Being a nursery nurse is a tough but rewarding job and it’s not quite as glamourous as Mary Poppins but if you love spending time with children then this could be the job for you. It is a great responsibility to look after someone’s else children and to keep them safe, happy and well cared for. So what can you expect to be doing on a day to day basis?

Caring for children up to 7 years old, a nursery nurse will assist in the social, educational, emotional and practical aspects of the daily lives of the children in your care. You will most likely be based in a preschool or nursery. You will be involved in all aspects of maintaining a child-friendly environment, overseeing meal and playtimes, supervise activities, read, cook and get involved in outdoor pursuits. Parents often feel they are missing out on developmental milestones and so another important aspect of a nursery nurse’s work is to record, document and take pictures of child’s experiences and inform and update the parents via face to face contact and a record book.

The job will also include responsibilities like feeding suitable meals, snacks and drinks, changing nappies or assisting with toileting, teaching basic personal hygiene and manners and working with all other involved health professionals. There will also be an aspect of administration and record keeping as part of your daily tasks.

Nursery nurses could also work in family centres, schools or hospitals and in some cases can be employed to look after an individual on behalf of a charity or social services. The job can be quite flexible with the opportunity to work part-time or job share and it’s also possible to become self-employed as a childminder in your local area, if you have the right qualifications. You will also need to be vetted by having a DBS Check completed before you can work with young people. For more information on this, visit

Just a spoonful of sugar

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Nursery workers will also be needed as long as there are parents who need to work so job security is pretty guaranteed. It can be fun, energetic and immensely rewarding work. Imagine spending your days painting pictures and icing biscuits – it sure beats seating in boring corporate meetings! The downsides include the fact that you will have to deal with unwell children quite often and that involves wiping noses and cleaning up vomit so this is not one for the faint-hearted. The money is not fantastic at entry level and you have to be prepared for all manner of eventualities as children can be unpredictable and will certainly keep you on your toes.

If you love the thought of watching a little person grow and development under your care then this could be what you’re looking for. Do you have the following skills?

  • Energetic, motivated and creative
  • Practical and patient
  • Enjoy singing, drawing and acting
  • Warmth, compassion and a good sense of humour
  • Dedicated, responsible and able to model appropriate behaviour
  • Firm but kind
  • Good communicator
  • Able to keep calm and composed