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Job Description

Nursery Workers work with babies and young children to help them develop and learn. They are responsible for the safety of the child and will encourage them to develop their language, numeracy and social skills, this could be through play, games, activities and excursions.

Entry Requirements

There are various ways in which you can get into this job role and the entry requirements can vary depending on what you choose to do:


You could take a college course before looking for work in a nursery.

Courses you could take include:

  • Early years education and childcare (T Level 3)
  • Childhood studies (Level 2)
  • Early years practitioner (Diploma Level 2)
  • Caring for children (CACHE Level 1 Diploma

The following local colleges offer courses in childcare

You will usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level

You could get into this role through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship.

You will usually need:

  • GCSEs including English and maths for an intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2)
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) or equivalent including English and maths for an advanced apprenticeship (Level 3)
Work based route

You could start out as a nursery assistant and learn on the job.  You will usually need GCSEs in English and maths to get started.  Experience of working with young children will also help.

Career Tips

Work experience or volunteering at a local nursery group or after school club would help and may lead to paid work

You'll find information on careers and courses in childcare from:

You'll also need an enhanced background check which your employer will arrange for you.

Career Path and Progression

As an experienced nursery worker you could specialise in working with children with learning difficulties, physical difficulties or mental health problems.

You could also take a level 3 early years educator qualification to progress to room leader, senior nursery worker or centre manager.

You could also study towards a higher education qualification in early years or child development. You could then move into management or early years teaching.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Early years teacher
  • Montessori teacher
  • Nursery manager
  • Health play specialist
  • Nanny

Although you may be able to get into this role without formal qualifications, we highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.

If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • Perseverance and patience to motivate young children
  • Lots of creativity and imagination
  • Keen observational skills
  • A warm and caring nature
  • A sense of responsibility
  • Good organisational skills
  • A good awareness of child safety issues
  • A good sense of humour 

Salary Range

£14,000 to £24,000

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