Top tips: How to write a CV for childcare

April 1st, 2024

So you’re looking for a new career in childcare? There are lots of nursery jobs out there to apply for - but there are also lots of applicants, too.

This means it’s really important to make your CV stand out, showing childcare employers that you’re a great candidate who’s worth shortlisting for interview. Here's some top tips on how to write a great CV for childcare.

Don’t forget the basics

You may have the amazing nursery CV in the world but if it doesn’t include your contact details, then it won’t get you very far. To make sure you don’t miss anything out, it’s good practice to use a CV template that includes space for the following:

  • Name, phone number, email address and physical address
  • A link to your LinkedIn profile, if you have one
  • Personal statement
  • Key skills
  • Work history
  • Educational achievements

if you’ve never created a CV before or yours could do with a refresh, we recommend searching online for ‘childcare CV template’ and downloading a document that features all the details you need. This will also ensure that your CV is laid out professionally and is easy to read.

How long should a childcare CV be?

Maybe you’ve had a long career with lots of experience to include – or perhaps you’re looking for a childcare apprenticeship role after you’ve left school and you’re struggling to fill a page. Either way, many people find it difficult to know how long their CV should be, and how to make it longer or shorter.

As Partou, we recommend that yours should be no more than 2 pages of A4. This is enough for us to get to know you and what experience you have whilst remaining concise. In some cases, a single page may be just fine as long as you can showcase your key skills and let us know why you’re suited to a role.

One side is fine if you’re still at the beginning of your career, as long as it gets across all your key skills and shows us why you’re suited to the job.

How to showcase a shorter career when applying for a childcare role

If you haven’t had much work experience to date, there’s still a lot you can tell us on your CV.

  • Begin your CV with a personal statement to explain why you are seeking a career in childcare. This shouldn’t be overly long – a few sentences should be enough. What’s important is that your passion for childcare shines through, with examples to back up what you say. If you have any ambitions for your Early Years career, include them here. 
  • Include a Key Skills section at the top of your CV, to outline how your talents and abilities are suited to a childcare role. This will demonstrate to the employer that you have done your research and that you understand what is required of a career in childcare.
  • Short of work experience? That’s OK, but there may be things you haven’t thought of. Perhaps you’ve washed dishes in your local cafe, or done some babysitting for your neighbour (even if you didn’t get paid). Both of these activities demonstrate some of the skills you would need as an early years practitioner, and importantly, they also show that you have more transferable skills that every employer will value, such as timekeeping, social skills and a sense of responsibility.
  • Include your educational achievements. We want to know about your qualifications (most childcare employers will require GCSEs in English and Maths), but if relevant we’re also interested to know how you participated in school or college life. Perhaps you helped to organise an end-of-year social, or represented your year in the School Council? Whatever you’ve been involved in, including it on your CV will help to demonstrate your skills and help recruiters to get to know you as a person.
How to trim a long CV

Once you’ve been working for a few years, it can become difficult to know what to keep in your CV, and what to leave out. This is especially true if you’re changing careers, and perhaps you feel that your experience to date may not be relevant. Here’s how to write a CV for childcare if you already have a few years of work experience.

  • Consider a skills-based CV rather than a long, chronological list of every job you’ve done. Employers will still be interested in your work experience, but presenting it in the right way will help them to understand what makes you such a suitable candidate for a childcare role.
  • Begin with a short personal statement explaining what you’re looking for in a childcare role, and why. If you’re changing careers you could include a short sentence to sum this up, for example: “After working as a retail manager for 5 years, I am seeking a new career in childcare.”
  • Include a bullet list of key skills relevant to the childcare role you are applying for, and demonstrate these using examples from your career. These could include working in a team, communicating effectively with customers or clients, people management or problem solving, among many others.
  • Depending on space, you can describe your career without going into detail about every individual job you’ve done. For example, you could sum up a few years of your career history as follows: “2015-18: Various roles in customer service.” You can always provide more details if the recruiter decides to take your application further and requests this information.
Give the employer what they’re looking for

When you’re applying for lots of different jobs it can be really tempting to send exactly the same CV out to every single recruiter. Applying for jobs is really time consuming, and it’s a lot of work to rewrite your CV every time!

However, employers are looking for candidates who can show that they are a good fit for that particular role. For example, here at Partou, we offer a calm, positive working environment where our employees can thrive. Applicants will play a critical role in the day-to-day running of our nurseries, and in return we offer training and support throughout your career with us, with opportunities to develop your career. We love to hear from applicants who have a good understanding of what running a nursery involves, and we’re interested to know about your career ambitions and how we can support these.

How do you know what the employer is looking for?  Spend some time referring back to the employer’s website, then check the job description and highlight anything on your CV that really demonstrates the skills and interests it requires. For example, if you’re applying for one job in a baby room and another supporting pre-schoolers, you might tweak your CV each time: perhaps you have a baby niece or nephew that you’ve helped to care for, or maybe you have spent time reading stories to a friend’s four-year-old. You won’t have to recreate your whole CV for every single job, but small tweaks like this can really make a difference to show you’ve put thought and effort into your application.

Always get a second pair of eyes

It’s so easy to get immersed in your own CV that sometimes you might not spot typos or mistakes that might leap out at others! That’s why it’s really important to get a friend or someone you trust to take a look at your CV before you send it. Get them to read it through and offer constructive comments on how it could be improved.

Apply for a role at Partou

Now that you know how to write a CV for childcare, it’s time to start applying for jobs! We’re always recruiting for amazing staff to work in a variety of childcare roles here at Partou. With variable work patterns, a great work / life balance and the opportunity to earn while you learn, our nurseries are a supportive and friendly place to work. Browse our childcare vacancies or contact us to send us your CV.

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