- Work with young children every day, taking care of them and helping them learn and develop
- Can be quite physical work, and with early starts and some evening and weekend work
- Opportunities to progress into senior roles, nursery management, or specialist work with children who have additional needs
As a nursery worker, you'll provide care, basic education and play for babies and children.
- Planning and supervising activities like arts and crafts, music and cooking
- Helping children to learn numeracy and language skills through games
- Taking children on outings, feeding and changing babies
- Observing children and making notes to write reports
- Making sure children are safe and well
You could work in a nursery, and you may need to wear a uniform.
To be a nursery worker, you'll need sensitivity and understanding, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, flexibility and openness to change, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, excellent verbal communication skills, and thinking and reasoning skills.
You can take a college course before looking for work in a nursery, such as a Level 2 Certificate in Childcare and Education, Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator), or Level 3 Diploma in Montessori Pedagogy - Birth to Seven. A paediatric first aid certificate will also be useful but is not essential. You can also take a T level in education.
You could get into this career through an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people's workforce. You could also do an early years educator 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. Volunteering at a local nursery group or after school club is good experience.
You can apply directly for jobs if you've got experience of working with young children and a qualification in childcare.
As an experienced nursery worker you could specialise in working with children with learning difficulties, physical difficulties or mental health problems. You could also 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.