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How to write a childcare CV
Your childcare CV should be no more than 2 pages in length and must always have these sections:
- Name and contact information
- Work history
In addition, it’s common to include these sections:
- Personal statement, setting out how you meet the job specification
- Key skills
- Hobbies and interests
Often people choose to include a ‘References‘ section at the end of their CV. However, this isn’t compulsory. The employer will ask you for two references if they’re about to offer you the job anyway, so leaving this section off makes little difference. However, if you have references from particularly impressive people, this would be a good reason to add in this section.
Our example child care CV also has a space for ‘additional training’ as it’s quite common for childcare, early years and play workers to have health and safety / food hygiene training.
You might also like to mention:
- That you have a DBS check (and what type e.g. enhanced)
- Full clean driving licence, if relevant
- Your notice period e.g. 1 week, 1 month
It’s not usually advisable to include personal information on a CV, such as your race, religion or age. Doing so can increase the risk of discrimination before you even get the opportunity of an interview. However, for a role in childcare, you might like to mention that you have children if that is the case. Although you won’t include this in your work history, it is relevant because it will have helped you acquire valuable skills and experience!
Do study the job advert and ensure you cover any specific key skills and experience that the employer has asked for. In addition, include any experience that might be valuable to a prospective employer, such as preparation of lesson plans.
Q: What if I have no formal experience or relevant qualifications?
Having a lengthy work history or a perfect list of relevant qualifications isn’t always necessary for a childcare role. Often employers are interested in finding someone who is good with children and has the right kind of attitude and approach. But what do you put on your CV if you have no experience working with children at all?
As noted above, mention you have children if you do as this is relevant experience, even though it is not paid.
Also mention that you would be willing to work towards a formal qualification such as an NVQ – many employers mention this specifically in their job ads.
Consider taking some online courses to boost your qualifications section – for example, NDNA offer very reasonably priced online courses in nursery health and safety and food safety in a childcare setting.
You may be able to work with children in a more informal (unpaid) way to gain work experience for your work history section. If your children are still at school, speak to the teachers about volunteering regularly. This will often not be in your child’s class. Schools often welcome volunteers as they can assist with labour-intensive tasks such as listening to children read.
Speak to friends and family about helping with their children after school or babysitting.
If you have any formal qualifications, look for tutoring opportunities. Again this might be for friends/family, or with an online site such as Tutorful for example which allows you to create an online profile to advertise your services.
Look on sites such as Indeed for more volunteering opportunities working with young people (on Indeed.co.uk, searching for ‘School’ and refining your search to volunteer positions brings up lots of relevant vacancies – you can of course be more specific than we have been about your location!).
There are a wide variety of positions available, from volunteering with youth groups for the fire service to working with community groups for parents with babies and children. All of this non-standard experience can be used in your work history to show that you’re the right person for the role.
Go through any past irrelevant work experience and emphasise any relevant transferable skills, such as communication skills.
Finally, if you are looking for a position in a school setting, why not prepare some of your own lesson plans and submit them to one of the many lesson plan websites on the web, such as Education World? You can then include these as relevant experience on your CV.
Originally published 11th February 2016.