What you need to prepare for your first nursery placement

When it comes to your nursery school supply placement, it’s crucial that you’re prepared for your first day, regardless of whether you have previous experience.


We’ve recently written a blog post on what you need to prepare for your first school teaching role, so this month we wanted to explore the world of early year placements.


Learn what the role will involve

Since you will play a key role in the early development of children within the nursery, typical nursery roles will include:


  • Encouraging learning and development through a combination of playing and teaching
  • Create a secure environment where children feel comfortable learning new skills
  • Working with parents to support their children
  • Monitoring progress, helping those who are struggling and undertaking educational activities
  • Aiding children with becoming more independent
  • Putting new activities together that encourage teamwork and learning, to ensure the children are occupied throughout the day


It’s important that before you start your placement, you speak to an existing member of the nursery team to find out what your main responsibilities throughout the day will include. This will help with your preparations the day before.


Find out about regular daytime routines

When it comes to early learning, regular routines are an integral part of any child’s development. As such, it’s important that you find out whether there are any specific routines that the children go through each day. These could include:


  • Welcome times
  • Circle times or planning times
  • Tidy up times and snack times
  • Group play time
  • Activity time and home time


Sticking the regular routines not only shows that you’re managing the children, it also helps to minimise the disruption that an agency worker can occasionally have on the dynamic of a nursery.


Establish if any children have any specific requirements


Children in nurseries develop at different stages, so before you start your work for the day it’s important that you identify any who may need additional support, or if any of the children have specific learning requirements.


The existing staff will be able to help you with this, especially if they’re already used to helping those pupils throughout the day. Its always best to direct these questions to the Managers.


Familiarise yourself with Health and Safety procedures


As with any organisation, there are specific Health and Safety procedures that nurseries and their staff must adhere to at all times. These are in place to keep not only the teachers but the pupils, safe whilst they’re at nursery.


These not only apply to the behaviour of staff and pupils but also apply to the classroom and the building as a whole. Typical checks can include, but aren’t limited to:


  • Are the fire exit doors or routes unobstructed, kept unlocked and easy to open from the inside
  • Are fire evacuation procedures clearly displayed
  • The evacuation drill in an emergency, especially when it comes to younger children
  • Are procedures in place to deal with spillages e.g. water or blood for cuts and grazes
  • Who are the trained First Aiders and Fire Marshalls within the nursery


If you’re unsure about any of these Health and Safety procedures, then make sure you check with another member of staff before you start the day.


Legislation and policies


In order to prepare for your nursery placement, there are several pieces of legislation that you may need to familiarise yourself with before you start. These include:



Pre-plan activities to fill spare time


From an early age, pupils in a nursery learn new skills and develop existing ones through different activities, so it’s important that you have some prepared ahead of time, just in case there is any spare time throughout the day.


These activities could include:


  • Making story bags
  • Dressing up and playing with musical instruments
  • Age-relevant board games
  • Sensory play with sand or water
  • Painting with balloons


All of these activities help to develop creative skills, develop teamwork and help reinforce lessons that they make have had throughout the rest of the day.


In summary: Remember, if you take the time to learn about the way the nursery operates and ensure that you’re well versed in the legislation that surrounds early years teaching, then you’re going to be an excellent fit within the nursery.


If you’re searching for a nursery nurse role, then take a look at our job board. We’re always looking for qualified candidates to fill the roles that we have available, which are updated throughout the week.


Alternatively, if you have any questions regarding a nursery placement position you’ve seen, get in touch with a member of our team, they’re more than happy to help.

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