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Early Years Practitioner, Cambridge

Early Years Assistant / Early Years Practitioner, Cache Level 3

General Information

The nursery was founded on the principles of Dr Maria Montessori and her approaches to learning and development, supported by the Early Years Foundation Stage. The nursery can take up to a maximum of 45 children.

The children may attend up to 5 day sessions per week, with a minimum commitment of 3 per week. Our aim is to provide opportunities for the individual child to develop independently and foster a joy for learning that prepares them for the challenges ahead.

Further Details about the School can be found at

Job Description

Reporting to
All staff are directly responsible to the management of whom are responsible for all matters concerning employment.

Main Purpose of the Post
This position requires love, patience and respect for children, supporting and encouraging independence and model for them appropriate manners and behaviours. 
To act as ambassador for the Nursery School and the owners in all matters.
Guide children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth following the philosophies of Maria Montessori by performing the following duties:
- To work as an effective member of an early year’s childcare team delivering a flexible, high quality childcare service that meets the needs of the children and their families. 
- To provide a safe, stimulating environment for the children, with creative and appropriate play and learning opportunities. In accordance with the EYFS 2012.
- Assist the Montessori Teacher with providing the children with a “prepared environment”.

The candidate will:
Undertake basic Montessori in-house training, in order to support the Montessori teacher. 
Develop knowledge of Montessori terminology and methods.

Key Responsibilities 
To work in partnership with setting management/staff and trainees as part of a highly motivated and professional team. 
To be part of a team of early years practitioners providing safe and stimulating childcare, under the direction of the Setting Manager/Directors.
Support the nursery and co-workers to maintain standards in line with Ofsted requirements.
To attend staff meetings and keep up to date with current childcare issues.
Assist in the planning and operation of nursery events such as open days, family BBQ and parent meetings.
To promote good practice in a professional and inclusive manner.
To be fully involved in all activities associated with the childcare provision.
To understand, work within and promote the settings policies and procedures.
To share any child protection concerns immediately with the Designated Person. 
To adhere to the confidentiality policy of the setting.
Administration of children’s progress, making observations in line with planning and evaluation. Updating continuously as required and working closely with management to fulfil EYFS obligations.
Daily checks of child staff ratio and work closely with other room leaders/key workers to maintain correct staff deployment in all areas of the nursery.
Liaising with diplomacy and tact with parents and the wider community.
Meeting prospective parents during visits. 
Administering of first aid to children and staff as required. Training will be provided.
Keep the classroom clean and inviting.
Assist with individual and/or group activities to stimulate growth of the children in social, emotional and academic areas.
To have an understanding of the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework and the Statutory Welfare Requirements and  the ability to meet them.

Assist the children by moving around and providing support and guidance where needed to
- Complete different work cycles
- Choosing work
- Returning work when the child completes his task

Encourage individual work time to promote independence as well as group work to promote socialisation. 
Be present at parent/teacher meetings.
Establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with children, parents and co-workers.
Participate in all open houses, school programs and In-house training.
Serve snack and lunch while helping children to learn how to help themselves.
Allow children to be as independent as possible.
Encourage the children to feed themselves.
Responsible for nappy changing and/or assisting with toileting while demonstrating respect for the child.

Responsible for cleanliness in the following areas, utilising daily checklists and involving the support of the children

• Sweep/mop lunch area during nap time.
• Keep classroom tidy at the end of the academic day.
• Clean bathrooms during the day if they become unclean. 
• Emptying bins at the end of the academic day.
• Disinfecting work areas and dusting shelves weekly with the children.

To act as a Key Person to a small group of children as directed by the Manager.
To clear up after activities making sure that materials and equipment are maintained and stored properly.
To liaise with parents to support the development and care of their children.
Promote the organisation’s Equal Opportunities policies.
To have due regard to the provisions of Health & Safety at Work legislation, as detailed in the Health and Safety policy.
Undertake such additional responsibilities as required by the Manager/Owners, which commensurate with the grade and responsibilities of the post.

