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How To Become A Nursery Worker: Ultimate Career Guide

Can you picture yourself spending a wonderful time with children all-around whilst teaching them language and numbers through storytelling and counting games? Yes, it’s the job of a nursery worker who helps the children develop their body and mind in a safe and supportive environment.

A nursery worker usually cares for children until the age of seven and help them prepare for kindergarten. Engaging children in playful and educational activities to develop their knowledge and social skills, at the same time, attending to the children’s basic needs such as preparing snacks and meals and monitoring their safety are some common duties of a nursery worker.

And if you are an aspirant to become successful in this career, you must have a clear concept about all the opportunities, obstacles and requirements enclosing this sector.

Why should you aim for becoming a nursery worker?

Why should you aim for become-a-nursery-worker

To make a difference! Today’s children are no doubt the future of any nation. And as a nursery worker, teaching and helping the children with their early development, you can actually guide the nation’s future.

It’s not an easy job working as a nursery worker as it requires having responsibilities, creativity and leadership skills as well. Not to mention the extra hours a nursery worker may need to spend with the children.

But is it worth it to work as a nursery worker? Yes, and the answer lies in the great accomplishment you can have by impacting the children’s lives.

Implementing good qualities in children such as responsibility, honesty, self-reliance and empathy will build their personalities and ultimately shape the nation’s future in the long run. 

Here are some reasons why you should pursue this career – 

What challenges will you face if you choose to be a nursery worker?

Choosing to be a nursery worker can be a challenging career if you don’t know what obstacles lie ahead of you. However, if you have the passion and a positive mindset to work with these adorable children, then this career will definitely be a rewarding one.

Basic responsibilities of a nursery worker

Before you decide to pursue your career as a nursery worker, you must be well-informed about the duties and responsibilities that a nursery worker has to perform. Here are some common tasks a nursery worker has to complete on a typical day.


Almost all nurseries follow protocols of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYES) to maintain the standard of curriculum and record-keeping policy.

Typical Day as a Nursery Worker

There’s no denying that you’ll have many challenging and exhausting days in this career. And be mindful of the notion that being a nursery worker doesn’t mean just coming into the nursery to play all-day with kids. There’s a lot of responsibility encompassing this career that you need to understand first.

Most privately run or community nurseries operate daily hours from about 8:30 in the morning till 6:00 in the evening. So, it’s quite a long day. There are lots of options and perhaps with different jobs that you can take as the hours that you work. 

You’re generally going to be asked to be caring for the children on a daily basis and providing activities and stimulating learning for them and certainly within line with the earliest foundation stage.

Remember that, every child is unique in their own way. As a result, their varying personalities and behaviours require different methods of teaching since their learning stages are different as well.

People think this job is about just working with children. But it’s much more than that. You have to see the children progress and make sure that they’re doing what they love. And when children learn something new, and they come up to you, and they’re really happy, it’s lovely, and then you get to tell their parents at the end of the day, so it’s really rewarding. 

Nursery Nurse Diploma Level 3

Certified by CPD Qualifications Standards and CiQ, Level 3 - Diploma

Nursery Nurse Diploma Level 3

Certified by CPD Qualifications Standards and CiQ, Level 3 - Diploma

Key Attributes a Nursery Worker must have

There are many skills that nursery workers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. And if you want to pursue the career of a nursery worker, you must possess some qualities to work with children. For example:


1. Patience

Don’t lose your temper while dealing with the children’s temper tantrum. Keep your cool and don’t snap at them. You must have patience while teaching them new things.

2. Sympathy

Be sympathetic while giving instructions to children. Persuasive language with a reassuring voice can foster some good qualities in children.

3. Good communication skills

A nursery worker must be able to communicate with children of different ages using the appropriate approach and new concepts.

4. Endurance

Children are energetic and a couple of hours with them can leave you breathless. And you need to have enough stamina to keep pace with them.

5. Sense of serenity.

Children are always sloppy and accidents happen. But a nursery worker must maintain a calm attitude in emergency situations to deal with it.

6. Adaptability 

Every child has different needs but realizing their differences and adapting to their environment is a must skill to have for a nursery worker.

7. Discernment

A nursery worker should be able to respond to children’s needs whether it’s a routine activity or an emergency situation. Therefore, having good judgement and decision-making skills is essential.

8. Self-control

Children can be very annoying to contend with if you don’t have a great sense of self-control

9. Dedication

This is the foremost quality a nursery worker should have. Paying attention to the children and helping them develop good qualities requires continuous support. And to ensure that, a nursery worker must be committed to the job.

Developing these qualities will take you one step further to become successful in your career as a nursery worker.

Requirements for nursery worker

There are many options to be qualified for this job. If you have volunteering experiences in a nursing home or as a nanny, you can apply directly for this job too. However, it’s recommended to have a level 3 childcare qualification to become a nursery worker. There are also Child development courses available in schools or colleges which can be convenient.

Some nursery or childcare requires four/five GCSE grade Cs, including maths and English. You can also start this job by having an apprenticeship scheme. And you’ll need to have a check from Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) as well.

There are also some training opportunities available. Undergoing this training will help you keep yourself updated with the developments and practices needed to become a successful nursery worker.

Career Prospect


There are loads of options if you’re thinking of becoming a nursery worker. 

In order to work as nursery assistant there aren’t any specific qualifications that you need but generally nurseries these days will look for you to have a level 2 qualification and if you look at any further education college in their childcare department, they will tell you about the courses that they offer in the local area that you’re looking at.

Perhaps over time once you’ve worked in the nursery assistant you may want to gain further qualifications and actually become a nursery nurse or nursery worker where you have a bit more responsibility.

To work as a nursery worker you must have a level 3 qualification and then from there, you may even become a nursery manager or even take the jump and become a nursery teacher.

So, there are lots of options available and to work as a nursery worker and hopefully, that’s given you a few clues as to the start of how to become a nursery worker.

Your wage as a nursery worker may vary depending on your qualifications, training and work setting. You can either get employed in a formal childcare nursery or you can work on a private facility based on your preferred hours to earn extra money as a part-time job.

Initially, the salary may not be high but if it doesn’t bother you and if you love working with children, you’ll be suitable for this career.

Nursery Nurse Diploma Level 3

Certified by CPD Qualifications Standards and CiQ, Level 3 - Diploma

Nursery Nurse Diploma Level 3

Certified by CPD Qualifications Standards and CiQ, Level 3 - Diploma

Closing Note

Working with children is all about passion, commitment and the love you have for them. You’ll need to exert yourself to become an efficient nursery worker and ultimately to succeed. 

By pursuing this career, you can impact the lives of these adorable children to ensure a healthy next generation.

Hopefully, this has given you enough information for you to accept the challenges and dive in for the rewards awaiting you in this gratifying career.

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