Finding a Nursery Job Guide

Finding a Nursery Job Guide

Finding a nursery job can be quite straight forward. If you have the desire to work with children there are several avenues for gaining a position in childcare.

What is a Nursery Worker?

Working in a nursery covers several roles including: nursery assistant, nursery nurse, early year’s educator, pre-school assistant, playgroup assistant / leader or childcare worker. Nursery workers help babies and children up to 5 years old to develop in a safe and supportive environment.

How to Become a Nursery Worker?

Your entry route can be one of the following:

College Qualification:

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

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

Entry requirements, including grades, can vary depending on where you study.


Intermediate or advanced apprenticeships as an early year’s practitioner or educator are available.

Apprenticeship requirements also vary but usually include English and Maths GCSEs or equivalent.

Other Entry Points:

  • Work Experience
  • Volunteering
  • Direct Application

The Top 4 Childcare Skills You’ll Need:

  • Sensitivity and understanding
  • Patience and a calm character
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Active listening skills

Background Checks

You’ll have to go through enhanced background checks to work in a nursery.

Who can check your criminal record?

Employers can check your criminal record no matter what role you apply for. This is called a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The DBS check for working in childcare is more detailed than the average check.
You can find out more about the DBS checks on the website.

What does a Nursery Worker Do Each Day?

Each nursery will have its own procedures and tasks but in general you’ll be expected to:

  • Make sure children are safe and well
  • Plan and supervise activities like arts and crafts, music and cooking
  • Help children to learn numeracy and language skills through games
  • Escort children on outings
  • Feed and change babies
  • Make observations and write reports of children’s progress
  • Able to plot a child’s development against the desired EYFS outcomes

Nursery Workers Career Path

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

You could also take a Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification or an early years lead practitioner higher apprenticeship and move on to a room leader, senior nursery worker or nursery manager.

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

Purple Dove are always looking for committed nursery workers and can find you your ideal starting position. We’re members of The Association of Nanny Agencies (ANA)

If you have any questions then please contact us, we’re happy to answer all your questions and point you in the right direction. Contact Purple Dove today!