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Title: Early Years

Pathway: Education & Childcare

Available Study Options:
Apprenticeship, Full Time, Part Time Print

Study Option

Also available as a Full Time / Part Time Course
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What will I learn on my apprenticeship?

We offer Level 2 and 3 Apprenticeship Standards in Early Years.

These Apprenticeship programmes are for individuals who work in Early Years settings with children aged 0 to 5 years. This can include nurseries, preschools or reception classes.

As an Early Years apprentice you will support the development of babies and children through play and structured activities. You will be expected to help meet their personal care needs, keep them safe and healthy and ensure that they feel happy and secure in your care.

The Level 2 Apprenticeship Standard for the Early Years Practitioner is for those working under supervision in the childcare setting.

You will learn about how children develop between the ages of 0 and 5 years, and how their development is monitored through child observations and assessments.

You develop the knowledge and skills to manage children’s behaviour, safeguard their wellbeing and understand the importance of treating children as diverse individuals. You will develop the skills to plan children’s activities and keep them healthy and safe. This Apprenticeship lasts for 16 months.

The Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard for the Early Years Educator is a 21-month programme for age 18+ workers who work on their own or supervise others in the setting. 

This standard ensures that the workers within the sector are knowledgeable, skilled, flexible and effective in developing and delivering high-quality Early Years education and care.

You will build on your knowledge of child development, working with parents, curriculum and frameworks, children's health, behaviour, and professional practice standards. You will develop the knowledge and skills to work safely and safeguard the interests and rights of patients and clients.  You will also develop your knowledge of health and wellbeing, legislation, play, development and learning for school readiness and professional development.

There are no specific entry requirements for these Apprenticeships. However, you will need to score the level below the standard's Functional Skills requirements in your English and maths screening assessments. If you do not have GCSE grade 4 or above in English or maths you will be required to complete your Functional Skills.

Level 2: you will be required to achieve Level 1 English and maths and progress to take your test for Level 2.

Level 3: you will be required to achieve level 2 English and maths.

How will I be assessed?

The Early Years Apprenticeships require you to undertake off the job learning for 20% of your working week. This can be made up of classroom learning, learning in the work place and in shadowing, mentoring and supervision activities. You will also complete distance learning and assignment completion and online learning activities. 

You will attend college to complete your Functional Skills. These will be assessed through online tests.

Your Assessor/Coach will visit you in the work place to undertake a variety of assessment activities such as observations, professional discussions, and reviews of your work products. This is to ensure that your knowledge and skills development is evidenced consistently in your everyday practice. You will also be assessed through assignment work, written and oral questions. 

Your Assessor/Coach will review your learning and progress in relation to a series of defined milestones and keep you on track to progress and achieve as planned.

You will produce a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate the development of the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of the standards and your diploma. This will be internal and externally quality assured.

The end point assessments for these standards are a professional discussion and an online situational judgement test.

What will my apprenticeship lead to?

Following the achievement of the Level 2 Apprenticeship, you will be able to gain secure Level 3 employment opportunities. At this point, you can progress onto the Level 3 Early Years Educator Standard.

On successful achievement of the Level 3 Apprenticeship, you may progress from nursery assistant to nursery manager. The level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Early Years is one potential progression route in work.  Higher level study opportunities and a range of foundation degrees are available through University Campus Oldham, our higher education provision. 

Cost of my apprenticeship

Contribution Rules          

  • 16-18 Where the employer has under 50 employees and they are not a levy paying employer the learner is fully funded by the government, this rule also applies to 19-24 year old who are Care Leavers or in possession of an Educational Healthcare Plan
  • 16-18 Where the employer has 50 or more employees and they are not a levy payer there will be a 5% charge with the government paying the remaining 95%. The 5% contribution will be invoiced as per the table above.
  • 16-18 Where the employer is a levy payer, 100% of the funding will be claimed from their digital account on a monthly basis where the payments are scheduled according to the length of the learner's programme
  • 19+ All employers that are not a levy payers there will be a 5% charge with the government paying the remaining 95%. The 5% contribution will be invoiced as per the table above.
  • 19+ Where the employer is a levy payer, 100% of the funding will be claimed from their digital account on a monthly basis where the payments are scheduled according to the length of the learner's programme


  • 16-18 The employer will receive £1,000 incentive, 50% at 90 days following enrolment and 50% at 365 days following enrolment assuming the student is still employed and active on the Apprenticeship. The employer will need to invoice the college for this at that time and confirm their eligibility to make the claims at that point. This applies to Apprenticeship Frameworks only and not new Standards.
  • 19-24 Where an employer has an Apprentice under the age of 25 where their earnings are below £43,000 per year the employer does not have to pay National Insurance Contributions (NIC's). Correct at the time of publication, check the HMRC section on website

How to apply

You can apply for this programme via the Apply Now button, at the top.

If this course area is available as an apprenticeship, this will show under 'Study Option' on the right-hand side, just below the Apply Now button. You can view all of our apprenticeship vacanices and subjects by clicking the 'Apprenticeships' in the top menu.

What happens next?

It is important that you come along and speak to one of our staff about your choice/s.

Once we receive your application, you will be invited in to speak to a tutor or a member of the Apprenticeship team to discuss your application.

This will provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the course/Apprenticeship and to see our facilities.

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