Early Years Educator Apprenticeship

An Early Years Educator, 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.

If you are looking for a new career direction, challenge or the opportunity to increase your understanding of working with children, then here at Colchester Institute we offer a supportive environment to extend your knowledge and skills to meet the rewarding challenges of working as an Early Years Educator to support children’s learning and development.

The course is aimed at students aged 16 or over who wish to complete an apprenticeship in a specific vocational area such as a Nursery Worker. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible to secure your place on your ideal programme.

 

Course Info
How to Apply
Occupational Profile

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.

What knowledge and skills are covered?

An Early Years Educator knows and understands:

  • 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.

Is 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.
Qualifications
  • Apprentices must successfully complete a Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification. Please refer to the DfE list of approved EYE qualifications:https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eyfs-staffchild-ratios-dfe-approved-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 Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid. (RQF) or Level 3 Award in Emergency Paediatric First Aid (RQF) Or complete a first aid course delivered by one of the following types of organisations as per the EYFS requirements. Voluntary aid society, member of trade body with an approval and monitoring system, or acknowledged by the Health and Safety Executive
Assessment

This section sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the Early Years Educator apprenticeship standard. It is for end-point assessment organisations (EPAOs) who need to know how EPA for this apprenticeship must operate. It will also be of interest to Early Years Educator apprentices, their employers and training providers.

Full time apprentices will typically spend 18 months on-programme (before the gateway) working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. All apprentices will spend a minimum of 12 months on-programme.

The EPA period should only start, and the EPA be arranged, once the employer is satisfied that the apprentice is consistently working at or above the level set out in the occupational standard, all of the pre-requisite gateway requirements for EPA have been met and that they can be evidenced to an EPAO.

All pre-requisites for EPA assessment methods must also be complete and available for the assessor as necessary.

As a gateway requirement and prior to taking the EPA, apprentices must complete all approved qualifications mandated in the Early Years Educator standard. These are Level 3 Early Years Educator and, for those apprentices who don’t have them already, Level 2 English and mathematics.

The EPA must be completed within an EPA period lasting a maximum of 3 month(s), beginning when the apprentice has passed the EPA gateway.

The EPA consists of 2 discrete assessment methods with the following grades:

Assessment method 1: Knowledge Test
· Fail
· Pass

Assessment method 2: Professional Discussion underpinned by the Portfolio
· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

Performance in the EPA will determine the overall apprenticeship standard and grade of:
· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

Information for Applicants

What are the entry requirements?

Candidates should have a strong interest in working with children to support their learning, and development. They will need to be dedicated and committed to their study and be responsible for their own learning. Learners on this course are required to be employed in a suitable childcare setting that can include Nursery, School or Pre-school.  Individuals that do not meet the qualification criteria, but do have significant experiences of working within the skills sector will still be considered.

You will need to obtain a DBS disclosure check. This must be completed by your work place.

What can I do next?

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

Course Progression:

Possible progression to Higher Education programmes. Higher Education opportunities may include the Foundation Degree in Early Years at Colchester Institute.

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

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.

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

The benefits are that you are going to be able to develop and grow apprentices appropriately to your work place needs, whilst supporting their chosen career path in early year’s education.

Colchester Institute is here to help support this valuable process in a personalised way, so that we enhance the apprentices learning and contribute to your work place requirements.

What about support in the workplace?

You are required to support the apprentice throughout the duration of their course by providing an appropriate mentor, release time to meet with their assessor in the work place or release time to attend face to face workshops.

Why should I choose Colchester Institute to support my recruitment and retention?

Colchester Institute is the largest college provider of apprenticeships in Greater Essex. We are experts at connecting the right people, to the right training, to the right business – and when it comes to Apprenticeships, our Apprenticeship Advisors can support your business every step of the way.

As part of our service we can support your business with:

  • Advertising the Apprenticeship vacancy
  • Manage the applications received in line with your individual requirements
  • Match prospective candidates already known to us
  • Conduct initial pre-screening for candidates
  • Carry out visits to your premises alongside regular reviews to support you, your staff and your apprentice
  • Advice on any grants or funding where available

Our team will provide:

  • A fee free recruitment service.
  • Personal 1:1 Apprenticeship Levy advice and guidance.
  • A dedicated Account Manager.
  • Industry experienced, professional, technical trainers.
  • Bespoke programmes available upon request.
  • An Essex priority skills focus.
  • Free employer events.
College Attendance

College attendance if required will be determined post-application and sign-up. All evidence and written assessments are completed through our online platforms. Learners will receive support from an assessor throughout the duration of the qualification.

