Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship

An Early Years Practitioner is found in a range of private and public settings including; full day care, 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 government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Are you looking for a new career direction, challenge or the opportunity to increase your understanding of working with children? Here at Colchester Institute we offer a supportive environment to extend your knowledge and skills to meet the rewarding challenges of working to support children’s learning and development. Then we have the course for you!

Typical job titles include:

Assistant childminder, Early years practitioner, Nanny and early years worker, Nursery assistant, Nursery nurse, Nursery practitioner .
Course Info
How to Apply
Occupational Profile

The broad purpose of the occupation is to 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. An EYP works 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.

In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with parents, children, colleagues and wider multi agency professionals and partners such as health visitors, social workers and speech and language therapists. Individuals will undergo all checks as per the EYFS requirements to ensure suitability to work with children. Due to the nature and level of responsibility it is not anticipated that the role would have any budgetary or leadership responsibilities.

They will be responsible for supporting child initiated and adult led activities based around the needs and interests of each individual child, supporting children’s learning through planned, purposeful play opportunities and educational programmes and working as part of a team to ensure each child feels safe and secure. An EYP will also support the observation and assessment of each child and contribute to their learning experiences and assist with the care needs of the individual child such as teeth, skin, hair, feeding, changing nappies and toileting under direction of a more senior member of the team. They will also work in partnerships with other colleagues, parents and/or carers or other professionals, with support from a more senior member of the team, to meet the individual needs of each child. They will also have a responsibility for ensuring that they recognise when a child is in danger and/or at risk of serious harm or abuse and contributing to the health and safety of the children, staff and others on the premises.

Occupation Duties



Duty 1 Work in partnership with other colleagues, parents and/or carers or other professionals to meet the individual needs of each child in line with company policies and procedures.

K19 K21 K23 K24 K28 K29

S13 S21 S22 S23 S24 S25

B2 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 2 Use play to support children to understand and encourage healthy life choices.



B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 3 Identify issues of safeguarding and child protection, ensuring that the welfare and safety of children is promoted and safeguarded and to report any child protection concerns to the person in charge.

K5 K6 K7 K26


B2 B3 B4 B5

Duty 4 Carryout self-reflection and use continuous professional development opportunities to improve practice.



B3 B7

Duty 5 Undertake specific tasks related to the safety and hygiene of the children and the cleanliness of the setting.

K8 K9 K10 K11 K12 K13 K22

S3 S4 S5 S6 S8

B3 B4

Duty 6 Use their knowledge of child development to work with parents and carers to improve children outcomes and wellbeing, including those with disabilities and additional needs.

K1 K2 K3 K4 K13


B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 7 Contribute to the planning and organise activities and children’s individual experiences which will support and extend the children’s learning in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage.

K16 K17 K18 K22 K29

S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20

B1 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 8 Communicate and engage with children to support their learning and development.

K15 K25

S9 S10 S11 S12

B1 B3 B4 B5 B6

Duty 9 Support the collection of accurate and up-to-date records which identify children’s individual needs, abilities and progress and use these as a basis for future planning.


S15 S19

B1 B4 B5

Duty 10 Support the wellbeing of all children including those with additional needs and disabilities.

K5 K14 K20 K22


B1 B3 B4 B5 B6

Information for Applicants

What knowledge and skills are covered?

An Early Years Practitioner knows and understands:


K1: 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.

K2: The importance to children’s holistic development of, speech, language and communication, personal, social and emotional development, physical development and literacy and numeracy.

K3: How babies’ and young children’s learning and development can be affected by their stage of development, well-being and individual circumstances.

K4: The significance of attachment, the key person’s role and how transitions and other significant events impact children.

K5: The legal requirements and guidance on safeguarding, security, confidentiality of information and promoting the welfare of children.

K6: Safeguarding policies and procedures, including child protection and online safety.

K7: Own role and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and security, including child protection, reporting and confidentiality of information.

K8: The legal requirements and guidance for, Health and safety and Security

K9: Risks and hazards in the work setting and during off site visits.

K10: 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

K11: The work settings procedures for receiving, storing, recording, administration and the safe disposal of medicines.

K12: 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.

K13: The impact of health and wellbeing on children’s development.

K14: 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.

K15: 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.

K16: The statutory framework, including the learning and development requirements for babies and young children that must be implemented by your setting.

K17: The terms adult led activities, child initiated activities and spontaneous experiences.

K18: 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.

K19: How to refer concerns about a baby’s or child’s development.

K20: The statutory guidance in relation to the care and education of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

K21: Partnership working (including parents/carers) in relation to working effectively with children with special educational needs and disabilities.

K22: What specialist aids, resources and equipment are available for the children you work with and how to use these safely.

K23: Own role and expected behaviours and the roles of colleagues and the team.

K24: How to access work place policies and procedures and your own responsibilities and accountabilities relating to these.

K25: How behaviour can impact on babies and children and influence them.

K26: 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.

K27: The importance of reflective practice and continued professional development to improve own skills and early years practice.

K28: The roles and responsibilities of other agencies and professionals that work with and support your setting, both statutory and non-statutory.

