Developing the next generation of Early Years experts

Looking for a change in career or perhaps looking to kick start your career in childcare?

Child smiling

What route can you take?

Childcare pathways

We are committed to helping develop the next generation of Early Years experts. There are a number of different routes on offer to you if you are interested in joining the wonderful world of Early Years, including:

  • Work experience and student placements
  • Traineeships
  • Apprenticeships

Read below for further information on each route.

Interested in learning more?

How to get in touch

If you’re interested in any or all of the different routes into childcare listed below, please email as we’d love to hear from you.

Let us know what route you might like to take and at which location and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We will be proud to support you on this exciting journey.

Short term

Work experience and student placements

Work experience is a chance for students still in full time education to get out and explore the world of work and gain some invaluable experience away from school.

This is a short term placement, usually of one or two weeks, as part of the Key Stage 4 curriculum.

Work experience or placements can help students determine whether they would like to like to pursue qualifications after GCSEs that are linked to a particular career or field of work. Our nurseries work with individual schools and students to provide placements.

Find Your Nearest Nursery

Mid term


Traineeships are an education, training and work experience programme that prepares young people for the world of work.

Working with approved training providers, our traineeship scheme runs for 8 weeks, during which trainees will gain 190 hours of hands on practical experience of working with children. Traineeships are available for people between the ages of 16 and 24, with no previous qualifications in childcare. Although trainees are not classed as employed, traineeships are designed to provide trainees with meaningful skills and work experience that they need to secure a sought-after apprenticeship position within The Old Station Nursey Group.

Find out more about traineeships by reading our FAQs below.

FAQ: Traineeships

Long term


An apprenticeship in Early Years with The Old Station Nursery Group is a way for people of any age to gain a nationally recognised Early Years qualification whilst enjoying the benefits of being employed by one of the leading childcare providers in the country.

Our apprenticeships typically last between 14 and 24 months.

Our apprentices follow a Level 2 Diploma Early Years Practitioner, and then a Level 3 Diploma Early Years Educator. Both qualifications have academic and practical elements, and you will be required to produce a portfolio of work as well as have regular assessments by your assessor, peers and manager. Throughout your apprenticeship you will be developing the skills and knowledge to support you to complete your End Point Assessment (EPA). Your EPA includes an MCQ Paper and a professional discussion of your portfolio.

Learn Plus Us training provider


We now offer Level 5 Qualifications through REALISE.

Level 5

  • Take the lead with our level 5 early years lead practitioner    apprenticeship, ideal for those seeking an operational role and aiming to drive positive change.
  • Our level 5 nursery manager’s apprenticeship is tailored exclusively for individuals already in nursery management roles, offering advanced knowledge in critical areas.

“We are delighted to have entered a training partnership with a group as progressive and forward-thinking as The Old Station Nursery Group. We share many of the same values and are in absolute agreement of the importance of apprenticeships.” – Karen Derbyshire, Operations Director of Early Years at Realise:

About realise


What can an apprenticeship can lead to?

Full and relevant Early Years qualification achieved through an approved training provider within 24 months

Paediatric First Aid Qualification
Experience of working in good or outstanding childcare settings

Opportunities for a permanent position once qualified and further career progression within the company

Nursery Staff Preparing An Activity For Children
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