Fri 14 Sep 2018
The question posed is a valid one. For a job role that has much responsibility it is not a highly paid job. Starting out, you might be paid less than stacking shelves in a grocery chain.
Salaries differ dependent on the nursery location, popularity (and subsequent occupancy) and overall financial viability and sustainability. Plus your qualification/s, experience and what you can bring to the nursery yourself.
So why choose to work in a nursery?
With the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage having increased over the last couple of years, the salary packet has increased for lower paid nursery workers. Prospects are better now when starting out on your career path in the nursery sector.
However, with the 30 Hours Funding having come in, some nurseries are battling financially as the funding doesn't always cover the actual cost of provision, and nurseries have to subsidise those children somehow. This differs from nursery to nursery though, for example, some nurseries pay high rentals to private landlords, and others pay significantly less if the setting is located in a municipal building. There is no 'one shoe fits all' as some nurseries are State run and others are private, voluntary (charity), or independent.
Hours might be long or short, full time, or part-time. This is unlike other lower paid sector jobs in retail and the hospitality industry for example. Hours there are often more demanding and unsocial. So if you are seeking a weekday job, the nursery sector is a good one to consider.
There is room for personal and professional growth as nurseries are encouraged by Ofsted to have CPD (Continual Professional Development) training, where you gain new skills and can further your career prospects in the sector.
It is also one of the most rewarding jobs that one can do. The joy of holding a child's hand as they accomplish a milestone in their young life, the fun of getting messy in the sandpit and having a job where you can be creative and think out of the box in your activities and lesson approach, and the inevitable tears when they 'graduate' and go to big school, as you have such a strong bond.
Working in a nursery is fun. It is hard work. It is rewarding. No two days are the same. And as you are teaching children about this exciting world we live in, they, in turn, teach us so much too. We grow and develop, and often change, in a positive way, receiving many hugs in the process!
So we get back to the question of why one would enter this incredibly vibrant and busy sector.
The answer is simple. Because it is a calling, where there is an inherent love of children, childhood and child development, and the desire to make a difference in the lives of our future leaders.
It is quite simply one of the best jobs in the world.
A great career option.