How to become a nursery worker
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- applying directly
You can take a college course before looking for work in a nursery. Courses include:
- Level 2 Certificate in Childcare and Education
- Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care - Early Years Educator
- T level in Education
A paediatric first aid certificate will also be useful but is not essential.
You may 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 career through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship as an early years practitioner or educator.
You'll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You can work as a nursery assistant and learn on the job. You'll usually need GCSEs in maths and English to start. Experience of working with young children will also help.
You can get experience by volunteering at a local nursery group or after school club. This may lead into paid work, where you could do training on the job.
You can apply directly for jobs if you've got experience of working with young children and a qualification in childcare.
You'll find advice on careers and courses in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years and the National Day Nurseries Association.
You can also get more information on this career from the early years career progression map.