The childcare sector is very rewarding; allowing children and young people to develop, grow and have fun in safe and caring settings.

Joining the childcare sector

You can work as an assistant, leader or playworker in a nursery, creche and playgroup or out of school club. You could also become a childminder by attending a childminder briefing session followed by a registration course. 

To work in a childcare setting you will need to undertake training.  A range of part time and full time courses are available from universities and further education or local community colleges. People working in a childcare setting can work towards an NVQ qualification. You can even learn by studying from home on a distance learning course. Qualifications include BTEC National Certificates and Diplomas, NVQ's and degrees. 

Universities, adult education and community colleges hold open evenings and days throughout the year. These help you choose the most appropriate course and give you advice and assistance about which sector you want to work in. 

Useful information

Becoming a childminder or opening a childcare organisation


To attend a briefing course for prospective childminders, contact Bridget Speight, Workforce Development Officer on 0191 277 4432, or by emailing

Childcare organisations

Whether you are an existing or potential childcare provider you can contact the council's Childcare sufficiency team for support with your business planning and for information about business support funding.

Related information

Support for existing childminders and childcare providers

If you have already qualified as an Early Years practitioner, the early years training programme describes the range of support available from within the council. Many of these courses are free or subsidised, and include courses you must keep up to date by law.

Childminding drop-ins

Childminding drop-ins are a great opportunity to meet other childminders and they are a chance for the children you care for to have a good quality group experience. Some drop-ins are more structured than others. All drop-ins should offer children the opportunity to experience a variety of physical, creative and social opportunities.

Most drop-ins are only open term-time. In Newcastle we are lucky to have a reasonable spread of drop-ins across the city and you are welcome to attend any of them so long as you are a registered childminder. There will probably be a small charge to cover the cost of refreshments and activities.

If you would like to know where your nearest drop-in is you can use the Newcastle Support directory (external site) to find it.

Newcastle Childminding Association (NCA)

Newcastle Childminding Association (NCA) a support organisation for childminders in Newcastle. Every registered childminder in Newcastle is automatically a member. There is no cost. Its aims are to promote high quality childminding by supporting childminders and promoting the service that they offer. It does this in a number of ways.

  • Meet bi-monthly to discuss the issues that are affecting childminders in Newcastle. Any childminder is welcome to attend.
  • Has an annual general meeting.
  • Supports a childminders toy library based at Heaton Community Centre
  • Supports childminder drop-ins by offering a small grant to support venue costs.
  • Employs a Childminding Quality Manager
  • Supports newly registered childminders
  • Represents childminders at strategic meetings in Newcastle.

If you want to know more about NCA or if you want to attend one of the meetings you can contact Mary Trappe, Chairperson on 0191 2670064, or email

Toy library for registered childminders in Newcastle

The Toy library is run by Newcastle Action for Parent and Toddler Groups Initiative (NAPI) and is based at Heaton Community Centre, Trewhitt Road. They offer an extensive range of good quality toys and equipment such as travel cots and highchairs for children aged 0-8 years.

Childminders may also be able to access Toy Libraries in their Sure Start Children's Centres and in Fenham and Walker Library, information can be found on the Newcastle Support directory (external site).

Business support for childcare providers

Whether you are an existing or potential childcare provider you can contact the council's Childcare sufficiency team for support with your business planning and for information about business support funding.

Useful external links

Page last updated: 
1 July 2016
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