Early Years Teacher

Average Salary: £21,000 - £26,000
Competition: MID-HIGH
Years Experience: 1-4 years

“Every day is different. It is a fantastic career and doesn’t feel like a job.”

Tricia, Early Years Teacher

Job Summary

There are special type of people who love to see children grow up and help them develop. In that category there are parents, but included on that list are Early Years Teachers, also known as Nursery Teachers. They help nurture children aged between 3-5 years in their development of basic learning, social and communication skills. Making a smooth transition to Primary School.


Under guidance from standards in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) framework, an Early Years Teacher’s typical day may include:

  • Preparing and delivering creative lessons and activities with the learning materials and resources available
  • Ensuring a safe environment to learn by providing pastoral care and support
  • Encouraging and stimulating children’s learning and social abilities
  • Monitoring and recording each child’s progress of development
  • Liaising with parents in regards to their children’s progress
  • Updating skills with new curriculum and developments within the industry

Key Skills & Characteristics

An Early Years Teacher should:

  • Possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Be creative when preparing and designing learning and play activities
  • Be patient and adaptable having a good sense of humour
  • Have a good sense of children’s feelings and needs, whilst being caring
  • Have good organisational, time management and planning skills
  • Be energetic and motivated to inspire and help children develop

Entry Routes

To become an Early Years Teacher, obtaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England and Wales or a Teaching Qualification (TQ) in Scotland is needed. There are many options available such as:

  • Studying a Bachelor of Education or a degree with QTS or TQ
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) for Scotland
  • School-centred initial teacher training (SCITT)
  • School Direct

Work experience with children of a relevant age is favourable. So, becoming a classroom assistant, shadowing a Teacher or volunteering is recommended.

Tricia completed a degree in Psychology and after graduating decided to do her PGCE. Other than her PGCE, she felt that her work experience in the Nursery and as a Childcare Tutor and Assessor helped her get to the position she is in today.

Job Progression

Teaching Assistant

Early Years Teacher

Early Years Coordinator

Deputy Head Teacher

Head Teacher

Advice From Our Experts

Top Tip

“Every day is different. It is a fantastic career and doesn't feel like a job. But it is hard work, there are long hours and a lot of commitment out of hours 8-6.”

- Tricia, Early Years Teacher, on expectations.

The Good

  • Children – Working with children is always a refreshing experience
  • Rewarding – To be able to teach and inspire children
  • Variety – Every day is different, from the lessons that you deliver to the children

The Bad

  • Long Hours – Preparing lessons and constantly coming up with interesting ways to deliver lessons, can take a lot of time
  • Challenging Parents – Dealing with challenging parents who have unrealistic expectations
  • Tiring – Although rewarding, inspiring children can be tiring. They have so much energy and you need to be able to match that and even exceed it