Career Overview

Nursery workers provide care for small children, typically from six weeks to five years, within a nursery environment or pre-school. 

This career path plays a vital role in various aspects of a child’s daily life and development. This includes helping a child develop their social, emotional, educational and practical interactions as well as nurturing and guiding them.

Day-to-day tasks

  • plan and supervise activities like arts and crafts, music and cooking
  • help children to learn numeracy and language skills through games
  • take part in singing, role play and storytelling
  • take children on outings
  • feed and change babies
  • observe children and make notes to write reports
  • make sure children are safe and well
  • speak with parents, carers and other nursery staff

Salary & Working Hours

Depending on where you live and your experience. On average, Nursery workers can earn between £14,000 – £24,000 per year. 

Typical working hours for a full-time Nursery worker are between 38-40 hours, and some employers may ask you to work weekends.

What do you need to become a nursery worker

To start working as a qualified Nursery Worker, you will need a suitable qualification in early years, giving you ‘licence to practice’. One of the most well known and best regarded is the CACHE level 3 diploma – Early Years Educator (for the Early Years Workforce).


It is also desirable to hold a valid paediatric first aid certificate.

Ideas for a children’s Easter crafternoon


  • GCSE Maths and English or equivalent
  • No previous experience is required
  • No formal qualifications are required
  • You will be required to pass an enhanced background check

Career Progression

There are many opportunities once you have gained experience as a Nursery Worker. Possible progression routes include work your way towards becoming a

  • senior nursery worker
  • supervisor
  • manager
You can also transfer your skills and become a private nanny. The career opportunities are endless.


You can choose to specialise in working with children who have learning difficulties or physical disabilities.

You can also choose to specialise in other subjects to progress your career. Here are some courses we recommend.
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