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Early Years Educator Apprenticeship

This Level 3 Apprenticeship is ideal for anyone working in the Early Years sector who plays a key role in ensuring that young children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.
18 months

Early Years Educators, and other job roles such as nursery nurse and childminders, are highly trained professionals who play a key role in ensuring that young children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe.

They work in a range of settings including full day care, children’s centres, preschools, reception classes and as childminders. They may either be working on their own or supervising others to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements set by the Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

When does the course start?

You can start this apprenticeship at any time, please contact us for further information.

What does the course cover?

This apprenticeship covers the following:

Knowledge and understanding

  • The expected patterns of children’s development from birth to 5 years, and have an understanding of further development from age 5 to 7
  • The significance of attachment and how to promote it effectively
  • A range of underpinning theories and philosophical approaches to how children learn and develop, and their influence on practice
  • How children’s learning and development can be affected by their stage of development and individual circumstances such as moving school, birth of a sibling, family breakdown and adoption and care
  • The importance of promoting diversity, equality and inclusion, fully reflecting cultural differences and family circumstances
  • The importance to children’s holistic development of speech, language and communication, personal, social and emotional development and physical development
  • Systematic synthetic phonics in the teaching of reading, and a range of strategies for developing early literacy and mathematics
  • The potential effects of, and how to prepare and support children through, transitions and significant events in their lives
  • The current early education curriculum requirements such as the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • When a child is in need of additional support such as where a child’s progress is less than expected. how to assess within the current early education curriculum framework using a range of assessment techniques such as practitioners observing children through their day to day interactions and observations shared by parents and/ or carers
  • The importance of undertaking continued professional development to improve own skills and early years practice
  • The legal requirements and guidance on health and safety, security, the confidentiality of information, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
  • Why health and well-being is important for babies and children
  • How to respond to accidents, injuries and emergency situations.
  • Safeguarding policies and procedures, including child protection, recognise when a child is in danger or at risk of abuse, and know how to act to protect them. Types of abuse include domestic, neglect, physical, emotional and sexual.
  • How to prevent and control infection through ways such as handwashing, food hygiene practices and dealing with spillages safely

On completion you will be able to:

  • Analyse and explain how children’s learning and development can be affected by their stage of development and individual circumstances such as the needs of children learning English as an additional language from a variety of cultures
  • Promote equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice
  • Plan and lead activities, purposeful play opportunities and educational programmes that include the learning and development areas of current early education curriculum requirements
  • Ensure plans fully reflect the stage of development, individual needs and circumstances of children and providing consistent care  and responding quickly to the needs of the child
  • Provide learning experiences, environments and opportunities appropriate to the age, stage and needs of individual and groups of children
  • Encourage children’s participation, ensuring a balance between adult-led and child-initiated activities
  • Engage in effective strategies to develop and extend children’s learning and thinking, including sustained shared thinking
  • Support and promote children’s speech, language and communication development.
  • Support children’s group learning and socialisation
  • Model and promote positive behaviours expected of children such as turn-taking and keep reactions and emotions proportionate
  • Support children to manage their own behaviour in relation to others.
  • Plan and provide activities to meet additional needs, working in partnership with parents and/or carers and other professionals, where appropriate
  • Carry out and record observational assessment accurately
  • Identify the needs, interests and stages of development of individual children.
  • Make use of formative and summative assessment, tracking children’s progress to plan next steps and shape learning opportunities
  • Discuss children’s progress and plan the next stages in their learning with the key person, colleagues, parents and/or carers
  • Communicate effectively in English in writing and verbally. For example, in the recording of administration of medicine, completing children’s observational assessments and communicating with parents and other professionals
  • Engage in continuing professional development and reflective practice to improve own skills, practice, and subject knowledge (for example, in English, mathematics, music, history, or modern foreign languages)
  • Plan and carry out physical care routines suitable to the age, stage and needs of the child
  • Promote healthy lifestyles for example by encouraging babies and young children to consume healthy and balanced meals, snacks and drinks appropriate for their age and be physically active through planned and spontaneous activity throughout the day
  • Undertake tasks to ensure the prevention and control of infection for example hand washing, food preparation and hygiene, dealing with spillages safely, safe disposal of waste and using correct personal protective equipment
  • Carry out risk assessment and risk management in line with policies and procedures
  • Maintain accurate and coherent records and reports and share information, only when appropriate, to ensure the needs of all children are met, such as emotional, physical, psychological and cultural
  • Identify and act upon own responsibilities in relation to health and safety, security, the confidentiality of information, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children
  • Work cooperatively with colleagues and other professionals to meet the needs of babies and children and enable them to progress
  • Work in partnership with parents and/or carers to help them recognise and value the significant contributions they make to the child’s health, well-being, learning and development
  • Encourage parents and/or carers to take an active role in the child’s play, learning and development
How will I be assessed?

Your progress and development will be assessed at regular stages - this is likely to be a combination of assignments, activities, exams, reflective discussions, expert witness testimonies and observations in the workplace.

The employer and training provider will formally sign-off your readiness for the independent End Point Assessment (EPA) at 'gateway'. Gateway is the point at which you have met and can confidently apply the minimum knowledge, skills and behaviours required, as detailed within the apprenticeship standard.

Performance in the EPA will determine your overall apprenticeship grade i.e. pass or distinction.

When will I attend?

This apprenticeship programme consists of 'on-the-job' and 'off-the-job' training. You will receive on-the-job training from your employer and will also be allowed 20% off-the job training, which will involve independent study.

Your independent study will be recorded in a reflective learning log, to capture evidence of your experiences, reflections and achievements.

A Skills Development Tutor will be allocated to you and will deliver learning and assessment sessions with you on a regular basis, liaising with your work-based mentor to monitor progress.

This will give you the opportunity to do real work, developing work-based skills that employers value and helping you to progress in your chosen career.

What will I achieve?

On successful completion, you will achieve the following:

  • Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma For the Early Years Practitioner (Early Years Educator)
  • Functional Skills Maths and English (if required)


You may wish to progress to a Foundation Degree in Early Years Childhood Studies.

What are the entry requirements?

You must hold a Level 2 qualification in a related subject.

If you do not hold a Level 2 English and maths qualification you must achieve these prior to taking the End Point Assessment.

To work in this industry you will need an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

How much does the course cost?

There is no cost to the apprentice. Please get in touch for further information.