So, you handed in your CV and had your interview. They invited you for a trial run to work in the setting for a few days to see if they thought you were suitable – then it all went horribly wrong. You thought you had made a good impression, but they haven’t asked you back. Here’s what you might have done wrong:

1)      You kept being late

You overslept. Then that train made you late. You lost track of time at lunch. There may be a variety of different reasons why you kept being late, but your time management is so important if you are serious about a job in childcare. If you regularly oversleep, ask Mum to wake you up. Trains running late? Phone ahead to let the nursery manager know! If you lose track of time, set a 5 minute alarm on your phone to warn you when lunch is over.

2)      You language wasn’t acceptable

Working with young children means that your language needs to be impeccable: that means, absolutely no swear words. That also applies to talking with other staff members too; you need to remember to keep your language clean. If a parent were to ever overhear you, it could mean a complaint made against the setting or worse – a child being removed from nursery.

3)      You didn’t listen

You need to remember that the nursery manager and other staff want to help you. They are experienced, knowledgeable professionals that you could learn a lot from, but you can only do this whilst you listen to what they have to say. Some young people fail their trial because they have not listened properly to instructions, or are always trying to talk when they should be listening and absorbing new information.

4)      You argued with a member of staff

This is a definite no-no! Nursery staff are like a close knit family, so if you fall out with a member of staff it is likely to have a detrimental effect on how the rest of the team works. Bite your tongue if you need to, but avoid a full scale argument with another member of staff at all costs. If something is really niggling at you, ask to speak about it privately with the nursery manager at the end of the day.

5)      You didn’t use your initiative

Nurseries like to employ team members who can think on their feet, and take the initiative if the situation calls for it. If you see another member of staff who looks like they could do with a hand and you’re not doing anything, ask them if they need help. If you see a spillage on the floor, mop it up rather than waiting for someone else to do it.

Making sure you avoid these five common pitfalls during your nursery trial will undoubtedly help you secure that dream job as a childcare practitioner. Good luck!


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