Nursery practitioner job description

Andrew Fennell Andrew Fennell

Nursery practitioners provide learning, development and care for children aged 0-5 years in nursery settings.

They ensure each child in their care is kept safe and is provided with fun and stimulating play experiences, alongside responding to their personal needs such as feeding and personal hygiene.

This detailed guide includes a full nursery practitioner job description and everything else you need to know about nursery practitioners, including salaries, skills, qualifications, typical employers and more.


Guide contents

  • Nursery practitioner job description
  • How much do nursery practitioners earn?
  • What does a nursery practitioner do?
  • Requirements, skills, and qualifications
  • Who employs nursery practitioners?
  • Which junior jobs progress to nursery practitioner roles?


Nursery practitioner job description

Nursery Practitioner |Little Tigers Nursery


About Little Tigers Nursery

Little Tigers Nursery is nestled in the quiet and picturesque village of Calverley, located 4 miles from Bradford. Established in 1990 by the Waverley Family, it remains a family-owned business and is one of 15 Little Tiger’s nurseries across West Yorkshire.


About the role

Little Tigers are looking to recruit a Level 3 qualified Nursery Practitioner to join a high-performing, friendly team, with a passion for putting each child’s individual needs and development at the centre of everything they do. The Nursery Practitioner will provide high-quality care for all children in a fun and stimulating environment, while nurturing excellent relationships with parents and focussing on building the foundations of learning for every child.



  • Plan and lead stimulating and educational activities that engage children while adhering to the Early Years Foundation Stage standards
  • Support children’s social and emotional development through games, stories, music, and arts activities
  • Support children’s learning development though reading, writing and numeracy work
  • Monitor children’s food and drink consumption, feeding younger children and supervising older children during mealtimes
  • Support children with personal hygiene including changing babies and assisting with toilet training when required
  • Arrange and chaperone outdoor activities such as visits to parks and outdoor games
  • Act as a key worker for one or more children, including monitoring their progress, maintaining detailed records, providing developmentally challenging next steps, and reporting to their parents and/or carers
  • Ensure the safety of all children and report any concerns immediately to the management team


Location & commitments

  • Permanent, full time position based in Calverley, working 40 hours per week
  • Work a variety of shifts including early starts and late finishes in line with the nursery’s opening hours (7am-6pm), through Monday to Friday


Candidate requirements

  • Hold a Level 3 Childcare qualification or above
  • Hold a valid paediatric First Aid certificate
  • Experience caring for children under 5 within a childcare setting
  • Thorough understanding of child protection and safeguarding
  • Exemplary knowledge of child development/EYFS
  • The ability to communicate effectively with young children, colleagues, and parents
  • Passionate about delivering high-quality childcare and exciting learning opportunities


Contact us to apply

If you would like to continue your career in a childcare setting that is passionate about building the foundations for learning for every child, please send your CV and cover letter to the Nursery Manager, Tina Wilson, at

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How much do nursery practitioners earn?

Nursery practitioner is a junior position within a nursery and they have an average salary of £19,000, however this can be increased with further training and progression.


Nursery practitioner salaries in the UK

  • Low: £18,559
  • Average: £19,000
  • High: £21,000

Source: Total Jobs


These figures are only a guide as nursery practitioner salaries can vary widely depending on;

  • The place of work – e.g. does the nursery practitioner work for a private nursery or within a school?
  • Qualifications – There are numerous qualifications available to nursery practitioners
  • Experience level – Practitioners with more experience are in higher-demand so are usually paid more

For example, nursery practitioners who have completed their formal qualifications and have practical experience in a nursery practitioner role are likely to earn a higher salary than those who are newly qualified with little to no practical experience. Equally, nursery practitioners employed by private childcare centres and likely to earn a higher salary than those who are working in public pre-schools.

Remember, these are average figures taken from job advert samples, and they do not include extra benefits such as overtime and non-financial benefits such as healthcare.


What does a nursery practitioner do?

This section looks at the job description in simple terms, detailing the typical tasks and responsibilities that nursery practitioners will carry out in average work week;

  • Organising educational activities – Developing and leading a range of fun, stimulating and educational activities for children of different ages
  • Supervising children – Monitoring children to make sure they’re safe and happy
  • Maintaining the nursery – Ensuring the environment remains safe, clean, and welcoming
  • Preparing and supervising children’s food intake – Ensuring each child is offered an adequate amount of nutritious meals, drinks, and snacks throughout the day, adjusting for food intolerances, and accurately recording their food and drink consumption
  • Supporting with hygiene – Assisting children with tasks such as washing their hands, going to the toilet, and changing nappies, alongside regularly sanitising nursery equipment
  • Updating records – Maintaining detailed records about each child including their development, attendance, behaviour, allergies, milestones, and next steps
  • Supporting other team members – Supporting and training nursery assistants, and assisting senior members of the team such as room managers and nursery managers


What do nursery practitioners need?

candidate requirements

Nursery practitioner positions require qualifications alongside practical experience and skills – here’s  what is normally required to work in the rile.



