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Working with children

Working with children can be a challenge but it can also be very rewarding. There are several different ways that you can work with children in Luton.

Become a childminder

As a childminder you'd work in your own home and look after other people’s children.

As a childminder some of your duties will include making sure the children are:

  • clean
  • warm
  • fed and watered
  • stimulated
  • happy

You'll have to follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). You may also be asked to transport a child to and from school, commonly known as a drop off or pick up.

Childminders are self-employed and can negotiate their hours and how much they charge with the parents. 

To enrol on the training courses to become a childminder you will need a working use of the English language and be 18 years or older.

Become a home childcarer

As a home childcarer you'd work in the home of the child or children you're looking after.

As a home childcarer your duties will be similar to those of a childminder (see above).

To enrol on the training courses to become a home childcarer you will need a working use of the English language and be 18 years or older.

Set up your own childcare provision

You may choose to set up your own setting such as a:

  • nursery
  • preschool
  • breakfast
  • after school club
  • holiday scheme

If you choose to set up your own provision you'll need to:

  • find a suitable venue
  • carry out research on the demand for childcare in that area
  • find and employ suitably qualified staff
  • many other aspects

As the owner or manager of the setting you'd be expected to have or undertake relevant training.

The Childcare Advice and Support team at Luton Council will be there to help you along.

Work in an existing childcare setting

This may be better for you if you would prefer to work with children without having to set up your own business. This can vary depending on the age range you would like to work with.

If you choose to work in a nursery or preschool, you'll be:

  • working as part of a team
  • planning and organising stimulating educational and fun activities
  • taking care of the children’s personal needs, such as food, washing and sleep

In a breakfast or afterschool club you may be involved in planning and carrying out of different stimulating and relaxing activates with children and young people. You could be doing anything including:

  • joining in their games
  • providing breakfast
  • helping with homework
  • giving them a safe place to play and make learning fun

A holiday scheme would be along the same lines except you wouldn't be expected to help with homework.

While it's possible, it's unlikely that you'll be able to start a childcare career without a relevant qualification. There are different routes you can undertake to gain a relevant qualification. These include:

  • full time study at a college which can take up to two years
  • work based study which requires you to have a work placement and can take up to 18 months

You'll need to contact the childcare providers to find out whether they have any current vacancies, or are able to take you on as a volunteer. A list of these can be found by searching for childcare in the Luton directory.

Once you've secured a work placement you'll need to speak to your employer to see if they'd be willing to arrange for you to do a childcare apprenticeship. 


Before choosing to set up a new childcare business you may want to carry out some research to find out about the supply and demand, and existing childcare in the local area.

You can find out some information on our reports and surveys - childcare in Luton page, or by contacting Luton Family Information Service.

Who to contact

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Luton Family Information Service
Luton Family Information Service

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Last updated 02/11/2023