Qualifications in the UK are defined by the amount of study required (the number of credits) and the depth of knowledge and academic skill required to complete them (the level). There are no minimum qualifications to work as a nanny in the UK, however in order to register with the voluntary registration schemes designed to enable parents to get financial help to pay your salary you will require some form of training. The courses are often called 'common core courses for OFSTED registration'.


Nannies should be qualified at level 3 or above. This is the level required to work in other settings without supervision. Some courses may be taught or accredited at level 3 or above but not contain enough credits to cover everything a nanny should know. This is common among professional development courses.


Any qualification that is listed as 'full and relevant' on the Early Years Qualification Finder is suitable for a nanny. Below you will find information on the qualifications currently available for study as a nanny, and qualifications previously awarded which are still valid. We also hold information on various international qualifications and their suitability for working as a nanny in the UK.


Currently available level 3 qualifications in childcare for nannies

The 'Early Years Educator' suite of qualifications offered by awarding bodies including CACHE, Pearson and City & Guilds such as:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • Level 3 Diploma For the Early Years Practitioner (Early Years Educator)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Children's Learning and Development (Early Years Educator)
  • Level 3 Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy - Birth to Seven (Early Years Educator)

The full diploma includes 350 hours of placement - 25 hours with those aged birth to 2 years, 133 hours with 2-3 year olds, and 192 hours with 3-5 year olds. This can be difficult to organise when working full time as a nanny but you can organise voluntary placements as long as the setting agrees that you can be assessed there.

In order to enroll on these courses you usually need GCSE English & Maths at grands A*-C. If you do not have these you may not be able to apply for funding. If you do not have these at the end of your course you will not be able to count in nursery ratios should you choose to work in a nursery at any point instead of being a nanny.

Level 3 Awards and Certificates are not full and relevant qualifications but may provide underpinning knowledge, which, combined with experience may be suitable for nannies but will make finding alternative employment in the childcare sector difficult.

Previously offered level 3 qualifications in childcare for nannies

These qualifications predate the Early Years Educator qualifications but are still full and relevant.

  • Level 3 NVQ in Caring for Children and Young People
  • Level 3 NVQ in Childcare and Education
  • Level 3 NVQ in Children’s Care, Learning and Development
  • Level 3 NVQ in Early Years Care and Education
  • Level 3 NVQ in Playwork
  • Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education
  • Level 3 Diploma in Playwork (NVQ)
  • Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce (Early Learning and Childcare)
  • NNEB Diploma and the 2 year NNEB certificate
  • BTEC National Diploma in Early Years
  • BTEC National Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development

The level 3 Diploma in Home Based Childcare is suitable for nannies but not full and relevant for nursery work.

Level 4, 5, 6 and postgraduate qualifications in Early Years, Childhood Studies or Education for nannies

If you hold a level 3 qualification you may be interested in a level 4 qualification, previously known as an advanced diploma or higher national diploma and now usually offered through universities as a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE). Following that you may complete a level 5 Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) or a Foundation Degree, which can be topped up to a level 6 Bachelor's degree.

Completion of undergraduate study gives access to postgraduate qualifications at postgraduate certificate or diploma or Masters level, followed potentially by doctorate level studies.

Specialist nanny training colleges

The three best known nanny training colleges in the UK are Norland, Chiltern and Princess Christian (no longer in operation). Graduates from Norland previously studied the NNEB or DCE and completed a year probationary period with a family. They now complete a degree in Early Years and the probationary year is optional. Chiltern graduates hold the NNEB, DCE or subsequent level 3 qualification. Graduates from Princess Christian hold an NNEB or DCE. All three colleges also awarded their own certification.

Nannies with teaching, nursing and midwifery qualifications

Some nannies have not trained specifically in Early Years or childcare but hold teaching, child nursing or midwifery qualifications. Although these qualifications are unlikely to cover both the care and education elements of a specific early years and childcare qualification they are suitable for nannies who undertake some additional research.

Studies in subjects other than childcare and non-assessed studies in childcare

Nannies qualified vocationally or to degree level in subjects other than childcare may be able to show that elements of their studies have professional relevance as a nanny. Examples might include health and social care or sciences, professions allied to medicine and degree with minors or modules outside of main discipline.

With the widening access to university level study online, nannies can take advantage of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to study relevant subjects and, for a small fee, obtain certificates. While these do not replace an assessed qualification in childcare with a placement component they can provide valuable supporting knowledge.