Day nurseries provide all-day care and early education for children up to the age of 5.
They are generally open from 8am-6pm but some run for longer hours. They usually operate all year round (except bank holidays and weekends), but some are only open during term-time (such as nurseries based at colleges).
There are all kinds of nurseries – some run privately, others by the local authority, voluntary or community groups, schools, colleges or employers.
Duties will vary depending upon the age of the children you care for. With babies, a lot of the work will involve physical care, ensuring they are fed, changed, warm, happy, contented and stimulated. You can train to specialise in working with babies.
With toddlers and older children, work would focus more on developing language skills and encouraging exploration of the world through play. You will help organise fun activities that allow children to experiment and learn, which will stimulate their imagination and equip them with the basic skills to prepare them for school.
You will be working in partnership with parents and carers, discussing and sorting out any issues relating to their child and making sure he/she has the best possible care in an encouraging and safe environment.
Day nurseries have job vacancies for full and part time workers, often on a shift basis.
It would be advantageous to hold GCSE C or above passes in English and Maths before starting as a trainee. You will start off in a supervised role as a nursery assistant, working towards a Level 3 Diploma for Children and Young Peoples Workforce. Once you have gained expereince you can work as a room leader and/or supervisor. With even further experience you could work as a nursery manager. You can decide to study for a degree in Early Years or a post-graduate qualification.
If you think you might be interested in working with children, what are your next steps?