Nursery managers, also known as nursery officers, are responsible for the day-to-day running and financial management of a nursery. They manage staff and oversee the childcare and education activities provided in their nursery. They aim to give the children who attend the best possible start in life.
As a nursery manager, you could provide day-care to children (aged three months to five years) with a range of social, physical, emotional and intellectual needs.
Your duties would include:
Your business responsibilities as a manager would also include:
You would work closely with the owners of the nursery (which may be private or local authority owned) to make sure the service you run meets Ofsted National Standards for day-care providers.
Your hours of work are likely to include early starts and late finishes to meet the needs of parents.
Running a nursery can be emotionally, mentally and physically demanding, as well as noisy.
Nursery room leaders may earn between £14,500 and £18,000 a year. Deputy nursery managers can earn around £20,000 to £25,000.
Nursery managers may earn around £35,000.
For practitioners with EYPS (Early Years Professional Status), job opportunities are set to increase due to the Government's commitment that every children's centre and day care centre must employ an Early Years Professional (EYP). EYP's are seen as critical to raising the quality of early years provision in line with new standards.
For more information on EYPS check the Children's Workforce Development Council website.
Jobs are advertised in the national and local press, through specialist agencies, and on websites such as Nursery World, Local Government Jobs and Children and Young People Now.
You could also contact your Local Authority Early Years Development and Childcare Recruitment Team directly (you will find a list of local contacts on the childcarecareers website).
Before you start work as nursery manager, you will usually need:
You will also need Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance.
You may be able to gain supervisory experience by volunteering to mentor newly qualified nursery nurses or junior staff within your nursery. You could build on this by seeking further opportunities that allow you to oversee the running of a room in the nursery. Experience as a room leader could give you an advantage when looking for deputy manager and nursery manager work.
Some small nurseries may prefer to recruit nursery managers who have achieved (or are working towards) the EYPS, Early Years Professional Status. This initiative aims to raise the quality of learning, development and care provided in early years settings. For more information on EYPS, check the Children's Workforce Development Council website.
Once you are working as a nursery manager, you could take further training and qualifications such as:
You could also work towards Early Years Professional Status (EYPS); see the Children's Workforce Development Council website for details.
If you are a manager within a SureStart (local authority) children's centre, you could go on to achieve the National Professional Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership (NPQICL). For more information about this sector, check the websites of SureStart and the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services.
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A nursery manager needs:
With experience, you could go on to set up your own private nursery or crèche (contact Ofsted and the National Day Nursery Association for further advice).
Alternatively, you could progress to area manager, overseeing the work of a number of nurseries, or become an NVQ assessor in childcare.
With a qualification such as a Level 3 Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development you could go on to train in areas such as children's nursing, teaching or social work.
Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education,
Childrens Services and Skills),
Royal Exchange Buildings,
St Ann's Square, Manchester M2 7LA
Tel: 0845 640 4045
Childrens Workforce Development Council (CWDC)
Additional resources for job seekers and those already in a job.