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
- Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care - Early Years Educator
- T Level in Education and Early Years
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 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
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.
A paediatric first aid certificate will be useful but is not essential.
You'll find more advice on working in childcare from the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years.