A basic standard of education, for example GCSEs in Maths and English, may be asked for by employers in applying to be a Nursery Nurse.
You will also need to go through background checks by the Disclosure and Barring service, so be prepared for this.
A good way to start of your career in this field is to be a Nursery Assistant to someone more experienced, and then to progress to Nursery Nurse from there. Volunteering at a local nursery would be a good way to get into this, or there may be paid positions available. To become a qualified Nursery Nurse, you must complete a Level 2 or Level 3 childcare qualification such as the Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. This will also mean you are counted in the staff to children ratio.
From September 2014, qualifications to become a Nursery Nurse will change so you will need to be aware of this. The Department for Education website www.education.gov.uk will tell you whether your qualification is full and relevant for this job position, and from September onwards the Level 3 Early Years Educator will replace the current Level 3 qualifications. If you are currently working towards the current Level 3 qualifications, it will still be relevant.
Related: Nursery Nurse Cover Letter
The key responsibilities of a Nursery Nurse will include feeding and changing babies, taking children on outings, plan and supervise activities, read stories and provide activities, help children to learn numeracy and reading, and above all making sure the children are safe.
Part time work is usually available in this career, and full time workers would be expected to work shifts any time between 7am and 6pm in the weekdays. Some weekend work may be required depending on the opening hours of the nursery.
Skills and Training Development
Once qualified and employed as a Nursery Nurse, your employer will expect you to continue your professional development. One way of doing this is to start the new Level 3 Early Years Educator qualifications which will include topics such as preparing young children for school and providing effective care, teaching and learning.
Once you have more experience as a Nursery Nurse, you could study some Level 4 qualifications which cover early years related subjects.
A Nursery Nurse must have a caring, patient nature and have great communication skills. Team working skills will be key because you will be working with other Nursery Nurses to take care of children, some of whom may be vulnerable.
Newly qualified Nursery Nurses, or Nursery Assistants, can expect to earn around £10,000 to £14,000 a year and this would rise to between £15,000 to £22,000 a year for someone more experienced.