How To Become A Nursery Nurse

Nursery Nurse

The Job

If you enjoy working with babies and young children and have an interest in child development then a career in nursery nursing could be for you.

Nursery nurses help young children to develop and learn. Typical activities include playing with children, planning activities like cooking and arts and crafts, changing and feeding babies, reading stories and keeping records of children’s progress.

To be a good nursery nurse, you will need to be a warm and caring person, and have a sense of responsibility and good communication skills. Creativity, a good sense of humour and a calm and patient nature are also highly desirable qualities for nursery nurses.

Annual Salary

Nursery Nurse Salary

Minimum Education Level

Level: Level - 3

Minimum Qualifications

Level 3, as well as GCSEs (A*-C) in English and maths.

Recommended Qualifications

You will need a relevant qualification at Level 3.

Other Qualifications Needed

The most common route into nursery nursing is to take a part-time or full-time course at a further education college or qualify through an Apprenticeship programme while working as a nursery assistant.

To become a fully qualified nursery nurse you will need a recognized Level 3 qualification. One of the most respected qualifications is the CACHE (Council for Awards in Childcare and Education) Level 3 Diploma for Children’s and Young People’s Workforce, which is equivalent to the former Diploma in Nursery Nursing from the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB). Alternatively, you could take a BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development or a CACHE Diploma in Childcare and Education.

Average Working Hours Per Week = Hours vary, with flexible shift times, but expect to work about 40 hours a week


Common Working Pattern

Common Working Pattern

Time Taken To Qualify

2 years

What Next/Career Development

You could continue your studies and achieve higher level qualifications, such as a Foundation Degree or HND. Additional qualifications will enable you to take on more senior roles, including nursery manager, or develop expertise in specialized areas of childcare such as community nursing, teaching or social work.

Facts And Figures

Over 250,000 people work within early years and childcare settings.
(Source: National Careers Service)

1% of nursery nurses are men.
(Source: National Daycare Trust)

There are estimated to be 111,400 registered nannies in the UK.
(Source: National Careers Service)