Nursery managers are the people who, unsurprisingly, manage nurseries. They make sure that the day by day running of pre-school childcare is up to scratch and that their setting offers a safe, welcoming environment for children to learn and play.
As well as working with the children themselves, you’d be responsible for running a team of people and making sure that your team met the children’s academic and pastoral needs in the best way possible.
You’d set out some sort of curriculum as well as supervising activities, ensuring that the young children were learning at the same time as playing, and give regular progress reports on individual children to assist their parents in helping them to develop.
Salary & benefits
As a leader in the classroom you’d be looking at a starting salary of between £14,000 and £18,000, and upon promotion to an assistant manager, this would rise to between £18,000 and £22,000.
As a manager, you could expect a salary of between £22,000 and £30,000 per year, but this is dependent on whether you work in a private or public nursery and your location, as much as experience and ability.
Most nurseries are open for longer than schools, as they often cater for parents who work long hours. Whilst the nursery might be open from 7am to 6pm, you would only really be expected to work eight hours in this time, although your timings may end up being on a shift basis to cover the beginning and ends of the day in rotation with your staff.
Some events may require working late, such as a performance or a parents evening, but these are sporadic events rather than a recurring concept.
To gain access to the role of a nursery manager, you’d need a nationally recognised qualification and at last two year’s experience working with children. Further experience in a supervisory role would be advisable as well.
In terms of the qualification, there are numerous options – a Level 3 Diploma from the Children and Young People’s workforce would be one option, whilst a University degree in childcare, early years or child development would be another.
Training & progression
Once you’re in the role, there are further courses you could take to expand your knowledge and progress within the field.
Many nursery managers go on to set up their own private nursery or crèche, which involves more of a business element as you’d have to manage the books and make sure that you had a viable business model as well as running a successful nursery which focused on child development.
That said, there is much more profit involved in this and you’d be likely to take home much more money from your own business than someone else’s!