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Nursery worker

Alternative titles for this job include Nursery assistant, early years educator, pre-school assistant, playgroup assistant, childcare worker

Nursery workers help babies and children up to 5 years old to develop and learn in a safe and supportive setting.

Average salary (a year)

£14,500 Starter

to

£23,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm on a rota

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Nursery worker

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

College

You can take a college course before looking for work in a nursery. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Childcare
  • Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care - Early Years Educator
  • T Level in Education and Early Years

Entry requirements

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

More Information

Apprenticeship

You could get into this career by doing an Early Years Practitioner Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship or Early Years Educator Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship.

These take from 12 to 18 months to complete.

Find out more about early years apprenticeships

Entry requirements

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

More Information

Work

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.

Volunteering

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.

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got experience of working with young children and a qualification in childcare.

More Information

Career tips

A paediatric first aid certificate will be useful but is not essential.

Further information

You can find out more about working in childcare from Early Years Careers and the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • active listening skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As a nursery worker you will:

  • plan and supervise activities like arts and crafts, music and cooking
  • help children to learn numeracy and language skills through games, singing and story telling
  • take children on outings
  • feed and change babies
  • keep indoor and outdoor work areas clean and safe
  • record children's development and share with parents, carers and other staff

Working environment

You could work in a nursery.

Your working environment may be physically active.

You may need to wear a uniform.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

As an experienced nursery worker you could specialise in working with children who have difficulties with learning, physical disabilities, or need support with their mental health.

With further training, you could:

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Level 3 Early Years Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £11,648 a year Annually
  • Location: MILL HILL, LONDON

Nursery Practitioner Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually
  • Location: LONDON

Courses In England

Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

  • Provider: LIPSON CO-OPERATIVE ACADEMY
  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: Plymouth

Level 3 Early Years, Childcare and Education

  • Provider: PRIESTLEY COLLEGE
  • Start date: 06 September 2024
  • Location: Warrington

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