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What's it like working in a private daycare style nursery?

(14 Posts)
greeneggsandjam Mon 11-May-15 20:06:05

I have spoken to a number of people working in chains/independent private nurseries and am yet to meet one who thoroughly enjoys working in one. All were of the opinion that it would be much better to work in a school as a teaching assistant if only they could.

Is it really that bad?

I also knew someone who went out and assessed students for their NVQ qualifications in a range of nurseries and said she wold never choose to send her child to one.

Do any private nurseries pay their staff well or is it all pretty much minimum wage? I am interested to know if it gets better the higher up you go.

insancerre Tue 12-May-15 11:26:16

I am a manager for a nursery that is part of a small chain and I love it
I have only ever worked in private nurseries so can't compere to schools
There are good ones and awful ones. I've worked in 6 and there was only one that I wouldn't recommend
Funnily enough, its the only one not part of a chain
I have had about 6 pay rises since I started at this nursery 2 years ago
One nursery I didn't get a pay rise for 5 years. I left.
Some of my staff are on minimum wage but there is opportunity for promotion and pay rises for taking on additional duties
Good staff are worth paying extra for.

HappyTalking Tue 12-May-15 17:32:28

I love my job. The pay isn't great but I can't imagine doing anything else.

We have a pay scale so if you stay long term you earn more money.

greeneggsandjam Tue 12-May-15 17:45:28

Hi, thanks for your opinions and for sharing your experiences. I see manager jobs advertised for £30k and more. Are they crazy stressful positions with long hours? Insancerre would you mind sharing a little bit about your day to day job, what it involves and how you got to become a manager? I understand if that's too much typing!

I ask because I'm at a point where I am trying to decide where to go next in life smile

Happy talking, what sort of money would a nursery nurse be earning with your nursery if they were at the top of their pay if you don't mind me asking? And do you have lots of paperwork to take home?

insancerre Tue 12-May-15 19:05:56

I don't earn anywhere near 30k
I got to be manager after years of experience working in nurseries and years of doing a degree whilst still working.
I'm now qualified as an early years teacher. I atarted y career as an unqualified volunteer cat my child's playgroup 20 years ago.
My job is very hands on. I get to run the nursery but still get to play with the children
I am responsible for the day to day running of the nursery as well as following the statutory requirements of the EYFS. I'm also responsible for the children's learnng and development
What I really love is making a difference in children's lives.
I also love being able to watch my staff develop their knowledge and become better practitioners
No day is ever the same and yes it can be stressful but I wouldnt want to do anything else
What I hate is people looking down on early years workers and thinking they do the job because they can't do anything else
In fact its the opposite. We do it because we can do it- not everyone can

greeneggsandjam Tue 12-May-15 19:37:38

Thank you, that was really helpful! It's interesting to hear that you are a qualified early years teacher, did you not fancy becoming a teacher in a school? I would have though that you would get more holidays and more pay than being in a private nursery but perhaps not or perhaps there are more plus points for you to work in a private nursery.

Absolutely agree that is a shame some people look down on early years workers, try it for a month and see how much hard work it is!

I'm not sure what part of the country you are in but perhaps the £30k a year jobs are only in London.

Are you responsible for all childrens learning journals/scrapbooks or do the keyworkers have responsibility for their own systems? Sorry for so many questions, please feel free to tell me to stop!

TiggyD Tue 12-May-15 20:09:56

Most staff can be divided into 3 categories. Young and not really aware of what a great nursery nurse should be doing, not a great nursery nurse and just going through the motions to get to pay day, or a great nursery nurse and frustrated that they're constantly being thwarted in their attempts to be great by lack of funds or poor management.

Pay tends to be minimum wages for most staff. Trainees can go from about £2.60 and hour or something silly, so many nurseries really like trainees. You do get paid more the higher up you go. And when you've finally made it to manager you get to sit in the office all day drinking tea and playing candy crush. just to annoy insancerre!

insancerre Tue 12-May-15 20:23:04

Tiggy its coffee not tea !
And I've trained my staff well to bring me a never ending supply
Green yes I have overall responsibility for learning journeys but I delegate it to my team leader
I'm good at delegating smile
Delegating is good as it gives ownership to my staff. I am the manager but we are a team and I do like to lead from the rear if that makes sense.
Ibdont want to work in a school because I like to have autonomy and be a leader

HappyTalking Wed 13-May-15 18:08:08

At the top of the scale a standard nursery nurse would be on approx 16,000. A room leader approx 18,000 for a 37.5 hour week. There is a lot of paperwork involved but we have time built into the day to complete it.

HappyTalking Wed 13-May-15 18:09:55

We are not a chain by the way, we are a stand alone nursery.

bobajob Wed 13-May-15 18:32:37

State sector (school or nursery) tends to be better paid, more opportunity for CPD, better staffed/resourced and much better benefits - maternity pay, sick pay etc.

greeneggsandjam Wed 13-May-15 19:14:58

Thanks all. It does seem that private nurseries pay their staff much less than schools do. £16 to £18 a year, full time I'm assuming with only a few weeks hols and longish days is quite a bit less pay than a school TA who can earn around £16 to £20k a year term time. I know in some parts of the country its a lot less than this but then I imagine the private nursery staff in such areas would also be getting less than £16k a year.

I think it would be interesting to spend a year in a school nursery and a year in a private nursery to see the difference in working conditions/expectations.

bobajob Wed 13-May-15 19:47:33

TAs where I am earn £11k-£15k actual - for 35 hours term times only. Full time equivalent would be about £15-20k.

greeneggsandjam Wed 13-May-15 19:54:29

Well as I say I imagine it varies hugely depending on where in the country you are and what your exact hours are and so on but where I am its quite normal for a TA to get an actual term time salary of between £17 and £20k (HLTA with up to £24 ish a year).

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