Published On: February 13th, 2024

At Monkey Puzzle, our nursery practitioners are not only essential in the running of our nurseries, but they’re also instrumental in shaping a child’s early learning experiences, setting the stage for their future growth and development. In fact, they’re responsible for creating a nurturing atmosphere, designing age appropriate activities and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the youngsters under their care. If this role is something that interests you, read on below.

What is a nursery practitioner and what do they do?

Nursery practitioners are responsible for creating a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment where children aged 0-5 can thrive. Their primary duties include planning and implementing age-appropriate activities that encourage physical, emotional, social and cognitive growth. Be it organising games, crafts and educational exercises, nursery practitioners must tailor these activities to each child’s developmental stage.

Beyond academics, nursery practitioners also attend to the emotional and social needs of children. They provide comfort, encouragement and guidance, helping little ones build essential social skills and emotional resilience. They must also play a critical role in monitoring children’s wellbeing, ensuring their safety, and communicating with parents or guardians about their progress.

In essence, these professionals are the foundational support system that enables children to embark on a successful educational journey and develop essential life skills.

What skills do you need to become a nursery practitioner?

Looking to become a nursery practitioner but unsure if you have the right skillset? Take a look below at the relevant skills needed to become a successful practitioner.

Personal skills

Firstly, having strong interpersonal skills is paramount for success as a nursery practitioner as they will be expected to work closely with children and colleagues, making effective communication and relationship-building vital.

When it comes to parental relations, nursery practitioners are expected to facilitate open and empathetic communication with parents, ensuring a collaborative partnership in their child’s development. On the other hand,
strong interpersonal skills enable practitioners to establish trust with children, fostering a safe and nurturing environment where learning thrives.

Nursery practitioners often collaborate with their colleagues, necessitating teamwork and effective coordination. These interpersonal skills promote a harmonious and supportive atmosphere, benefiting both the children’s growth and the overall success of the childcare setting.


Of course, it’s also hugely beneficial to be creative in the role of a nursery practitioner, considering you’re responsible for designing engaging and innovative activities that captivate young minds, making learning a joyful experience.

During childhood, creative learning is essential in one’s cognitive development, stimulating curiosity and imagination. So, being able to craft fun lesson plans and create interesting topics should come naturally to you. Not only that, but creativity allows practitioners to adapt to the diverse needs and learning styles of children, tailoring activities to suit each individual’s unique interests and abilities.

Ultimately, creativity not only makes learning fun but also helps nursery practitioners create a dynamic and enriching environment that supports the holistic development of the children under their care.


Patience is another indispensable quality for success as a nursery practitioner, as working with infants and young children often involves dealing with various challenges and unpredictable behaviours. In fact, children may require repeated explanations, support or simply extra time to grasp concepts.

Patience enables practitioners to maintain a calm and understanding demeanour, which is crucial in building trust and rapport with children. It allows them to handle tantrums, fears, and setbacks with composure, fostering a nurturing environment where children feel safe to explore and learn.

Patience also plays a key role in effective discipline and helps practitioners respond to each child’s unique pace of development, ensuring their holistic growth and wellbeing.

Observation skills

Nurseries are fast-paced, unpredictable environments that require quick thinking and exceptional observational skills. Nursery practitioners must keenly observe children’s behaviour, expressions and interactions to gauge their needs and emotions accurately.

While great observational skills enhance child safety, it also helps identify developmental milestones, potential issues, or areas requiring extra support, enabling timely intervention. In fact, it allows practitioners to adapt activities and approaches to suit individual children’s preferences and progress.
H2: What qualifications do you need to become a nursery practitioner?

Becoming a nursery practitioner typically requires a Level 2 or Level 3 childcare qualification, such as a Level 2 Certificate in Children’s Care, Learning, and Development or a Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. These qualifications are offered by various vocational training providers and colleges.

Most employers will also look for candidates with at least two years of experience working with children in a school or nursery environment. Alternatively, they must have worked in a childcare setting for one year but will need to complete on-the-job training.

How to become a nursery practitioner?

Does becoming an early years practitioner sound like the job for you? If you have the necessary skills discussed, take a look below at how you can get started today.

There are two routes you can take to become a nursery practitioner. Firstly, you could start work as an apprentice in a nursery, gaining the hands-on experience and training you will need for the role. Or, you could extend your studies after school, working towards the qualification of a Level 2 or Level 3 early years practitioner.

To study for a Level 2 childcare qualification in a further education setting, you will need to have GCSEs in English and maths. Once you have gained this qualification, you can legally work as a nursery or preschool assistant.

However, you can also return to college to study for your Level 3 childcare certificate to take on more responsibility as a room leader or supervisor. Or, aim to get your Level 4 Certificate in Early Years Practice or even get a degree that could allow you to become a nursery manager.

Becoming a nursery practitioner not only allows for the nurturing of young minds but also offers a supportive environment for continuous learning and development, making it a rewarding choice for those passionate about early childhood education. If you’re looking to join us at Monkey Puzzle, please get in touch today to find out more.

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