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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)

£14,000 Starter

to

£24,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

weekends on a rota

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How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a 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 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.

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 through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship as an early years practitioner or educator.

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

Further information

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.

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

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

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

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you may:

  • plan and supervise activities like arts and crafts, music and cooking
  • help children to learn numeracy and language skills through games
  • take part in singing, role play and story telling
  • take children on outings
  • feed and change babies
  • observe children and make notes to write reports
  • make sure children are safe and well
  • speak with parents, carers and other nursery staff

Working environment

You could work in a nursery.

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.

You could take a Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification to progress to room leader, senior nursery worker or centre manager.

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

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Apprentice Nursery Assistant

  • Wage: £129.00 Weekly
  • Location: Bradford

Apprentice Nursery Assistant

  • Wage: £117.00 Weekly
  • Location: Liverpool

Courses In England

Childcare and Education

  • Provider: HILLVIEW SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: TONBRIDGE

T Level Education - Education and Childcare

  • Provider: WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: BURY ST EDMUNDS

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