How to become a Early Years Teaching Assistant

Our career advice page will tell you everything you need to know about becoming a Early Years Teaching Assistant.

Job Overview

A Early Years Teaching Assistant is responsible for helping the teacher with classroom activities and duties. This may include helping prepare and set up the classroom for lessons, helping children with reading, writing and learning and reporting progress of children to the teacher and their parents/guardians. The children are typically aged up to 5 years old.

Typical Work Hours

32-40 hours a week subject to term times. Some staff work all year round while some take term holidays.


Income varies from £12,000 to £23,000, depending on experience and whether the role is part-time or full-time.

General Duties

  • Monitoring progress and reporting back to parents
  • Supervise activities and other staff
  • Following safeguarding protocol
  • Supporting pupils with their work
  • Create fun and engaging activities

What Qualifications Do I Need to be a Early Years Teaching Assistant?

Entry Requirments

  • For a Level 2 Early Years Teaching Assistant course, you may need 2 GCSEs at 9-3 (A*-D)
  • For a Level 3 Early Years Teaching Assistantcourse, you may need 4 GCSEs at 9-4 (A*-C)
  • For an apprenticeship, you may need 5 GCSEs at 9-3 (A*-C)


We offer a online Level 2 Early Years Teaching Assistant course package which includes Level 2 Childcare and Level 2 Safeguarding. Click here to find out more. 

Work experience for a Early Years Teaching Assistant


You can gain relevant Early Years Teaching Assistant work experience through working with children, examples of this are:

  • Community Activities- Such as brownies, scouts, football coach.
  • Volunteering- Helping out at summer camps, day trips and after-school activities.
  • Work Experience Placement- Depending on your education level, you may be able to gain a work experience placement as a classroom assistant.
  • Tutoring/Mentoring- Providing help and/or coaching in a sport or subject.

Please note you may require a DBS check.

Tip: Make sure the experience is with a similar age group as the children you would be working with as a Early Years Teaching  Assistant.

What Skills Does a Early Years Teaching Assistant Need?


You’ll need a range of skills for a Early Years Teaching Assistant role. These include:

  • Excellent communication and listening
  • Ability to remain calm
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to be able to build relationships
  • Be able to adapt to work on different activities
  • Sensitivity and understanding

Early Years Teaching Assistant Support Map