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Roles in nurseries

If you'd like to work with children aged from birth to five years, a career in a nursery could be the right choice. There are lots of different opportunities available working with babies, watching them grow, supporting them in their pre-school activities and providing an exciting and stimulating environment.

Nurseries can range in size from small settings, for 15-20 children, to much larger settings, for around 100 children. Nurseries generally operate between 8.00am and 6.00pm, Monday to Friday, and are open all year round. They may be operating as a private business, a voluntary or community organisation or be a nursery school or linked to a school.

Some nurseries operate mainly as a workplace nursery for an employer, most have separate rooms or areas for groups of babies, toddlers and pre-school children.

Children attend nurseries for a variety of reasons; for pre-school education or for peer companionship and interaction, or if their parents are working or in education.

As an entry point into the early years workforce, you could work as a trainee nursery assistant without having a childcare qualification. However you will need to have the desire and academic ability to undertake on the job training to achieve a minimum level 3 qualification.

There are good opportunities for promotion, and with further qualifications and training you can progress to being a qualified nursery worker, supervisor, deputy manager or manager of a private nursery.