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Working in childcare

Working in a day nursery

Working in a nursery can be a very satisfying job. You will need endless energy and have a true empathy with the needs of children. If you have those attributes, the rewards are plentiful as you guide the children in your care through one of the most important stages of their development.

Your role will vary depending upon the age of the children you care for. With babies, a lot of the work will involve physical care, ensuring they are fed, changed, warm, happy, contented and stimulated. You can train to specialise in working with babies.

With toddlers and older children, work would focus more on developing language skills and encouraging exploration of the world through play. You will help organise fun activities that allow children to experiment and learn, which will stimulate their imagination and equip them with the basic skills to prepare them for school.

As you progress, you could become a Nursery Practitioner responsible for planning

and eventually move into management, overseeing finance, parent liaison and recruitment.

What are the opportunities for you?

Nurseries provide full or part time childcare, education and play for children up to 5 years old, usually from 8am until 6pm.

Working in a nursery presents many opportunities for you - whether you are looking for part-time employment or a full-time career - and with more experience and qualifications you can move into supervisory and management positions.

What qualifications will you need?

At least 80% of non-supervisory staff must hold at least a level 2 qualification from the Care Council for Wales' current list of Accepted Qualifications for the Early Years and Childcare Workforce in Wales, with half of these either with a level 3 or working towards it. To progress to a manager's post, you must have a level 3 qualification from the Care Council for Wales' current list of Accepted Qualifications for the Early Years and Childcare Workforce in Wales and have a minimum of 2 years' experience.

Nurseries may be happy to take on Nursery Assistants with no qualifications, however most employers will expect a commitment from you to train to a level 2 qualification, once they take you on.

Further information sources:

Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales (CQFW)

Careers Wales

Pembrokeshire College

Coleg Sir Gar

Coleg Ceredigion 

University of Wales Trinity St David

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Cymru

Jobcentre Plus

ID: 1786, revised 20/10/2021