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CHILDCARE APPRENTICESHIP qualifications for au pairs

Smartaupairs offers Childcare qualification in collaboration with Smart Training

NEW = NO upper age limit!

By offering au pairs the opportunity to gain a government funded recognised qualification such as a British Apprenticeship/NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) during their time as an au pair, they would have more quantifiable benefits from their year abroad, i.e. more to show for.  This would especially apply to candidates with a genuine interest in a career in childcare as British childcare qualifications are very highly regarded globally.

To the family this training also offers great benefits as they will get a very committed au pair with a genuine interest in childcare!

In close collaboration with an experienced training company, it was decided that the most appropriate qualification to offer would be the Apprenticeship in Children’s Care Learning and Development framework, which includes;

  • NVQ Level 2 in Children’s Care Learning and Development
  • A Technical certificate – Level 2 BTEC in Children’s Care Learning and Development
  • Key Skills in Communication (English language) and Application of number at Level 1
  • 12 hour Paediatric First Aid Course*
  • Learning about Employment Rights and Responsibilities

The NVQ is designed to train people who are working in face to face roles with children, young people, and families and qualifies an individual to work as a nursery nurse or classroom assistant.


The benefits to the au pair are

  • a recognised qualification in childcare from their year as an au pair
  • a chance to network with other students during monthly visit to training centre
  • home visits from training assessor
  • the opportunity to earn and learn; language skills and much more
  • improved employability in UK and Europe
  • no college to attend except monthly tutorials
  • professional support from training company throughout
  • work experience in a group environment such as a nursery or playgroup may be required depending on the family situation (in own time, with support) 

The benefits to the family are

  • an au pair with long term commitment
  • an au pair with a real interest in childcare
  • a structured development program to enhance the care received by child/children as the au pair is learning
  • visits from professional assessor to monitor progress
  • no need for the au pair to attend college, just one monthly tutorial on a Saturday


This program is delivered as a joined initiative between the au pair agency Smartaupairs,, a member of the British Au Pair Agency Association and Smart Training, the UK largest specialist in NVQ training with almost 15 years of experience of delivering childcare and management training with a practical focus on the workplace and has helped thousands of learners to gain their qualification.


For families to qualify from the benefit of the Apprenticeship/NVQ au pair they would need to

  • Live in easy reach from smart training center (see list below)
  • Have at least one child under the age of 15 at the start of the program
  • Be able to commit a few hours every month to support the au pair with the assignments
  • Facilitate the au pair to attend monthly tutorials at the training center, always on Saturdays, this includes covering travel cost to training centre
  • Sponsor the 12 hour Paediatric First Aid training (approx. £85)

For au pairs to qualify from the benefit of the Apprenticeship/NVQ opportunity he/she needs to

  • Have confident English languages skills; speaking, reading and writing to prepare the portfolio to show competence to qualify
  • EU national, living in  EU for last 3 years
  • Stay in the UK with the same host family for 12 months
  • Not yet qualified to Degree level or equivalent
  • Have some childcare experience and a genuine interest in childcare, no formal prior qualifications are required, an assessment will be made by Smart Training to confirm  relevant NVQ level
  • Qualify for the 12 hour Paediatric First Aid in your own time during your stay as au pair
  • Have a driving license*
  • Fund the deposit and administration fee total of £200 (€300)


The family hosts and sponsors their au pair to do this Apprenticeship/NVQ. Both au pair and family benefit during the year that the au pair is with the family, as the au pair will be able to offer a great childcare and development program for the children. The ongoing benefit is for the au pair, as the qualification is for the individual.


The Apprenticeship/NVQ is funded by the government so the actual fee remaining is only to cover the First Aid training, payable by the family at approximately £85.


The funding includes full support from Smart Training, all books, all monthly tutorials, all home visits, registration with the awarding body, assessment fees and certification.


The au pair pays an administration fee of £200 to allow for initial language assessment and to find a suitable sponsor. £100 is refunded on successful completion within 12 months.


Our relationship with Smart Training means that the training is delivered by an experienced provider with their own excellent facilities and infrastructure. We believe we are the only au pair agency offering this unique opportunity. We expect this to be a great success with both families and au pairs.

* Au pairs without a driving license may find it harder to find a family sponsor.

**Smart Training have training centers for NVQ’s in Children’s Care Learning and Development in the following locations; 

Bromley, Colliers Wood, Coventry, Croydon, Halifax, Hammersmith, Hemel-Hempstead, Hull, Huntingdon, Kingston-upon-Thames, leeds, Leicester, Greenwich, Luton, Maidenhead, Maidstone, Portsmouth, Reading, Romford, Ruislip, Slough, Southampton, Stratford, Tottenham, Watford, Wembley, York 

If your family lives within no more than 40 miles of one of these locations and you are prepared to support your au pair’s monthly visit to the nearest training centre, you can register your interest for an Apprenticeship au pair with us now.

e-mail us on subject NVQ Family/Au pair (please indicate if you are a family or an au pair)