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How to become a Nursery Teacher

Nursery Teacher
avg. starting salary

What do they do?   Passionate about kids’ development (and/or cutting and sticking)? You should become a Nursery Teacher… Nursery Teachers provide a safe and supportive learning environment for children aged 3-5. They use a range of imaginative teaching resources and planned activities (including anything from stories and games to drawing and creative play) to aid and nurture the development of children’s basic skills – like language, literacy, and numeracy. Nursery Teachers are also responsible for the children’s overall wellbeing. This involves providing pastoral care, as well as promoting good behaviour and cooperation. Typical tasks and duties for a Nursery Teacher may include:
  • Preparing engaging learning activities
  • Creating and collecting learning resources (e.g. visual aids)
  • Working with assistants and nursery nurses to coordinate plans
  • Keeping the classroom organised and tidy
  • Supervising children during play
  • Observing and reporting on children’s development
  • Updating parents and caregivers on their child’s progress

If you’re passionate about pursuing a career with children, nursery teaching could be for you. Aside from an ability to work with, motivate, and organise young children, you’ll also need to show patience and good humour with everything you do. After all, things might not always run as smoothly as you hoped in this job. Especially if activities involve paint. Or sand. Or any kind of liquid (cue: all of the mess). Other key skills and attributes for a Nursery Teacher include:
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Time management skills
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Approachability
  • Resourcefulness
  • Organisational skills


Junior Nursery Teacher

Up to £20,000

Nursery Teacher

Up to £26,000

Senior Nursery Teacher

Up to £30,000

"Nursery teaching is…eventful, to say the least. Luckily, it’s mostly in a good way – which is often because kids never fail to surprise you. One second you could be reading a story to a group of attentive and well-behaved two-year-olds, and the next the whole class could be re-enacting Frozen scene-by-scene. But aside from keeping a hold of short attention spans, my role is primarily based around ensuring the children have everything they need to develop their skills. Activities are often designed to let them play and learn without too much interference – so once my lesson plans are prepared and implemented – observation and supervision is a big part of what I do. However, my favourite part of the job has to be thinking of new and exciting ways to engage the kids. It’s basically like being a kid again. You know, just with slightly more responsibility…"

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