Looking for a new career, job or maybe a qualification to take your current role to the next level?

Previously apprenticeships were primarily aimed towards 16-18 year olds but government reforms introduced in March 2017 mean that there is no longer an upper age limit for commencing an apprenticeship, even if you already possess a degree or higher level qualification (all applicants must be eligible for funding).

To apply for an apprenticeship please read through the information below and then select the correct application button from the menu located further down the page.

Aged between 15 and 18

The application window for joint applications for full-time courses and apprenticeships starting in September 2023 opened on Monday 3rd October at 12pm.

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and have an offer of employment in place by September, ready for enrolment.

The information below applies to those:

  • currently in year 11 and looking to study on an apprenticeship upon finishing school
  • currently in year 11 and looking to make a joint full-time and apprenticeship application, so that both options are available to be pursued upon finishing school (although you can apply for both options you will eventually need to choose between a full-time programme or apprenticeship, you cannot do both at the same time)
  • currently in year 12* on a full-time course and looking to find an apprenticeship to start after the end of the summer term

If you are interested in an Apprenticeship but do not yet have a contract of employment from an employer, we strongly advise you to apply for a full-time programme as well so you have a back-up. We will process both your full-time application and apprenticeship application until you inform us that you have secured an employer and have an Apprenticeship contract in place, at which point your apprenticeship application will take priority.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place, we still strongly advise that you apply for a full-time programme as well so you that you have a back-up in case this falls through.

Once you have read the above please click the button ’15 – 18 Years – Apply Online’ in the menu underneath this section and you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

*If you are currently in year 12 and 13, but looking to find an apprenticeship and switch mid-year then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will advise you on suitable vacancies.

01206 712043 – Apprenticeship Admissions or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

Aged 19+

In order to study an apprenticeship you must have an employer willing to take you on as an apprentice and with an offer of employment in place.

Please read through the information below and follow the information that applies to your current status.

If you do have an employer with an Apprenticeship contract of employment in place then please click the button ’19+ Years – How to Apply’ located in the menu underneath this section, where you will be taken to the next stage of the application process.

I am already in employment and my employer would like to put me through an apprenticeship

If you are already in employment then please contact our Apprenticeship Admissions Team where they will work with you and your employer to complete the sign-up and enrolment onto the programme.

01206 712043 – Apprenticeship Admissions or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

I don’t have an employer

If you do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then there are other options available to you:

Apply for a vacancy

Employers can recruit for apprentice positions all year round. We have apprenticeship vacancies listed on our website throughout the year in a variety of industries and with employers small, medium and large.

View our live vacancies

Join Our Talent Pool

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected for interview, and send you guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

If you are unsure about any of the above and would like to speak to our apprenticeships team directly then please contact us using the below:

01206 712043 – Applicant Enquiries or email:

ci.apprenticeships@colchester.ac.uk

Employer Enquiries

If you would be interested to find out more about how this apprenticeship can work for your business or already have a member of staff who this apprenticeship would be perfect for please contact us using the ‘Hire an Apprentice: Enquire Here’ button in the menu below.

Early Years Educator Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Extends knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of working to support children’s learning and development

Starting employment as an apprentice can occur throughout the year. However, the start date for attending college for training, where required, or if delivered online, when sessions begin, will vary depending on the type of apprenticeship and will be communicated post-employment and sign-up.

LevelLevel 3
LocationColchester
DurationTypically 18 months
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£600
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£300

What will this cost my Business?

Non-levy paying employers will need to contribute 5% of the maximum funding band as published by the Skills Funding Agency for the delivery of training and assessment for their apprenticeship. Levy paying employers will pay the full cost of the agreed funding band using their Digital Apprenticeship account.

Apprenticeship Funding Bands

Apprenticeship Funding Bands
Employers with less than 50 employees who are recruiting an apprentice aged 16-18 years old will not be required to pay the contribution fee. Any associated cost to the individual will be made clear at the interview.

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2022-23 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.