What does a Nursery Assistant do?
A Nursery Assistant works in a nursery, providing care to young children, usually up to five years old. They work under the supervision of more experienced Nursery Workers to create a safe and supportive setting for children to develop their social and educational skills. Much of their job involves working directly with children in group activities such as completing craft projects, storytelling, singing, and cooking.
Nursery Assistant skills and qualifications
All Nursery Assistants should be qualified and comfortable working with young children. Active listening skills, creativity and genuine enjoyment of children are all beneficial for this position. A successful Nursery Assistant will also have various prerequisite skills and qualifications which typically include:
- Flexibility and openness to change
- A caring and nurturing attitude towards children
- Excellent verbal communication
- The ability to remain calm under pressure
- Sensitivity and understanding
- The ability to work well with others
- Customer service skills
Nursery Assistant experience requirements
Many people will have experience from previous jobs, but some may have gained experience through volunteering at a local nursery group or after-school club. If this is listed as an entry-level position, all applicants should still have a strong foundation and understanding of how to watch and care for young children. People with previous job experience may also have additional experience caring for children with physical or learning disabilities. For many organisations, a paediatric first-aid certificate can also be useful but is not always essential.
Nursery Assistant education and training requirements
There are quite a few routes people can take towards becoming a Nursery Assistant. Many employers prefer applicants to have taken a college course and gained certification in one of the following — a Level 2 Certificate in Childcare and Education or a Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care. Many people will complete an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship as an early years practitioner or educator after completing their formal education.
Some employers may require applicants to have a lot of previous work experience if they do not possess formal schooling. Applicants may have volunteered at a local nursery or school club, or worked as a Nursery Assistant at a previous organisation where they learned on the job and obtained the child-caring skills necessary for this position. All applicants will have to pass an enhanced background check.
Nursery Assistant salary expectations
According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Nursery Assistant in the UK is £17,451 per year. Salary is usually dependent on experience, location and company.
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