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Early Years Educator


This programme is designed to create outstanding early years educators. It's the ideal programme for those who are working with young children during their early years development. You will gain the skills and knowledge required to raise the quality of care and support in their settings.

Downloadable Content

The programme in brief

Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard

Duration - 18 months & 3 months End-Point-Assessment

Blended approach to delivery which could include webinars, face-to-face, Skype, telephone and online learning

Level 2 Functional Skills where appropriate

Level 3 Diploma For the Early Years Practitioner (Early Years Educator)

Non-levy employer contribution (5%) - £300 

Levy paying employer contribution - £6000

About the course

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, pre schools, 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 Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

An Early Years Educator:

  • Plans and supervises child initiated and adult led activities which are based around the needs and interests of each individual child

  • Supports children to develop numeracy and language skills through games and play

  • Has key person responsibility to help ensure each child feels safe and secure

  • Observes each child and shapes their learning experience to reflect their observations

  • Meets the care needs of the individual child such as feeding, changing nappies and administration of medicine

  • Works in partnership with other colleagues, parents and/or carers or other professionals to meet the individual needs of each child


With additional experience, an Early Years Educator can become the manager of an early years setting

Individuals will undergo all the checks as per the EYFS requirements to ensure suitability to work with children. 

Is this course right for you?

Typically apprentices who complete the early years educator programme and go on to gain additional experience, will be well placed to become the manager of an early years setting.

Our flexible and blended approach to training means that activities can be scheduled around needs. All learning is either on a 1-2-1 basis or small group webinars which can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

Throughout the programme we will meet with you to ensure you understand your programme, to report on your development and progress as well as making sure your programme requirements are being met.

What you will learn

The Early Years Educator Level 3 Apprenticeship is made up of several themes which develop the practitioner’s knowledge, skills and behaviour. Undertaking this apprenticeship will develop the practitioner’s ability to reflect and understand the underpinning policies, procedures and theories in early years practice to become a competent and professional Level 3 Early Years Educator. 


The programme is spread across 18 months and covers 12 units across 7 themes:

  • Health, Safety & Wellbeing of Children

  • Understanding Child Development

  • Communication with Children

  • Safeguarding in a Childcare setting

  • Role of Practitioner

  • Working in Partnership

  • Working with additional needs

How will I learn?

Our sector expert staff will support you to achieve the apprenticeship. We have highly skilled and knowledgeable staff with significant experience of working in the industry who will be able to share their experiences and support you.

We deliver the programme throughout the year providing you with the flexibility to start the apprenticeship when it meets your needs. All learning is either on a 1-2-1 basis or small group webinars so you have the best experience possible with sector experts.

We have designed a flexible programme which is typically delivered on a 1-2-1 basis and includes:

  • Assessment and induction

  • Face-to-face sessions (or remote delivery)

  • Regular 1-2-1 support (face to face and/or remote)

  • Assignments

  • Observations

  • Ongoing mentoring, coaching and support (including information, advice and guidance)

  • Specialist English and/or Maths support (if needed)


You will also record and track your learning progress through your e-portfolio, helping to support and evidence your journey.

There will be an external assessment at the end of the programme, once the apprentice has achieved the ‘gateway’ requirements. This includes achieving the Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care. End-point assessment methods, timescales and location

 The end-point assessment consists of two distinct assessment methods:

  1. Observation of leadership

  2. Professional discussion


The end-point assessment must be completed over a maximum period of three months after the apprentice has met the EPA gateway requirements.


  • Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care.

  • Level 2 English and Maths (If not completed prior to starting the programme). For those with an education, health and care plan, or a legacy statement, the apprentice’s English and Maths requirement is Entry Level 3 at a minimum. For those whose primary language is British Sign Language (BSL), the qualification BSL is an alternative and viable qualification.


Having successfully completed this qualification, learners will have the opportunity to progress to the following:​​

  • Senior Leader at Level 7

View Full Job Description On Institute For Apprenticeships

View Assessment Plan

  • Apprentices must successfully complete a Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification. Please refer to the DfE list of approved EYE qualifications:

  • Apprentices without Level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking their end point assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeships English and maths minimum requirements are Entry Level 3, and the British Sign Language qualification is an alternative to English qualifications for apprentices for whom this is their primary language.

  • Apprentices must successfully complete the Apprentices must successfully complete a first aid qualification in line with the requirements of the EYFS Framework (Annex A): Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK (


This qualification counts in ratio at Level 3 working as a Nursery Teacher, Room Leader or Manager.

Our students and apprentices have gone on to do amazing things, a qualification and experience in childcare can lead to so many different things.

Roles they have progressed into include:

  • Nursery Manager

  • Deputy Manager

  • Room Leader

  • Early Years Educator

  • Nursery Owner

Your education may progress on to:

  • Teaching Assistant Supporting Teaching & Learning (level 3)

  • Early Years Lead Practitioner (level 5)

View Full Job Description On Institute For Apprenticeships

View Assessment Plan

Achievements and progression
End Point Assessment

To achieve this apprenticeship standard, the employer, training provider and apprentice will agree when the apprentice is ready and competent to undertake the independent end point assessment.

The End-Point Assessment will include:

  • Knowledge test

  • Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio

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