How to become a nursery manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You can do a foundation degree or degree in child development or a related subject, for example:

  • early years education
  • psychology
  • childhood studies

Some nurseries may prefer you to have early years teacher status (EYTS).

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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College

You could start by doing a Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce.

You can also do other childcare qualifications but they must be at least level 3 if you want to become a manager.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

You could complete an advanced early years practitioner apprenticeship.

Once you have experience as a nursery worker you could apply for a job as a deputy manager or manager.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Work

Many people start as a nursery worker. With experience and further training, you can apply for supervisor jobs then move into nursery management. You'll usually need at least 2 years' work experience with children in a nursery to apply to become a manager.

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Further information

You can get more advice about careers in early years education and training from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and the National Day Nurseries Association

You can also find out more about working in childcare through the early years career progression map.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • leadership skills
  • business management skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you could:

  • create a safe and stimulating environment to promote learning
  • update parents and carers on children's progress
  • work with colleagues to meet children’s needs
  • check equipment is in good condition

You’ll also have business responsibilities. You could:

  • recruit staff and develop the nursery team
  • manage a budget
  • arrange marketing materials
  • keep records and create management reports
  • work within environmental, health and safety and fire regulations
  • keep up to date with developments in early years care
  • build relationships with parents, carers, schools and childcare professionals
  • make sure the nursery meets Ofsted and early years foundation stage standards

Working environment

You could work in a nursery.

Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could become an area manager and look after the work of a number of nurseries. You might also think about setting up your own private nursery. Ofsted has information on how to do this.

You could become a trainer or training assessor for people studying for childcare qualifications. You could also move into nursery inspection.

Taking a higher education qualification in early years or child development could help you move into teaching, children's nursing or social work.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Childcare Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location:

Nursery Practitioner Assistant

  • Wage: £146.25 Weekly
  • Location: Liversedge

Courses In England

L3 Award in ICT in Early Years

  • Provider: THE SIDE BY SIDE PARTNERSHIP LIMITED
  • Start date: 01 April 2021
  • Location:

Early Years Diploma L3

  • Provider: NORTH TYNESIDE METROPOLITAN BOROUGH COUNCIL
  • Start date: 25 September 2020
  • Location: Wallsend

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