Northumberland Early Years recruitment

There are many routes into rewarding careers within Early Years in Northumberland. Find out more below about how you can make a difference and give children the best start in life.

From April, the UK will see the start of the biggest expansion to childcare support that the country has ever seen.

This is creating lots of exciting opportunities for children, families and people from all walks of life looking for rewarding careers that can make a difference.

The Department for Education has launched the “Do Something Big” recruitment campaign that aims to encourage people to start or return to a career working with small children and celebrates the life-changing rewards careers in early years can bring.

A pilot £1,000 golden hello for eligible childcare workers is also being launched in 20 Local Authorities across the UK including Northumberland.

Start-up grants for childminders are also available.

Find out more on the Department for Education's Early Years Careers campaign page. 

woman with little girl looking at book

Those choosing to work in Early Years and Childcare will need some very special qualities including:  

  • Being warm, sensitive and patient in meeting the needs of each unique child you support;  
  • The ability to build good relationships with children and their families;  
  • A sense of humour, lots of enthusiasm and a warm smile each day;  
  • Being passionate about providing the best start to life for our youngest children. Inspiring them to be the best they can be.  

The different types of early years and childcare settings you might want to consider:  

  • Childminders  
  • Day nurseries and pre-schools  
  • Schools   
  • Out-of-School Clubs  

Career Progression 

Man working with children
Choosing a career in early years and childcare can lead to a number of other professional roles such as:  

  • Nursery Manager 
  • Teacher 
  • Lecturer 
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinator 
  • Family Help Practitioner, or local authority advisory roles 
  • Owning your own business. 

For details on different progression routes into early years careers view the sections below and the DfE career pathway map for more information. 

Hear from some of our current Northumberland professionals. They tell us what they enjoy about working in early years and childcare. 

"It’s so rewarding, and they put a smile on my face all the time"

The Early Years Team are here to support potential childminders on their journey to become a registered professional childminder in Northumberland.

This support includes: 

  • A pre-registration briefing session to inform you of the process and the expectations from Ofsted to become a registered provider. 
  • Training and individual support to help you meet the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework (EYFS). 
  • Access to a wealth of training through the Early Years SLA, including: 
    • Safeguarding 
    • Paediatric First Aid 
    • Food Hygiene  
    • Fire Awareness 
    • Support to become a funded education provider. 


Click here to access the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework for Childminders on  .  
Click here to access Ofsted's Pre-registration briefing information for those wishing to become childminders 

Once registered, your locality Early Years and Childcare Performance Partner will be on hand to ensure you continue to have access to any support you may need to grow a successful business and flourish in your new career. 

Childminder start up grants scheme 

The Department for Education has confirmed that a £600 grant for those who register with Ofsted, and £1200 for those who register with a childminder agency, will be payable to any individual who has completed their childminder registration on after Wednesday 15 March 2023. 

New childminders are now able to apply for grant. For further details visit Childminder start up grants scheme

Professional childminders are in a unique position. They offer their own home as a nurturing environment to assist in the learning and development of children. They often become part of their extended family. 

If you would like step into a new and highly rewarding career and learn more about becoming a childminder in Northumberland just complete this short form to register your interest and a member of the Early Years Team will get in touch. 

If you're interested in starting or developing your career in early years, Northumberland Skills deliver courses to provide you with the tools you will need to succeed in this rewarding sector.

Lady with a clipboard
Courses are available at all levels, from entry level for those who are not yet working in the sector, through to professionals wishing to develop their knowledge and progress in their career.  

For a full list of early years and education courses, available in Northumberland, please visit Northumberland Skills


Apprenticeships are training programmes that combine on the job training with study. They are for people aged 16 or over. Apprenticeships can help you progress into full time employment or further study. More information on apprenticeships is available online, including guidance and regulation and news updates. 

Find an apprenticeship 

Northumberland Skills offer a range of apprenticeships for people looking to improve their career prospects. It has apprenticeships for 16 to 18-year-olds and for anyone aged 19 and over. 

Some employers offer their own apprenticeships and you may find opportunities listed on the Gov.UK apprenticeship page.  

Further information on apprenticeships can be found on the Early Years Apprenticeships page.

Full and part time qualification routes 

Northumberland Skills can offer online courses in:

  • Teaching Assistant 
  • Early Years Educator 
  • Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • British Sign Language (BSL)
  •  Makaton
  •  Understanding Childrens Mental Health.


​​Courses may be free depending on eligibility.​

The Department for Education launched the Do Something Big campaign to promote careers in early years and childcare following feedback from providers around the challenges they were facing in their recruitment efforts.

Find out more on the department for Education's Early Years Careers campaign page. 

Campaign information and the toolkit can be downloaded from

Help us to help you

How you can support the campaign?

  • help us attract new and returning early years professionals to the sector by sharing the campaign through your networks and channels
  • promote the campaign by using positive language and highlighting the benefits of a career in early years and childcare. This could include career progression and flexible working hours
  • when promoting the campaign, think about what makes your setting unique and what the sector offers those looking to start or return to a career in early years and childcare
  • share and engage with our social media posts
  • use the #DoSomethingBig hashtag on social media


If you would like to find out more about jobs available now, training opportunities and career development, please email

Apply for a job through the Department for Work and Pensions job page.

Apply for a childcare apprenticeship on

We are hosting two drop-in events and an online virtual session if anyone would like to chat to other childminders, speak to members of the Early Years team and find out more about this rewarding career. 

The in-person sessions are taking place at Hexham and Alnwick Family Hub and children are welcome.  

Drop in events 

Alnwick Professional Childminder Network 
Monday 3rd June 2024  
Alnwick Family Hub 
An informal drop-in session hosted by your Early Years and Childcare Performance Partner - come along to have a chat and get answers to any childminding queries. Children welcome. 
Sign up here  
Hexham Professional Childminder Network 
Tuesday 18th June 2024  
Hexham Family Hub 
An informal drop-in session hosted by your Early Years and Childcare Performance Partner - come along to have a chat and get answers to any childminding queries. Children welcome. 
Sign up here  
Virtual childminder information session 
Interested in childminding? 
Friday 14th June 2024  
Microsoft Teams  
An informal online session hosted by Early Years and Childcare Performance Partners and an established Northumberland based childminder - come along to have a chat and find out more about start up grants, support from the Early Years team and how to take your first steps towards this rewarding career! 
Sign up here