Career Profile – Community Nursery Nurse

Community nursery nurses provide services aimed at improving the health and well-being of families with children up to the age of eight.

As a community nursery nurse, you would first work closely under the supervision of a health visitor or school nurse to assess a family’s care needs. You would then work with the family to implement an agreed care or play plan.

Your clients could include:

  • families with sick children
  • families with mental health, addiction or disability issues
  • families who suffer from domestic violence
  • children in need of protection.

You would offer support both in clinics, community centres, children’s centres, schools or GP surgeries, and in clients’ homes. Your tasks could include:

  • making home visits and monitoring any concerns
  • assessing children’s development and referring to other professionals when necessary
  • demonstrating the importance of play by setting up play activities in clients’ homes, or group sessions in the community
  • participating in and supporting clinics such as immunisation, audiology and child health
  • helping to set up support groups such as post natal and parenting, enabling discussion on issues like behaviour management
  • providing information and advice to families on issues like immunisation, diet and stopping smoking
  • advising on home safety, accident prevention and safe play
  • providing advice and support on infant feeding
  • passing on to health visitors or community matrons any concerns like signs of abuse or neglect
  • actively participating in the delivery of child protection plans assisting the health visitor, when appropriate

You would keep records of your work, and attend staff meetings, case conferences and reviews.


As a full-time community nursery nurse, you would usually work 37.5 hours a week. Part-time posts are often available.

You would work in a variety of community settings, such as the client’s own home, clinics, community centres, schools or GP’s surgeries. Although the work is rewarding, you would need to be prepared to deal with challenging situations (such as verbal aggression or parents who are uncooperative) and with issues which could be distressing (for example domestic violence or bereavement).


Community nursery nurses can earn from around £18,400 to around £21,500 a year. Additional payments may be made to those working in or around London.

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Entry requirements

To become a community nursery nurse you will need:

  • a nursery work qualification
  • around two years’ experience with pre-school children after your qualification
  • a driving licence and access to a vehicle.

You will also need to pass background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). See the DBS website for more information.

You may also need experience in a variety of settings and with families who need support.

Suitable nursery work qualifications include:

  • BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development
  • Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • NVQ Level 3 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development (you would usually need to arrange a work placement)

Entry requirements can vary, so you should check with course providers.

See the Nursery Nurse job profile for further details of qualifying and working as a nursery nurse.

Training and development

Once you start work, you will receive training from your employer covering issues such as:

  • child protection
  • basic life support
  • confidentiality and data protection
  • health and safety
  • risk management.

You will be expected to keep your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career. You could do this by taking further training in subjects such as:

  • health promotion
  • infant nutrition (for example, breast feeding and weaning)
  • parenting and child behaviour management
  • child and adult abuse (such as domestic violence, or drug/alcohol abuse).

You may also be able to work towards a foundation degree or a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People’s Services.

Skills, interests and qualities

  • a good understanding of child development
  • an ability to communicate effectively with children, parents, carers and colleagues
  • commitment to making your service accessible to all members of the community
  • an imaginative and creative approach to planning and running play activities
  • patience, empathy and the ability to communicate in a sensitive manner
  • the confidence to work independently
  • the ability to work cooperatively with a variety of client groups and external agencies
  • good listening skills and powers of observation
  • an understanding of data protection, confidentiality, child protection and disability issues
  • the ability to manage and prioritise your workload
  • the experience of working with a group
  • good IT skills and the ability to keep clear and accurate records.

There may be opportunities for speakers of a second language in some localities to reflect the nature of the local community.

More information

Skills for Health (Opens new window)
Goldsmiths House
Broad Plain
Tel: 0117 922 1155

NHS Careers (Opens new window)
PO Box 2311
Tel: 0345 60 60 655

Health Learning and Skills Advice Line
Tel: 08000 150850

Department for Education (Opens new window) – Early Learning and Childcare
Castle View House
East Lane
Tel: 0370 000 2288

Pre-school Learning Alliance National Centre (Opens new window)
The Fitzpatrick Building
188 York Way
N7 9AD
Tel: 020 7697 2500


You will find most job opportunities within health visiting teams run by your local NHS Primary Care Trust.

With experience and qualifications, you could move outside the NHS into nursery or play centre management. You could also go on to set up your own nursery. See the Ofsted and National Day Nursery Association websites for details.

As a community nursery nurse, you will also have a basis for further training for a career in social work, family support work, health promotion and hospital play.

Related industry information

Industry summary

The health sector is represented by Skills for Health Sector Skills Council, which comprises three sub?sectors:

  • National Health Service (NHS)
  • Independent Healthcare Sector (such as private and charitable healthcare providers)
  • Third Sector (healthcare) (such as small local community and voluntary groups, registered charities, foundations, trusts, social enterprises and co?operatives)

The health sector is made up of hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, dental practices, the ambulance service, nursing homes, residential care homes, complementary medicine and a huge range of other health related activities, from sight tests in opticians to research in medical laboratories. Most people in the health sector work in the publicly funded National Health Service (NHS), which includes:

  • primary care (organisations which the public goes to first) – Doctors/General Practitioners (GPs), NHS Walk in Centres, NHS Direct, Out of Hours Emergency Care
  • secondary care (organisations which the public are referred onto) – Ambulance Trusts, NHS Trusts/hospitals, NHS Foundation Trusts/hospitals, Mental Health Trusts, Care Trusts (provide joint health and social care activities)

NHS policy in England is directed from the centre by the Department of Health. Local organisations, known as Primary Care Trusts (PCTs), are in charge of providing and commissioning services, controlling the majority of the budget. PCTs are overseen by 10 regional organisations called Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs).

The independent sector includes companies and charities that offer hospital and specialist services usually after referral from a doctor. Operations and other work are carried out in private hospitals, independent treatment centres, mental health units and hospices.

Key facts:

  • The health sector is the largest employer in the UK, representing 5.5% of the working age population of the UK and 7.3% of the working age population that are currently in employment.
  • It is estimated that the sector employs over 2 million people, including:
    • over 1.5 million people in the NHS (72%)
    • over 0.5 million people in the Independent Healthcare sector (26%)
    • almost 40,000 in the voluntary sector (2%)
  • 56% of the workforce has a higher education qualification (or equivalent).
  • The age profile for the sector shows an older than average workforce, which is due in part to the fact that it takes some professions a long time to train and can mean that people enter the sector later.

There is a varied list of jobs in the sector ranging from a diverse number of clinical roles, to support and infrastructure staff, for instance: Allied Health Professionals (AHPs); Ambulance Staff; Dental Staff; Doctors/Medical staff; Nursing staff; Midwifery Staff; Healthcare Scientists; Health Informatics Staff; Management; Wider Healthcare Team; Complementary Therapists.

Further sources

NHS Careers has sections on: