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11 Jan 2024

Career Profile: What Does a Nursery Manager Do?

Career Profile: What Does a Nursery Manager Do?

Every nursery needs to have a manager. Find out what this leadership role involves in our nursery manager career profile.

What does a nursery manager do?

A nursery manager is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a nursery setting. It’s a varied role, with a wide range of duties involved.

Typically, the duties of a nursery manager include recruiting, training and managing staff. The role also involves administrative tasks, such as paperwork and managing the finances of the nursery.

As a nursery manager, you will be responsible for ensuring that the nursery is prepared for Ofsted inspections and that any recommendations made by the inspectors are implemented. You will also need to make sure that regulations are met in terms of health and safety, safeguarding and more.

For successful running of the nursery, you will need to make strategic decisions and come up with new ideas, e.g. to promote the nursery, to improve enrolment rates and to develop an engaging curriculum. You will often be liaising with parents/guardians and problem-solving if any issues arise.

What skills do you need to be a nursery manager?

To be a good nursery manager, you need to have:

  • Leadership skills to motivate others
  • Strong communication skills to support staff and build relationships with parents/guardians
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Writing skills, relevant to writing reports and more
  • Numeracy skills for budget management
  • Time management and organisational skills
  • Creative skills to generate new ideas

Qualities such as empathy, adaptability and enthusiasm are also important for nursery managers.

How do you qualify as a nursery manager?

To become a nursery manager, you need to have experience working in a nursery – usually at least two years. Some people progress from deputy manager or another leadership position to being manager.

In addition to experience in a nursery setting, you’ll need to have at least a Level 3 qualification, e.g. a Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce. Some applicants have additional qualifications such as a Level 5 Diploma or a relevant degree.

Do you need a degree to manage a nursery?

You don’t need to have a university degree to manage a nursery. Some nursery managers have a degree or a foundation degree in a subject like child development, early years education or childhood studies, but this isn’t a specific requirement for the job.

Is being a nursery manager stressful?

Working as a nursery manager can be stressful. It’s a demanding job with a lot of responsibility, and you're often required to juggle multiple different tasks at once. However, despite the challenges, being a nursery manager can also be incredibly rewarding.


More: Starting Your Career in Early Years – A Guide to Nursery Apprenticeships


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