What Qualifications Are Needed for a UK Nursery Nurse?

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What Qualifications Are Needed for a UK Nursery Nurse?
A nursery nurse usually works in a day nursery or a creche. (learning basics image by Sergey Mostovoy from Fotolia.com)

Nursery nurses are employed in the United Kingdom and look after children from newborn age to eight years old. A nursery nurse is typically employed in a day nursery or creche facilities for infants and supports teachers with the educational and social development of children. The functions of a nursery nurse vary widely depending on the age of the child, but typically include meal supervision, toilet training and overlooking play activities. The average salary for a U.K. nursery nurse was 14,000 British pounds (around £13,650), according to the Salary Track website.

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Consideration

A nursery nurse can sometimes find work with no academic qualifications. Having GCSEs in core subjects such as mathematics and English from an accredited U.K. secondary school (high school equivalent), however, is normally required. In most cases, however a nursery nurse will need to complete a childcare qualification before gaining a work placement.

Diploma Courses

Many nursery nurse candidates in the U.K. undertake the Council for Awards in Children's Care (CACHE) Diploma course. This course prepares candidates to work in a supervisory role with children in nurseries, schools and hospitals. Applicants require no educational qualifications but will need to be at least 16 years old.

Applicants can also enrol on a National Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development with the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC). Applicants will gain professional workplace experience working with children in the U.K. aged from zero to eight years old in nurseries, primary schools and special needs schools. Modules cover a range of childcare areas including children's safety and communication methods. Entry requirements stipulate that candidates must have four GCSE pass grades (grade D or better), which must include English, mathematics and science.

National Vocational Qualification (NVQ)

Candidates wishing to pursue a career as a nursery nurse can also enrol on a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Children's Care, Learning and Development. Applicants must already be working in a nursery or creche facility or have a definite childcare job secured to be accepted on the course. Applicants to this course will learn a range of childcare skills including managing parent relationships, behaviour management and planning learning activities.

Further Development

The CACHE and NVQ diplomas are each available at Levels 1-3. Levels 1 and 2 provide a firm foundation in childcare skills, but many roles, such as nursery or pre-school work will require candidates to have a full Level 3 qualification, as stated on the NHS (National Health Service) Careers website.. More senior nursery nurse positions such as managerial roles usually require additional training and extensive experience. Candidates can contact the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) to see what roles their qualification permits them to undertake Once employed, a nursery nurse can take on advanced study including a CAHCE Level 3 Certificate of Professional Development (CPD) in work with children and young people or a foundation degree in early childhood studies, as stated on the Careers Advice website.

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