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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) (opens new window)

  Download a copy of Learning and Progression Routes from the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales endorsed by the Welsh Government

  Careers Wales (opens new window) 

Learning and Careers Advice Helpline
0800 100 900


  Pembrokeshire College
0800 9776 788
Pembrokeshire College Courses - Health and Social Care (opens new window)

  Coleg Sir Gar

  Coleg Ceredigion Coleg Ceredigion - Childcare and Education (opens new window)

  University of Wales Trinity St David - School of Early Childhood
Trinity Saint David - School of Early Childhood Courses (opens new window) 

National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Cymru
01824 70 78 23
NDNA Cymru (opens new window) 

  Jobcentre Plus
DirectGov - Jobcentre Plus (opens new window)

ID: 1786, revised 20/12/2017