Early years teacher

Farhana Begum

Job Description

Early years, or nursery, teachers work in pre-school, nursery and reception classes with children aged between three and five. They plan and carry out activities in line with the requirements of the early years foundation stage (EYFS). This involves developing work schemes and lessons plans to motivate children and imaginatively using resources to help them learn.Early years teachers develop the social and communication skills of children and provide a safe and secure environment in which the child can learn. They build and maintain relationships with parents/guardians to further support pupils as well as operate within multi-agency networks to ensure the correct support is available.Early years teachers record observations and summarise the children's achievements. They focus on optimum child development and preparation for a successful transition to primary school education.

Typical Work Activities

motivating and stimulating children's learning abilities, often encouraging learning through experience;providing pastoral care and support to children and providing them with a secure environment to learn;developing and producing visual aids and teaching resources;organising learning materials and resources and making imaginative use of resources;assisting with the development of children's personal/social and language abilities;supporting the development of children's basic skills, including physical coordination, speech and communication;encouraging children's mathematical and creative development through stories, songs, games, drawing and imaginative play;developing children's curiosity and knowledge;working with others, including teaching assistants and/or nursery nurses as well as volunteer helpers, to plan and coordinate work both indoors and outdoors;sharing knowledge gained with other practitioners and parents;observing, assessing and recording each child's progress;attending in-service training;ensuring the health and safety of children and staff is maintained during all activities, both inside and outside the nursery/school;keeping up to date with changes in the curriculum and developments in best practice.

Salary and Conditions

Salaries for newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland start on the minimum rate of the main pay range which is £21,588. The pay range rises on an incremental basis up to £31,552.  Teachers working within the inner and outer London areas receive additional allowances.Teachers in Scotland start on salaries of £21,438 and with experience can work up to salaries of £34,200. After gaining experience and expertise, teachers who reach the top of the main pay range can apply to be assessed to progress to the upper pay scale. This ranges from £34,181 to £36,756. Higher salaries can be achieved by reaching advanced skills and leadership group levels.


To teach in a state maintained school in England and Wales, you need to gain qualified teacher status (QTS). This is obtained by passing an initial teacher training course (ITT). A degree is required to become a teacher and entry is not possible with an HND alone.The most common ITT route for graduates, unless your first degree is a BEd or BA/BSc with QTS, is the primary Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with an early years specialism. The other available ITT routes are school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT), School Direct and Teach First. Your choice of training may depend on whether you want it to be university or school-based.Applications for a PGCE, SCITT or School Direct course are made through UCAS Teacher Training. They each require a degree or equivalent qualification and for early years/primary teaching you need to have GCSE grade A-C in English, maths and science. You also need to pass a professional skills test in literacy and numeracy before starting a training course. Find out more at UCAS - How it all works/teacher training .