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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

You’ll usually need a level 2 or level 3 qualification in childcare or early years.

The Department for Education (DfE) has information on all approved childcare qualifications.

If you don’t have a level 2 qualification, you can start out by working as a nursery assistant where you’ll be supervised by more experienced staff. This could be a paid job or through volunteering. You could then train while you work.

You may also find it useful to have a level 2 qualification in English and maths which includes functional skills.

You could get into this career through an apprenticeship.

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

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

Foundation Years has information about early years education and childcare.

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

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through 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 

Starting Salary

£14,000 to £24,000

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