Nursery Teacher Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Nursery Teacher, or Early Years Teacher is responsible for teaching and developing babies and children up to the age of five years old. Their duties include supervising preschool activities, preparing lunches for children and providing parents with progress reports.


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Nursery Teacher duties and responsibilities

A Nursery Teacher is responsible for helping young children to develop essential early years skills during this vital period of childhood development. A Nursery Teacher is also responsible for the safety of the children in their care, their continued motivation, enjoyment and education. Here are the primary duties and responsibilities of a Nursery Teacher:

  • Encouraging young children to enjoy learning about their environment through fun games and activities
  • Encouraging the development of social awareness through interactions with other children
  • Preparing exciting lessons that make use of visual prompts, audio and colour
  • Teaching children basic learning tools, such as recognising the alphabet or naming everyday objects
  • Ensuring that children are collected each day by their designated parents, relatives or carers
  • Ensuring that classrooms and outside play areas are child-friendly and safe
  • Keeping up to date with early years learning developments, including new activities to try in classes or new styles of teaching
  • Notifying parents of positive progress and suggesting ways to overcome early development problems


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What does a Nursery Teacher do?

A Nursery Teacher is employed to work with small children and babies in a preschool setting. This setting includes playgroups, nurseries and children’s hospital wards. Nursery Teacher help young children to develop their cognitive and learning abilities before they begin formal education at the age of five. A Nursery Teacher is responsible for teaching basic skills such as speaking, physical coordination or colour recognition. They do this by organising fun and stimulating activities such as songs or group games while encouraging interaction between children in a safe and secure environment.


Nursery Nurse skills and qualifications

Nursery Nurse require early years teaching skills, alongside a passion for and knowledge of working with babies and small children. Nursery Nurses also need excellent organisational and communication skills, and relevant teaching qualifications to succeed in the job. Here are the primary skills and qualifications of a Nursery Nurse:

  • Ability to teach a variety of early years topics and subjects, including popular songs and rhymes
  • Ability to observe progress and development to prepare accurate reports for parents
  • Ability to work with other preschool staff, including Teaching Assistants and Nursery Managers
  • Ability to understand the needs of young babies, children and their parents
  • Knowledge of childcare regulations and procedures
  • Qualified with Early Years Teacher Status
  • Ability to pass an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Possess a paediatric first aid certification from a recognised organisation such as the Red Cross or NHS


Nursery Nurse experience requirements

Nursery Nurse need at least one year of experience working with babies and small children. Employers can look for Nursery Nurse applicants who have gained experience through work experience placements in schools and volunteer work at nurseries or playgroups. Employers also consider candidates with experience teaching older children, such as primary school-age classes, as they will have transferable knowledge that can be applied to a nursery setting.


Nursery Nurse education and training requirements

Nursery Nurses need excellent results in English and maths at both GCSE and A-Level. Candidates can also earn a Level 2 Certificate in Childcare and Education or a Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care through college courses. Employers need applicants to have the correct early years education training, which is commonly gained through a teaching degree or a post-graduate Early Years Initial Teacher Training course.


Nursery Nurse salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Nursery Nurse in the UK is £19,092 per year. Salary may be dependent on experience, location and company.


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Nursery Nurse job description FAQs


What is the difference between a Nursery Nurse and a Nursery Assistant?

A Nursery Nurse is fully qualified to independently supervise and teach young children up to the age of five years old. A Nursery Assistant is often working towards their qualifications and therefore works in a support role, alongside a fully qualified Nursery Nurse.


Do the duties and responsibilities of a Nursery Nurse vary from one nursery to the next?

The responsibilities and duties of a Nursery Nurse can vary depending on where they are employed. For example, a Nursery Nurse employed by the NHS on a children’s ward is responsible for working with sick children and may require further training for this. In comparison, a Nursery Nurse employed at a playgroup won’t typically deal with sick or injured children on a daily basis.


What makes for a great Nursery Nurse job description?

A great Nursery Nurse job description outlines the type of teaching environment that a successful candidate is expected to work in and develop. For example, one nursery could focus on singing and audio lessons, while another focuses on outdoor activities. A great job description also details the ages of the children and provides information on any policies and procedures that must take place to clear Teachers for work.

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