K29: The importance of the voice of the child, parental/carer engagement, the home learning environment and their roles in early learning.


S1: Support babies and young children through a range of transitions.e.g moving onto school, moving house or the birth of a sibling

S2: 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.

S3: Identify risks and hazards in the work setting and during off site visits.relating to both children and staff

S4: 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.

S5: Use equipment, furniture and materials safely, following the manufacturers’ instructions and setting’s requirements.

S6: Encourage children to be aware of personal safety and the safety of others and develop personal hygiene practices (including oral hygiene).

S7: 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.

S8: 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.

S9: Communicate with all children in ways that will be understood, including verbal and non-verbal communication.

S10: Extend children’s development and learning through verbal and non-verbal communication.

S11: Encourage babies and young children to use a range of communication methods.

S12: Use a range of communication methods to exchange information with children and adults.

S13: 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.

S14: Implement and review activities to support children’s play, creativity, social development and learning and clear up after activities.

S15: Observe children, assess, plan and record the outcomes, sharing results accurately and confidentially in line with expected statutory framework and setting’s requirements.

S16: Use learning activities to support early language development.

S17: Support children’s early interest and development in mark making, writing, reading and being read to.

S18: Support children’s interest and development in mathematical learning including numbers, number patterns, counting, sorting and matching.

S19: 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.

S20: Work in ways that value and respect the developmental needs and stages of babies and children.

S21: Use feedback, mentoring and/or supervision to identify and support areas for development, goals and career opportunities.

S22: Work co-operatively with colleagues, other professionals and agencies to meet the needs of babies and young children and enable them to progress.

S23: Work alongside parents and/or carers and recognise their role in the baby’s/child’s health, well-being, learning and development.

S24: Encourage parents and/or carers to take an active role in the baby’s/child’s care, play, learning and development.

S25: Demonstrate how to share information with parents/carers about the importance of healthy balanced diets, looking after teeth and being physically active.



English & Maths

Apprentices without level 1 English and maths will need to achieve this level and apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to take the tests for this level prior to taking the end-point assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Other mandatory qualifications

Apprentices will achieve a Level 2 Early Years Practitioner Qualification as part of their apprenticeship.


This section sets out the requirements for end-point assessment (EPA) for the Early Years Practitioner 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 Practitioner apprentices, their employers and training providers.

Full time apprentices will spend a minimum of 12 months on-programme (before the gateway) working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. All apprentices must 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 deemed to be 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 can be evidenced to an EPAO. The EPAO must confirm that all required gateway evidence has been provided and accepted as meeting the gateway requirements. The EPAO is responsible for confirming gateway eligibility. Once this has been confirmed, the EPA period starts.

As a gateway requirement and prior to taking the EPA, apprentices must achieve all approved qualifications mandated in the Early Years Practitioner standard.

These are:
 Early Years Practitioner Qualification (level 2)
Please refer to the DfE list of approved Early Years Practitioner qualifications.

For level 2 apprenticeships, apprentices without English and mathematics at level 2 must achieve level 1 English and mathematics and take the tests for level 2 prior to taking their EPA. The EPA must be completed within an EPA period lasting typically 3 months, after the EPA gateway.

EPA must be conducted by an organisation approved to offer services against this apprenticeship standard, as selected by the employer, from the Education & Skills Funding Agency’s Register of Endpoint assessment Organisations (RoEPAO).

The EPA consists of 2 discrete assessment methods. The individual assessment methods will have the following grades:

Assessment method 1: Professional discussion underpinned by portfolio
· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

Assessment method 2:
Knowledge Test
· Fail
· Pass
· Distinction

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

Information for Employers

How is my business going to benefit from an Apprentice?

How can I fit this apprentice into my business?

An Early Years Practitioner will demonstrate the following behaviours:

B1: Care and compassion – provide the very best childcare to every child every day combined with the ability to identify opportunities for development.

B2: Honesty, trust and integrity – develop trust by working in a confidential, ethical and empathetic manner with a common sense and professional attitude.

B3: Positive work ethic – maintains professional standards within the work environment providing a positive role model for children.

B4: Being team-focused – work effectively with colleagues and other professionals.

B5: Commitment – to improving the outcomes for children through inspiration and child centred care and education.

B6: 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 which 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.

B7: 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.

How is my business going to benefit from an ‘Intermediate Apprenticeship – Children and Young People’s Workforce’ Apprentice?

Apprenticeships are an excellent way to support your organisation by harnessing new talent or helping to up skill your existing workforce. An apprenticeship is your chance to employ an individual committed to learning and developing their skills within your organisation. An apprentice will be expected to work full-time, with time spent away from the workplace to study for a nationally recognised qualification. The best part is that an apprentice is a contracted employee, meaning you get a full resource whilst investing in your future workforce needs.

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.

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:


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:


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:


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 Practitioner Apprenticeship
Course Outline: Extends your knowledge and skills to meet the rewarding challenges of supporting 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 2
DurationTypically 12 months
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Apprenticeship Funding Band (Levy paying employers)£4,000
Employer Contribution Fee (Non-levy paying employers)£200

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.


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.