Illiterate nursery staff who discuss their nights out drinking in front of toddlers risk creating a generation of "Vicky Pollards", a teachers' leader warned.
Deborah Lawson, chair of the Professional Association of Teachers, said too many students starting childcare training courses used only the shorthand language of text messages.
And growing numbers of young staff in nurseries dressed inappropriately, with long nails and "chunky" shoes, and discussed their social lives in front of children.
The situation, according to Ms Lawson, risked creating a generation of toddlers who will resemble the infamous character whose "Yeah-but, no-but" catchphrase helped make TV comedy Little Britain such a hit.
Ms Lawson, 49, from Gloucestershire, has nearly 30 years' experience working in education, including inspecting playgroups and nurseries.
She said: "I don't want to trivialise this in any way at all, but we don't want a future generation of Vicky Pollards.
"I'm not saying that is going to happen, but that's the worst-case scenario."
She added: "As a nanny or a nursery worker, you are acting as role models for children. Therefore it is no good if your spelling and under-standing of language is only as good as your ability to text."
Her remarks followed a high-profile Government drive to raise the standards of nursery education in England, with moves to expand free childcare for three and four-year-olds.
Schools will also be expected to open earlier and close later in the evenings to give parents more childcare options while they go to work.
But Ms Lawson criticised the Government's recruitment campaigns for failing to raise the quality of staff.
Some nursery workers even discussed how hung-over they are feeling after a night on the town in front of toddlers, she said.
"I don't want to stop anybody doing that (drinking): if that's what works for you, that's fine.
"But that particular baggage needs to stay at the front door when you walk in."
She said standards among nursery staff were in decline and had been for at least ten years.
"The national recruitment campaigns that the Government have put out have not necessarily helped because there is the perception almost that anybody can do this.
"That is not the case."
Ms Lawson tabled a motion, which was backed by delegates, at the PAT annual conference in Oxford calling for "minimum entry standards for those entering child-care training courses".
As a minimum, childcare workers should be expected to have passed GCSEs in maths and English at grade C or better, she said. And trainees should also be given tough interviews to establish whether they really know what the job will involve.
A spokesman for the Department for Education and Skills rejected the criticisms.
He said: "This completely ignores the true picture of what is happening and is profoundly insulting to those working hard in our early years and childcare sector.
"We are absolutely committed to creating a world-class childcare workforce."