Early Years Teacher, Description, Salary, Training & Role

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Qualified and trainee early years teacher jobs role (known as nursery teacher) are for people to work at a primary school or nursery with practitioners and the nursery manager to deliver learning & social development to a group of children between 3-5 years.

You could also teach children up to age 7 at an infant or reception school providing 3 early learning job options.

Accepting one of the nursery teacher jobs or many nursery school jobs at the start of a child’s school learning, you plan, deliver imaginative lessons and adapt plans for effective lessons to mix groups of young children working with a nursery nurse.

Nursery teacher role

Educators who work at nursery schools provide learning to children before attending primary school for formal learning at age 5.

Pre school learning helps to develop a child’s speech, reading skills and confidence in early education normally for a few hours per day.

Learning & teaching at early years in nursery teacher jobs is not much different from teachers in other age groups, although empathises is on the development of young children.

Full and part time nursery jobs at school entails daily contact with parents, ability to communicate well and patience being important.

Nursery school teaching jobs working at nurseries provide you with an important career path that is well respected and an occupation where educating of infants is always in demand.

Early Years Teacher

Early years school settings

Primary school nursery is where many nursery teacher job openings are from state funded places for 30 hours + and the independent school sector where they charge fees. 

Early years teachers employed by a primary school are attached to the nursery section to teach children from 3-5 years. Also you can teach at an infant school in the UK, council run, academy or independent school.

You must be a qualified teacher with QTS or Scottish equivalent. Hours of work Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 4 pm.

Nursery school in each city, town or village has one or more nurseries that are privately owned open from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Saturday. 

Less teacher jobs in nurseries as the role can be taken by practitioner/educators. 

You would also be paid a lower salary than independent or state schools doing the same job.

You do not, at present require QTS or equivalent to work as a nursery teacher at private nurseries in the UK.

In any type of school setting a teacher is required to prepare lessons, feedback, paperwork and other administrative tasks outside of class time.

Salary at nursery schools in state sector

  • In England, Wales and Northern Ireland newly qualified teachers (NQT) begin on the main pay scale for early year’s teacher Wages increase each year of experience up to £31,831.
  • After 5/6 years teaching experiences nursery teachers can qualify through assessment to be placed on the upper pay scale starting at £35,871 to £37,871.  Additional added payments to salaries can be for extra responsibility and advanced skills teacher grade.

Teachers jobs working at a primary or infant school are paid higher salaries by education councils than nurseries as more funding is available.

Nursery & early years teacher training qualification

At the starting stage of education, a teacher training course is available as a teaching qualification for young learners.

An early or infant postgraduate certificate (PGCE) in education that is studied over one academic year full-time to teach nursery children from 3-7 years old.

Classroom and school based learning takes place on the course that are academic and practical based.

  • Know how to teach, the key skills of reading, writing and speaking, and curriculum awareness.
  • Learn how to effectively assess children’s progress.
  • Train to teach and manage behaviour for early year’s children.
  • Learn and build teaching and learning strategies as well as planning.

Initially, you start training at university learning the basics before going on two teaching placements in an infant school or nursery.

The one year PGCE early years teacher training course provides an overall teaching and learning base for a perspective teacher at early years to gain an approved qualification.

In general, four days is spent on teaching placement and one day a week at the university for extended learning.

Day’s spent at university extends learning and discussion to successfully complete your PGCE training.

While on the two teaching placements you will be assigned a mentor that will assist you will building teaching, learning, behaviour skills for early year’s learners.

As part of the course assessment, you require to complete assessed teaching observations. Assignments also require to be completed and a portfolio of evidence is required by the end of your course.

Successful completion of a PGCE course and passes in assessed tests lead to being awarded qualified teacher status for junior age children.  You should also gain after one year qualified teacher status, or complete a practitioner year in Scotland to be able to work as an early years teacher in a primary school.

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework specifically defines both Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) and qualified teacher status (QTS) as full and relevant qualifications at Level 6 for all nursery teaching job roles.

Bursary for training of up to £5,000 in 2022-3 to train as a teacher of early years education.

Standard entry requirements for a PGCE early years teacher training

A number of checks such as for a criminal record, medical check and a full personal interview at the university are part of the entry checks to gain a place on the course.

– Good undergraduate degree.

– C grade in English, Science, mathematics and above.

– Possible experience with early year’s children or learning.

Courses are popular and places at university become filled up quickly. At present demand for early year’s trained teachers in the UK and teaching abroad is high. Studying on the course attracts a non-means tested bursary and fees paid by the UK government, subject to change. 

All applications for a full and part time courses are through UCAS applications.

Other training options as a nursery teacher:  (See Department of Education England & Wales)

  • EYTS initial teacher training through graduate entry.
  • Graduate employed and training on the job for more than one year.
  • Undergraduate degree following EYTS.
  • Assessment only route. This is only an option for people with years of experience in a current role and with the appropriate GCSE’s, AS or A levels or in Scotland standard grades or Highers.

Nursery teacher job description at nursery school

  • Teaching foundation stage subjects such as literacy helps children focus their learning at an early stage.
  • Entertain, motivate, develop, encourage children to learn through stimulating & participative learning while working with teaching assistants.
  • Show children, answer questions who asked about topics and learning activities.
  • Responsible for a safe environment including young learners and family members that arrive with their children.
  • Develop a child’s learning abilities in reading, writing, speech, spelling as with physical play and activities.
  • Create a range of imaginative and stimulating learning aids & resources.
  • Organise and participate in out of class activities such as parties and external visits.
  • Work with other employees providing support to nursery teacher assistants, meet learners objectives set by the nursery manager.
  • Teaching jobs at nurseries also involve sharing good practice and knowledge.
  • Take part in regular teacher and parent meetings.
  • Keep accurate records of nursery children in your group and record progress.
  • Attend or deliver CPD for teacher training and development.
  • As a teacher not all activities and responsibilities are conducted at the school, at times external visits may be required.

Typical day in a nursery teacher job role

An nursery school teacher’s day entail getting ready and checking you have all the lessons, regulation paperwork for the day and making calls to co-workers or parents.

As children are young, teaching the same children is conducted for a few hours over 2-5 days per week.

While you are pre school teaching focus and being attentive in relation to health and safety is a must throughout the day.

Lessons and activities could involve speech development, reading and social interaction through nursery rhymes during a nursery teaching day.

Children like to play and sing, in general, but not all children.

Learning and remembering a good number of nursery rhymes is important, although children will already know some rhymes when arriving at a school.

Teaching through rhymes includes worded families to develop nursery children’s vocabulary and speech development, in conjunction with team working with assistants.

Nursery teaching through games, drawing and singing nursery rhymes introduces children to new words, actions, social play and interaction.

As an early years teacher, you build up children’s knowledge, self-esteem, learning of specific words and social skills. Independent school nurseries, private or government run should deliver a similar learning experience, although may differ in equipment and surroundings.

40 early years teacher locations in bigger town/city for jobs


Where to find nursery school teaching positions

Take a look at jobs boards in the UK and search for terms used on this page.

You’ll see school jobs advertised all year round for part & full time permanent school nursery teachers, assistants and other job roles.

Early years independent school jobs in the Gulf/Middle East and the UK can be secured for people with the right qualification, personality and training.

Education Tay
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