in the staff-to-children ratios, you will need a recognised Level 2 or Level 3 childcare qualification.

Are there any early years apprenticeships?

Yes. Early years apprenticeships are available for the following roles:

  • Intermediate Level Apprenticeship
  • Early Years Worker/Assistant
  • Care Worker/Assistant
  • Assistant Youth Support & Community Worker

Advanced Level Apprenticeship:

  • Nursery Worker/Supervisor
  • Nursery Nurse / Nursery Teaching Assistant

There is funding help available for eligible applicants through the Early Years Apprenticeship Bursary Scheme.

What research backs up our ‘no sleeping in prams’ policy?

Research shows that sleeping in prams or car seats for a long period of time is not recommended for the following reasons:

  • They are only designed as a mode of transport, and do not offer a child the appropriate support to their spine
  • This could also  have an effect on a babies  breathing and therefore putting them at risk of Sudden Infant death syndrome ( SIDS)

The recommendations for safe sleeping are:

  • Being laid on your back, in a cot on a flat firm mattress with a waterproof cover that can be washed down.
  • Lay with their feet at the foot of the cot, this will prevent them from wriggling too far under their bedding
  • Make sure they are not too hot- keep the room temperature between 16 and 20 degrees
  • Make sure the baby's head stays uncovered when asleep.
  • Keep the cot free of soft objects and anything loose or fluffy (do not use cot bumpers , pillows or duvets, lots of soft toys) use a bay sleep bag or cellular blanket. 

The American academy of paediatrics advice is 'Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep’.

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