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Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship

This Level 2 Apprenticeship is ideal for anyone who works and interacts directly with children on a day-to-day basis supporting the planning of and delivery of activities.
12 - 15 months

An Early Years Practitioner can work in range of private and public settings including; full daycare, children’s centres, pre-schools, reception classes, playgroups, nursery schools, home-based provision, hospitals, social care settings, out of school environments and local authority provision 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 in both indoor and outdoor environments.

You will work and interact directly with children on a day to day basis supporting the planning of and delivery of activities, purposeful play opportunities and educational programmes within the ethos of the setting.

You will work as part of a professional team ensuring the welfare and care for children under the guidance and supervision of an Early Years Educator, teacher or other suitably qualified professional the Early Years Workforce.

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 will cover the following knowledge, skills and behaviours:


  • How children learn and the expected pattern of babies and children’s development from birth to 5 years and their further development from ages 5 to 7. Areas of development include: cognitive, speech, language and communication, physical, emotional, social, brain development and literacy and numeracy.
  • The importance to children’s holistic development of, speech, language and communication, personal, social and emotional development, physical development and literacy and numeracy.
  • How babies’ and young children’s learning and development can be affected by their stage of development, well-being and individual circumstances.
  • The significance of attachment, the key person's role and how transitions and other significant events impact children.
  • The legal requirements and guidance on safeguarding, security, confidentiality of information and promoting the welfare of children.
  • Safeguarding policies and procedures, including child protection and online safety.
  • Own role and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and security, including child protection, reporting and confidentiality of information.
  • The legal requirements and guidance for, Health and safety and Security
  • Risks and hazards in the work setting and during off site visits.
  • Own role and responsibilities, including reporting, in the event of a baby or young child requiring medical/ dental attention, a non-medical incident or emergency and identifying risks and hazards
  •  The work settings procedures for receiving, storing, recording, administration and the safe disposal of medicines.
  • The signs and symptoms which may indicate that a child is injured, unwell (including common childhood illnesses and allergies) or in need of urgent medical/ dental attention.
  • The impact of health and wellbeing on children’s development.
  • The current dietary guidance for early years and why it is important for babies and young children to have a healthy balanced diet and be physically active.
  • Ways to communicate with all children appropriate for all their stages of development, including those whom English is an additional language (EAL) or who have delayed speech.
  • The statutory framework, including the learning and development requirements for babies and young children that must be implemented by your setting.
  • The terms adult-led activities, child-initiated activities and spontaneous experiences.
  • The key stages in the observation, assessment and planning cycle and the value of observation for the child, the parents/ carers and the early years setting in planning the next steps.
  • How to refer concerns about a baby’s or child’s development.
  • The statutory guidance in relation to the care and education of children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • Partnership working (including parents/carers) in relation to working effectively with children with special educational needs and disabilities.
  • What specialist aids, resources and equipment are available for the children you work with and how to use these safely.
  • Own role and expected behaviours and the roles of colleagues and the team.
  • How to access work place policies and procedures and your own responsibilities and accountabilities relating to these.
  • How behaviour can impact on babies and children and influence them.
  • Own responsibilities when following procedures in the work setting for reporting, whistleblowing, protecting and promoting the welfare of children, safeguarding, confidentiality, information sharing and use of technology.
  • The importance of reflective practice and continued professional development to improve own skills and early years practice.
  • The roles and responsibilities of other agencies and professionals that work with and support your setting, both statutory and non-statutory.
  • The importance of the voice of the child, parental/carer engagement, the home learning environment and their roles in early learning


  • Support babies and young children through a range of transitions.e.g moving onto school, moving house or the birth of a sibling
  • Recognise when a child is in danger, at risk of serious harm or abuse and explain the procedures to be followed to protect them. Types of abuse including domestic, neglect, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
  • Identify risks and hazards in the work setting and during off-site visits relating to both children and staff
  • Demonstrate skills and understanding for the prevention and control of infection, including hand washing, food preparation and hygiene, dealing with spillages safely, safe disposal of waste, using correct personal protective equipment.
  • Use equipment, furniture and materials safely, following the manufacturers’ instructions and setting’s requirements.
  • Encourage children to be aware of personal safety and the safety of others and develop personal hygiene practices (including oral hygiene).
  • Promote health and wellbeing in settings 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, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Carry out respectful care routines appropriate to the development, stage, dignity and needs of the child, including eating (feeding and weaning/complimentary feeding), nappy changing procedures, potty/toilet training, care of skin, teeth and hair and rest and sleep provision.
  • Communicate with all children in ways that will be understood, including verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Extend children’s development and learning through verbal and non-verbal communication.
  • Encourage babies and young children to use a range of communication methods.
  • Use a range of communication methods to exchange information with children and adults.
  • Work with colleagues to identify and plan enabling environments, activities (both indoors and outdoors), play opportunities and educational programmes (both adult-led and child-initiated) to support children’s holistic development through a range of play, creativity, social development and learning.
  • Implement and review activities to support children’s play, creativity, social development and learning and clear up after activities.
  • Observe children, assess, plan and record the outcomes, sharing results accurately and confidentially in line with expected statutory framework and setting’s requirements.
  • Use learning activities to support early language development.
  • Support children’s early interest and development in mark making, writing, reading and being read to.
  • Support children’s interest and development in mathematical learning including numbers, number patterns, counting, sorting and matching.
  • Support the assessment, planning, implementation and reviewing (the graduated approach) of each baby’s and young child's individual plan for their care and participation.
  • Work in ways that value and respect the developmental needs and stages of babies and children.
  • Use feedback, mentoring and/or supervision to identify and support areas for development, goals and career opportunities.
  • Work co-operatively with colleagues, other professionals and agencies to meet the needs of babies and young children and enable them to progress.
  • Work alongside parents and/or carers and recognise their role in the baby’s/child’s health, well-being, learning and development.
  • Encourage parents and/or carers to take an active role in the baby’s/child’s care, play, learning and development.
  • Demonstrate how to share information with parents/carers about the importance of healthy balanced diets, looking after teeth and being physically active.


  • Care and compassion - provide the very best childcare to every child every day combined with the ability to identify opportunities for development.
  • Honesty, trust and integrity - develop trust by working in a confidential, ethical and empathetic manner with a common sense and professional attitude.
  • Positive work ethic – maintains professional standards within the work environment providing a positive role model for children.
  • Being team-focused - work effectively with colleagues and other professionals.
  • Commitment - to improving the outcomes for children through inspiration and child-centred care and education.
  • Work in a non-discriminatory way - by being aware of differences and ensuring all children have equal access to opportunities to learn, develop and reach their potential. Work in ways that consider fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of the law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
  • Professional Practice – be a reflective practitioner with a commitment to continued professional development adhering to legislation, policy and procedure with a positive disposition to work.
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 2 Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard
  • Level 2 Early Years Practitioner
  • Functional Skills Maths and English (if required)

You may wish to progress to a higher level of study, please speak to your Skills Development Coach for information.

What are the entry requirements?

Individuals without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and take the test for level 2 English and maths 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 fee for the learner. For information on costs to the employer, please contact us. 

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.