Job description: Career changer

What are lateral entry and entry qualification?

The path to becoming an educator is not limited to traditional training. An entry-level qualification or lateral entry with previous professional experience is also recognized in more and more federal states.

Existing specialist knowledge can be an additional asset when working with children. Individual additional qualifications or vocational training (such as carpentry, music, art education, etc.) make (lateral) entrants also experts in their respective pedagogical focus. They can contribute their expertise and interests in the numerous educational areas such as movement, art, music, nutrition, language. As experts in their field, they inspire the children with their passion and knowledge. In addition, they are supported by the rooms that are specially equipped for the respective function.

How does the lateral entry work?

In Hamburg, career entry is made possible by the “Temporary Opening of the Professional Field of Daycare for an Additional Staff Group.” It was introduced in 2018 by the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Family and Integration. Groups of people with certain professional qualifications and prerequisites can thus more easily aspire to work in daycare centers. This so-called “positive list” allows, for example, interested persons to take up employment in daycare centers through a successfully completed introductory qualification, depending on their individual previous knowledge. It comprises either two months (320 hours of theory and practice) or a successfully completed lateral entry qualification (160 hours of theory).

Here you will find an overview of the Hamburg “positive list”: Here you can find the key points for a temporary opening of the occupational field of daycare centers for an additional personnel group

Since January 2021, Schleswig-Holstein has also made it easier for an expanded group of people to start working in daycare centers: certain professional groups can acquire the status of first or second specialist as part of a 480-hour advanced training course in the field of early childhood care, education and upbringing.

Click here to access the state ordinance on staff qualifications:

Where can I get further training?

Some schools and further education institutions now offer these courses. Our further education institute WABE International Academy has also repeatedly trained and examined participants* in the qualification programs successfully since 2019.

Overview: Entry routes to a job in a daycare center

Training or continuing education via entry-level qualification:
Social pedagogical assistant, state-recognized child care worker* or social pedagogical assistant*.
-> Qualified for employment as a second assistant
State-recognized educators, state-recognized social pedagogues, state-certified remedial pedagogues or persons with comparable qualifications.
-> Qualified for use as a primary caregiver
With a university or university of applied sciences degree in the major or minor subject of pedagogy, educational science as well as second state examination/ master’s degree for the teaching profession for elementary schools or special education; post-qualification to the extent of 80 hours in early childhood pedagogy, developmental psychology and child protection, insofar as this knowledge cannot be proven through corresponding study content.
-> Qualified as a first-time employee in a daycare center.
With a university or technical college degree or vocational training (in the fields of speech therapy, physiotherapy, occupational or learning therapy, occupational and work therapy, children’s nursing, diaconia, dance pedagogy and music teaching, as well as completed midwifery training and training as nursing specialists, master craftsmen, state-certified technicians, business economists and business administrators).
-> Qualified as a first employee in a daycare center after successfully completing a post-qualification of 80 hours in early childhood pedagogy, developmental psychology and child protection and additionally a relevant previous activity of at least 1000 hours within the last 5 years before the start of the assignment in a daycare center or GBS. If the relevant previous work is not available, a post-qualification (incl. child protection) of 160 hours is planned.