Nursery practitioners will ideally have some practical experience working with children aged from birth to 5 years old, alongside a caring nature and a desire to help young children grow and develop. However, with the role being a junior position, some nurseries will employ people with no experience and provide training.


Nursery practitioner skills

Nursery practitioners need a combination of skills to successfully care for and support the development of young children.

  • Childcare knowledge: Understand basic childcare practices, child development and current legislation and guidance
  • Communication skills: Communicate information to children in a simple way that they can easily understand
  • Creativity: Develop a variety of ideas and strategies to make learning fun and keep children stimulated throughout the day, including getting involved with messy activities like sticking and painting, and having an active imagination
  • Dedication: Enjoy working with children and have an interest in child development
  • Interpersonal skills: Build positive relationships with parents and colleagues, including providing updates on progress and working together to overcome difficult periods
  • Patience: Assist children to work through tantrums and manage negative behaviours calmly and effectively


Nursery practitioner qualifications

To work as a nursery practitioner, the candidate must have achieved an accredited Level 3 qualification. Completing a Level 3 childcare qualification ensures the candidate can:

  • Support children’s early education and development
  • Understand the importance of promoting health, safety, and welfare to children
  • Carry out observations and assessments of children and the environment
  • Provide sufficient care, teaching and learning
  • Prepare young children for the next stage in their education

Example Level 3 childcare qualifications include:


CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education

The CACHE Level 3 Diploma covers many aspects of the health and development of a child from birth to 5 years old.


BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development

The BTEC National Diploma focuses on developing practical knowledge and skills for generating positive relationships and environments, learning and development, safeguarding, and learning/play activities.


NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development

The NVQ Level 3 teaches students about how children think and develop from birth through to adolescence, including key milestones in motor skills, speech and language, social and emotional development, and cognitive abilities.



What is expected of nursery practitioners?

Typically, nursery practitioners are expected to commit to the following;

  • Varying working hours – typically working 35-40 hours per week, however some employers offer part time hours , and working shifts between the hours of 7am and 6pm to fit around parents’ schedules
  • School holiday shifts – when employed by a private childcare centre
  • Location – Based either onsite at a private childcare centre or at a school, and may supervise the children during outdoor activities or trips
  • Uniform – some employers will require that a uniform is worn


Nursery practitioner benefits

Nursery practitioners typically receive these benefits alongside their salary:

  • Pension
  • Healthcare
  • Training and development


Who employs nursery practitioners?


Nursery practitioners often work for private nurseries or childcare centres, however there are a few other organisations that employ nursery practitioners.

Typical nursery practitioner employers include organisations such as:

  • Private nurseries and childcare centres
  • Schools
  • Local authorities
  • Hospitals
  • Corporate businesses with private onsite nurseries



Which junior jobs progress to nursery practitioner roles?

Although it is possible to become a qualified nursery practitioner without hands on experience, there are some roles which support the step into a career as a nursery practitioner:



Providing casual childcare usually during evenings or weekends, including watching over children as they sleep, playing games with them, preparing food and snacks, and helping with personal hygiene tasks such as brushing teeth and getting ready for bed.


Taking care of children within a private family home, including ensuring they’re safe, planning meals, organising creative and educational activities based on their age, dropping off and collecting them from school, and accompanying them to extra-curricular activities.

Nursery Assistant

Supporting nursery practitioners to care for children up to age 5, responsible for creating a fun, safe and stimulating environment for the children in their care and responding to their personal care needs such as feeding and personal hygiene.


Which senior jobs do nursery practitioners progress to?

With increasing qualifications and training, nursery practitioners are in a strong position to climb the career ladder into positions such as:


Nursery Room Leader

Responsible for running a room within the nursery, including delegating duties to other nursery staff, providing support, and ensuring all the children receive a high standard of care and education.

Nursery Manager

Some nursery practitioners progress into senior management positions, such as running their own nursery. It is their responsible to create a safe and stimulating environment to promote learning while managing the operational responsibilities of running a business.

Early Years Teacher

Early Years Teachers work in a school setting to motivate children and help them learn, specifically developing their social and communication skills. To progress into this position, the candidate must complete an accredited Early Years Initial Teacher Training program such as an EYTS undergraduate degree.


Childminders are typically self-employed and care for babies, toddlers and children in their own home while supporting their learning and development.


Nursery practitioner job description – conclusion

The role of a nursery practitioner is very rewarding and offers the opportunity to care for and educate young children through a key period of their development.

The position offers a variety of career opportunities within a supportive environment that values training and development.