Nursery Assistant Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Nursery Assistant, or Nursery Aide works in a childcare facility to create a safe, educational and fun environment for young children. Their duties include helping develop a positive curriculum, ensuring safety in the facility and interacting with young children.

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Nursery Assistant duties and responsibilities

A Nursery Assistant is a physically active position that requires them to engage with children on an individual level while still supervising the rest of the classroom. Other duties include:

  • Planning and supervising fun and educational activities
  • Managing a daily schedule that includes activities, toilet breaks, lunch and rest time
  • Observing children and taking notes of any problematic behaviour 
  • Feeding and changing babies
  • Communicating with parents and staff members
  • Ensuring the safety of children
  • Helping children learn numeracy and language through daily activities
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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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Nursery Assistant job description FAQs

How can you make your Nursery Assistant job description stand out?

Elaborate on your company’s mission and what makes it a unique and exciting place to work. Then mention competitive elements that employees receive such as salary, paid sick leave, life insurance, pension scheme and anything else that sets your company apart from others. Mention training and development opportunities for employees to advance in their careers and any potential room for growth within the company, perhaps as a Nursery Teacher or Nursery Manager. 

Who does a Nursery Assistant report to?

A Nursery Assistant works directly under the Nursery Teacher, a position that requires more experience and schooling. A Nursery Assistant reports any problems they notice amongst the children to the Nursery Teacher and helps create a plan of action for solving the problem. They must also be able to communicate with the parents regarding developmental progress or problems they notice in their children. 

What should you look for in a Nursery Assistant CV?

Employers should look for evidence that the candidate is patient, caring and concerned about the well-being and development of young children. This is a position in which the applicant may have a lot of unofficial experience, perhaps caring for the children of a family or volunteering at a community centre. Be sure to check their references to ensure their experience and skills are well-founded. 

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