Home My Page Job Ideas Nursery Worker

Job Description

(Can also be called Early Years Practitioner, Early Years Educator or a Nursery Practitioner)

Nursery Workers provide high-quality childcare and early learning experiences for all the children in their care, which helps children learn and develop giving them the best start in life.

You can work in a variety of Early Years settings such as, pre-schools, private day-care nurseries and school nurseries. 

What you’ll do

No two days are the same in an Early Years setting working with small children. It’s a job that’s both rewarding and fun, where you build relationships, and make a real difference to children's lives. There are thousands of Early Years settings in England so there’s bound to be the right job out there for you.

The work you do in an Early Years setting will vary depending on its size and set up, and more importantly on the ages and personalities of the children. Your role will be to:

  • provide early education in a safe, fun, engaging environment
  • support children with their learning and development

You may get to:

  • work with young children across a range of ages
  • focus on a specific age group such as babies
  • work with children with additional needs

Different Early Years setting offer a variety of working patterns so you will be able to find one that’s right for you. Many nurseries open longer hours than schools to provide childcare for working parents and carers.

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 an early years setting.

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)
  • Early Years practitioner apprenticeship level 2
  • Early Years Educator Apprenticeship level 3

The following local colleges offer courses in childcare


You could get into this role via an entry-level early years apprenticeships:

> https://apprenticeshipssuffolk.org/

> https://apprenticeshipsnorfolk.org/

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

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 subjects 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.

Career Tips

Work experience or volunteering at a local nursery/ Pre-school 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 Early Years practitioner, you could specialise in working with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). You could also take a level 3 early years educator qualification to progress to room leader, senior nursery worker or centre manager.

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

Related careers you may be interested in:

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 / a sense of fun

Salary Range

£16,500 to £24,000

3 Organisations that may offer similar jobs

View all Organisations that may offer similar jobs
My Page