Be fully committed to the continuous success of Smiths Children Montessori.

This job description describes responsibilities, as they are currently required.  It is anticipated duties will change over time and the job description may need to be reviewed in the future.

In addition to the above duties and a requirement of the job, you will be expected to support other team members by providing lunch cover.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of responsibilities, and it is expected that you will participate in a wide range of activities. The position is suitable for someone who wishes to demonstrate initiative and to develop their own skills further with a view to progression.

Person Specification
The following key criteria describes the characteristics (skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications) that are needed to carry out the duties in the job description, and will be used as the basis for short-listing and interview.




Education & qualifications


Enhanced DBS Disclosure (formerly CRB)

Minimum of a Level 3 childcare qualification in the UK, (ideally foundation degree educated) 

Excellent English communication skills both written and verbal (English and Maths GCSE minimum “C” grade or if English is not your first language a CPE Grade C2 minimum is required.
Basic Food Hygiene
Basic Child Protection

First Aid (12 hour paediatric)

Montessori Assistant Certificate

Experience & Abilities



Minimum of 2 years consecutive experience working in a Nursery setting within the UK.

Experience with key person responsibilities for a group of children.

Experience observing children, planning their activities individually according to their learning, progress and next steps.

Experienced with Key person role responsibilities.

Knowledge of Child Protection

An understanding of the requirements of children with special needs





Team Working Skills



Planning &    Organising





The ability to lead by example and support team members to your full potential.

The ability to contribute to ideas for the on-going development of the setting to support the room leaders and act as a point of contact for children, parents and staff.

Experience observing children, planning their activities individually according to their learning, progress and next steps.

Keep children’s records up-to-date on a weekly basis.

Responsive to change and ideas and able to adapt to new systems and flexible working patterns

Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing

Ability to respond positively to each child and their family individually and supporting our solid partnerships foundations.
Ability to respect confidentiality.

A belief in the importance of effective and inclusive communication with children using a range of verbal and non-verbal techniques









Personal Qualities    Interpersonal skills

Serious commitment to continued professional development through in-house and external mandatory or voluntary training.



Outline Terms and Conditions

Working Hours
This post is for 52 weeks of the year and requires a minimum commitment of 40+ hours per week, divided of 5 days, Monday to Friday. Normal hours of work therefore are organised between 7:30 am – 6:00 pm. You will be requested from time to time to attend meetings/training out of hours of which will be unpaid, but which will improve personal knowledge whilst meeting legal requirements and satisfy other work based obligations.

Paid holiday entitlement must be arranged in advance with the directors. During your employment you will receive a paid holiday entitlement of 5.6 weeks inclusive of public/bank holidays subject to a maximum of 28 days. 

Additional Holiday Pay
We pay an additional day’s holiday for each year worked up to a maximum of 4 days (32 days paid holiday per year).

Starting Salary
The starting salary will be: Negotiable. 

We are committed to the continued development of skills amongst our team and appropriate training will be provided as necessary.

Occupational Pension Scheme
We provide the pension scheme to all staff that wish to contribute each month. We also contribute a percentage towards your pension, which will increase over time.

Application Process

Safer Recruitment
Cambridge Montessori are committed to safeguarding the welfare of children in our care. All applicants therefore must be willing to undergo effective child protection screening, this will include references from previous employers and an enhanced criminal records check (DBS check). We shall also seek compliance with sections 15-25 of the immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (eligibility to work in the United Kingdom of Great Britain). 

Interviews will be conducted in person to test your suitability to work with children.

Applications for employment

A completed application form for employment should be sent by post or by email.

An application form can be downloaded from our website, in pdf and word formats. here

Smiths Children Montessori
St. Luke's Church,
Wray Hall, Victoria Road


Interviews times will be arranged and confirmed with the candidate.
Visits to the nursery school are welcomed prior to the submission of a completed application form. Please contact the nursery office on 01223 301047 to book an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!