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Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard Level 3


Type: Full Time

Subject: Childcare, Health and Social Care

Level: 3

Start Date: Please contact the Information Centre for start date information

Fee: Please contact the Information Centre for fee information

Course Length

18 months – additional time may be required to complete your independent End–point assessment. You must have a contract of employment for the duration of your Apprenticeship programme.


This is a Level 3 Apprenticeship Standard and is equivalent to A Levels.

There is the opportunity to progress onto a Higher Level/Degree Apprenticeship upon successful completion of the independent End–point assessment.

Who is it for

Please only apply for this course if you already have a suitable employer to support you throughout your Apprenticeship. If you do not currently have an employer you can apply for Apprenticeship vacancies by visiting–vacancies

Do you enjoy working with children and providing a safe and caring environment?
Are you an existing role and wanting to upskill?

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. As an Apprentice you could work in a range of settings including full day care, children's centres, pre–schools, reception classes and as childminders. You may either be working on your 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.

Within your role as an Early Years Educator you will:
• 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
• Be responsible to help ensure each child feels safe and secure
• Observes each child and shapes their learning experience to reflect their observations
• Meet the care needs of the individual child such as feeding, changing nappies and administration of medicine
• Work 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.

You can apply for an Apprenticeship if you are living in England, over 16 and not in full–time education. You must be in paid employment for the duration of your Apprenticeship, you cannot be self–employed or a volunteer. Employers must pay you the minimum Apprenticeship wage or more, for a minimum of 30 hours a week.

Interview Skills Assessment

All candidates will be invited to a pre interview with the Apprenticeship Recruitment Officers and will take part in an initial assessment for English and Maths. You may also be required to complete an aptitude test based on your current skills.

We strongly recommend all candidates also complete a minimum of 2 weeks work experience with their employer prior to the start of the Apprenticeship to ensure the organisation meets your needs.

What will I need

Individual employers will set selection criteria, but it is likely to include 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 and above including English and Maths; a relevant Level 2 Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship; other relevant qualifications and experience.

You will also require a suitable supportive employer who will guide you through your Apprenticeship. If you do not have an employer already you can apply for Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised on our website ––vacancies/

We strongly advise you to complete a minimum of 2 weeks work experience with your employer prior to the start of your Apprenticeship to ensure it is a suitable organisation for your needs.

What is covered

Apprentices will gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours required for Early Years Educator. 

• 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
– 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, 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.

You gain the skills to 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 which 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 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 through 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, confidentiality of information, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.
• Work co–operatively 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.

These are the behaviours expected of all Early Years Educators carrying out their role:
• Care and compassion – provide the very best childcare to every child every day combined with the ability to professionally challenge poor practice
• Being team–focused – work effectively with colleagues and other professionals and support the learning and development of others through mentoring and sharing of professional expertise and experience.
• Honesty, trust and integrity – develop trust by working in a confidential, ethical and empathetic manner with a common sense and professional attitude.
• 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.
• Working practice take into account fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of the law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

As an Apprentice you will be expected to attend college 1 day a month as part of your ongoing 20% off–the–job training. Additional off–the–job training hours are expected to be completed within the workplace, however you may be asked to complete tasks at home via Google Classroom and One–file.

Please note you may also be asked to complete additional English and Maths qualifications as part of the Apprenticeship programme.

How is the course assessed

As well as being assessed continually throughout your Apprenticeship course, all Apprentices are required to complete an End–point Assessment in order to complete their qualification.

The EPA is conducted independently to your employer and Peterborough Regional College and is designed to test whether you have gained the skills, knowledge and behaviours outline in the Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard. You will be graded according to your individual performance.

Throughout the duration of your Apprenticeship you will complete a number of assessments towards Level 3 Early Years Educator and Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid qualifications, only when this has been achieved can your assessor and employer agree to put your forward for the 'Gateway'. This gateway allows you to focus on and prepare for your EPA in order to complete your Apprenticeship. During this time your employer will be expected to support you to prepare for your EPA through regular training.

Your End–point assessment will consist of two parts which will be graded at fail, pass and distinction and determine you overall Apprenticeship grade.
• Assessment 1: Knowledge test
• Assessment 2: Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio

Throughout the Apprenticeship it is your responsibility with the help from your employer, assessor and college tutors to ensure you are ready for your final independent EPA.

More information about your EPA will be given to you by your Assessor at the Apprenticeship Sign Up.

What can this course lead to

Apprentices must successfully complete a Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification and Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid. You then have the opportunity to progress onto a higher level/degree apprenticeship or further full time education at university.

Successful learners can also continue to work within the childcare and gain promotion, possible job roles include: Childcare Assistant, Nursery Assistant, Pre – School Assistant and Nanny.

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

Are there any additional costs

Learners may need to purchase uniform and/or equipment depending on the employer.

Other details

Reality Check: 
As an Apprentice you need to be fully committed and care genuinely about the care and welfare of children. You will be responsible for the care needs of the individual child such as teeth, skin, hair, feeding, changing nappies and toileting under direction of senior members of the team. You also have the responsibility to ensure you recognise when a child is in danger and/or at risk of serious harm of abuse and contributing to the health and safety of the children, staff and others on the premises.

An Apprentice will work on average 30–37 hours a week, this may vary throughout the year dependent on seasonal trends and workloads.

An employed status Apprentice you will:
• Earn a wage – the national minimum wage for Apprentices is £4.15 an hour, although many Apprentices earn more than this. Please note you must be a paid employee of the business, you cannot be self–employed or a volunteer.
• Have a contract of employment – this must be given to you at the start of your employment.
• Get paid holidays – these will be detailed in your contract of employment.
• Receive training – it is crucial to the success of your Apprenticeship that your employer supports you with regular training. The Apprenticeship standard states you must complete a minimum of 20% off–the–job training which can also include training at Peterborough Regional College and training within the workplace. You will also be expected to build a portfolio and complete tasks on One–file and Google Classrooms.
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