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Working in the Early Years: The CACHE Career Map

Julie HydeBy Julie Hyde, Director of CACHE

At CACHE, we are continually investing in high quality qualifications for the care and education industry, making us the UK’s leading sector specialist.

Developed by experts, our qualifications help millions of learners raise professional standards across the sector.

As a result, we’ve gained a deserved reputation for excellence and leadership. Our continued dedication to those who care for children, young people and adults means that our qualifications and training continue to meet the needs of a modern workforce.

The Early Years Workforce Strategy was published on the 3 March 2017 and included a commitment by the Department for Education (DfE) to develop career pathways which said: “We want to support the workforce to develop, both professionally and personally, and want staff to understand how to achieve their career goals”.

The DfE has worked with stakeholders to undertake this commitment. In contributing to this collective approach we have all informed an interactive career map.

Beginning of the journey

Research confirms that the first five years of children’s lives are the most important period for laying the foundations for their learning and ongoing development.  If active minds are nurtured in safe enabling environments and young children have access to high quality early years experiences they will do better in life. From the moment a baby is born they are actively learning about themselves and the world around them.

Working in Early Education and Childcare opens up a career path full of opportunities within a range of roles. You may start your career working in a setting as a practitioner.  You may take on specific leadership, management or specialist roles within the setting or choose to develop your career and pursue further academic study or employment routes in schools or become a teacher, lecturer, social worker, speech and language specialist or you may decide to become self-employed.

Early years is, without doubt, a most rewarding and satisfying career, with many opportunities from such investment. Having the opportunity to influence the outcomes of children is a privilege and a responsibility.

A career in Early Education and Childcare is the chance to support young children as they learn, develop and prepare for school. It’s a career path that is rewarding, full of variety and offers progression and different pathways to follow as you grow in experience and confidence.

An introduction to the early years

The career map introduces those interested in beginning a career in early education and childcare through engaging case studies that explore diverse roles across the sector. Opportunities for career progression within the early years, including study at higher education are included conveniently within the career map, establishing clear routes and pathways for diversification or specialism along the way.

Cache Early Years Career Map

View the career map

The map signposts to the roles within the early year’s workforce and beyond, making this a useful tool for those just beginning their journey as well as a useful resource for professional development for those already employed in this wonderful sector. It identifies the varied routes through academic study and vocational learning through on the job training; equally valued and enabling of progression.

Those working in early years are committed professional practitioners who enjoy their work, reflect on the impact of their engagement with children and take responsibility for improving on what they do through regular participation in their own professional development. Children deserve to be cared for by a professional body and this map helps to get the right people on the right path to do the job well. 


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