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Relevant Qualifications to Work with Children

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 6 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
Gaining Qualifications Authority Dancing

Gaining additional qualifications is a great way to increase your earning capacity and the variety of jobs working with children that you can apply for. Although you may already have qualifications, perhaps A Levels and some further education, specific qualifications will certainly help your application stand out.

Maths & English for Adults

If you do not already have basic maths and English qualifications, either GCSEs, O Levels or the equivalent, then there are plenty of opportunities to gain them as an adult. This is certainly worth doing if you are keen to work in a school in some capacity. A good place to start is your local library as they will either have their own classes or be able to sign post you to the local adult education office.

Open University

A popular way to gain additional qualifications as an adult is by taking an Open University degree. You do not need to have any specific background to start, although many people find that they study something they are particularly interested in, such as psychology, or that will help their career development, such as child development.

The Open University has a very good website that details the wide variety of courses available. People have been known to take many years to complete all the modules as you can add more ‘points’ in your own time, depending on how much time you can dedicate to studying. There are usually local meeting groups or tutorials throughout the year, with the majority of work being done through home study.

Dancing Qualifications

As dance classes are very popular with children most towns have at least one dance studio that offers ballet, tap, modern and disco dancing lessons. Most teachers and assistants at these dancing schools have danced themselves for many years, but it is increasingly necessary for them to have both ISTD and BBO qualifications (specialist ballet dancing qualifications).

Gaining these dancing qualifications not only gives you the authority required to conduct such classes, it is also a legal requirement if your pupils want to pass dancing exams. You will be required to pass both practical and written exams, with regional testing centres often set up once or twice a year for all local dance schools to attend. Although teachers are not required to attend once they have gained the qualification, booster sessions are encouraged to stay ahead of changes in the business. In addition those applying for a position in this field, potential staff will also need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), check.

Learning Support Qualifications

Many learning support assistants choose to boost their career opportunities by gaining additional qualifications. Although they do not usually have teaching qualifications initially, working in this job often encourages them to become fully qualified teachers. If you do not want to go down this route (which usually entails going to university as a mature student to gain a PGCE, or gaining on the job training) you can also gain qualifications for specific learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, autism or British Sign Language. This offers considerable career benefits as you can be employed as a learning support assistant on a one to one basis for children with particular support needs.

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I am on a social services supervision order regarding my son as I had a problem with misusing alcohol. I've had treatment for a year in community. Can I work and train as TA in schools? Nothing is on my DBS
Cc - 6-Dec-17 @ 6:06 AM
I have over 10 years experience of working with Adults with learning disabilities and Challenging behaviours. I am trained to NVQ level 3 in health and social care, however, I would like to work with nursery age children. How do I go about this?
Scood1985 - 1-Sep-16 @ 5:29 PM
Hi there.I got a diploma of higher education level 5 in early childhood studies. I would like to know if it is relevant to work with children and what kind of jobs are available . thanks Nina.
Nina - 14-Jun-16 @ 7:01 PM
have completed my level 3 in childcare and education and also a level 3 in health and social care, am looking to become aresidential support worker in a childrens home.. does any one have any suggestions on how to become a residential support worker, thanks in advance hollie
hollie - 29-Mar-16 @ 11:35 AM
Hi. I am a qualified TA, currently in my first year of an early childhood studies degree, 'I worked as an MTA before my son was born and have volunteers at his school on numerous occasions. I am looking to work with families with young children who have disabilities, in particular visual impairments. Not sure where to go from here in order to do this.
Krissy - 2-Jan-16 @ 10:02 PM
Hezzy - Your Question:
I have volunteered in a primary school for over three years now, working as a classroom assistant in year 3 and helping to run toddler group every week. While I have been there, I have obtained my level 1 Certificate in caring for Children, Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and learning in schools, done a level 1 ICT course and at the end of April this year, the school allowed me to do a safeguarding children course. To work with/look after children, do I need to register with ofsted?

Our Response:
You must register with Ofsted or a childminder agency if you want to be paid to look after children under eight years of age for more than two hours a day. Please see gov.uk site here which should give you the information you need.
WorkingWithKids - 11-Aug-15 @ 1:50 PM
I have volunteered in a primary school for over three years now, working as a classroom assistant in year 3 and helping to run toddler group every week. While I have been there, I have obtained my level 1 Certificate in caring for Children, Level 2 Certificate in Supporting Teaching and learning in schools, done a level 1 ICT course and at the end of April this year, the school allowed me to do asafeguarding children course. To work with/look after children, do I need to register with ofsted?
Hezzy - 9-Aug-15 @ 10:55 AM
@Jus - you obviously now have a fair amount of experience under your belt which will allow you to move on to other things. I have included a page from the National Careers Service which may be of help here . Some institutions may require you to have a degree, but your experience and HND might also help. A teaching assistant route may also be a way forward. If you wanted to teach EAL in maintream schools you would have to have a PGCE, which would mean the university route should you want to take that. I hope this helps.
WorkingWithKids - 15-Jan-15 @ 10:17 AM
Hello I have recently returned from 18 months in Thailand working in their Government School with children aged from 5-8 and from under privileged backgrounds. I have had to return to the UK for family reasons, but am wanting to carry on teaching and helping Children less fortunate than others. I am 47, have English to O level standard and English Lietrature to A level standard and went on to do an HND in Home Economics. Before I went to Thailand I was very involved in The Brownies which I loved. After going to Thailand I secured a TEFL diploma in teaching English. I am really needing some help in where to start, and would love it if someone could contact me to discuss this. Thanking you in advance Jus Lindley
Jus - 14-Jan-15 @ 3:22 PM
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