Nursery assistants work with young children, assisting nursery teachers or leaders with providing supervision, support, education, and entertainment. Qualifications for this job vary, depending on where a person wants to work. Employers often set similar criteria, however, and require applicants to have a high school education or its equivalent, though some prefer to hire candidates with college degrees. Most also require applicants to pass a background check, a child abuse history clearance, a medical examination, and a drug test. Additionally, employers usually prefer to hire candidates with experience and an interest in children.
Educational prerequisites are among the most common nursery assistant qualifications. Most employers require applicants to hold a secondary school or General Educational Development® (GED®) diploma. Though this is the minimum level of education a candidate will usually need to become a nursery assistant, seeking higher education may help him better qualify for this job. For example, he could choose to earn a diploma or certificate in early childhood education or a similar subject. This type of education may make an employer more confident in an individual's ability to not only supervise young children, but also to support their development.
Nursery assistant qualifications sometimes include a college degree. As such, a person who is interested in this job may improve his chances of landing it by earning an associate's or bachelor's degree in a subject such as early childhood education or development. A bachelor's degree may afford a person the most job opportunities, however.
Often, nursery assistant qualifications include a clear background. To work with children in this position, a person may have to submit to a background check of his criminal history. A prospective employer may also check whether a job applicant has a history of child abuse. In many cases, an applicant must also submit to drug testing to land this job.
Health status also matters when considering nursery assistant qualifications. Usually, a candidate for this job has to submit to a medical examination to prove he is in good general health and free of any communicable diseases he could transmit to the children in his care. Sometimes medical testing is also required as part of the examination. For example, some jurisdictions require those who work with children to submit to tuberculosis testing prior to employment.
Certain skills and experience may also fall under the heading of nursery assistant qualifications. In many cases, a person will be required to have experience working with children prior to landing this job. The amount and type of experience may vary, however, and some employers will be willing to accept volunteer and babysitting positions as experience. Additionally, an applicant will usually need patience, good communication skills, and a genuine interest in children to qualify for this job.