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Early years teachers (or nursery school teachers) teach children between the ages of three and five, in nursery schools and reception classes.

Early years teachers develop resources such as games, puzzles and visual aids for use within the nursery and organise and share a wide range of activities with the children.

Specifically Early years teachers are responsible for:

•developing confidence and language skills •encouraging creativity •numeracy and literacy •helping to develop social skills •encourage and develop acceptable behaviour

Early years teachers must also:

•take into account issues of multilingualism and multiculturalism •take into account individual children's health or disability problems •observe and assess each child so as to tailor learning opportunities correctly •ensure child safety •keep records, write reports and complete assessment profiles •organise the work of teaching assistants and parent volunteers

Teachers in state schools work 39 weeks a year. Part-time and temporary (supply) work is possible.

A newly qualified teacher usually earns £21,102 a year (£26,000 in inner London). A nursery head can earn around £42,000 to £52,000 depending on the size, kind and location of the school.

Early years teachers work in state maintained and independent nursery schools, nursery classes in primary schools and children's centres.

To teach in a state nursery school or department within a state primary school a teaching qualification is required. In addition, a degree in early years teaching, early childhood studies, education studies or psychology with the emphasis on young children can be useful. Before working with children, applicants undergo checks through the Criminal Records Bureau and register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).

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