Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship Level 5

The Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner (EYLP) Apprenticeship is ideal for proactive, influential practitioners, working directly with children. These highly skilled professionals take an operational lead for the care, learning and development of all young children within their care and lead and support the practice of others. It is an excellent progression route for practitioners who hold a level 2 or level 3 qualification in Early Years; this course will progress and enhance their practice and knowledge.

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                                                                EYLP Level 5 brochure

What are the benefits?

 Wraparound support for the apprentice and employer

Working directly with children 0-5 years, skilfully leading day-to-day practice at an operational level 

Be responsible for supporting the quality of learning and development in their setting

Promote the health and well-being of all children through learning rich environments

Engage with sector developments both locally and nationally 

Levy-funded, which we can help you access

Entitled to a TOTUM student discount card

Am I eligible?

This Level 5 Apprenticeship is suitable for someone already working in an early years childcare or education setting who is looking to lead, or someone already leading on the operational aspects of this provision.  They are typically responsible for leading other practitioners.  As active practitioners they are effective role models of play-based learning, supporting others to develop their own practice and will be responsible for supporting the quality of learning and development across their setting.  

Apprentices must have:

  • Support from your employer to undertake the programme
  • Funding agreed with apprenticeship account holder
  • GCSE’s in English and Maths at Grade C (4) or above or able to achieve Level 2 English and Maths whilst on programme
  • Level 3 Early Years Educator or Equivalent Qualifications / Extensive Experience 
  • Successful interview
  • Must have held a residency in the UK for the last three years

All applicants will be initially invited to a Teams interview with our sector specialists. This is to ensure they have the suitable experience, meet the entry requirements and are fully-informed of the programme they are accessing.


  • This 24-month apprenticeship costs £8000 but can be delivered at no cost to you or your setting if your setting is an Apprenticeship Levy payer. 
  • If your setting doesn’t pay into the Apprenticeship Levy Fund, the government will pay 95% of your fees, with your setting contributing just 5%, which is £400. More details can be found on the  Government website. 
  • Contact our friendly apprenticeship team to confirm the availability of funding for your setting.

If your setting has fewer than 50 employees

 You will receive 100% of the funding where the apprentice is 16-18 years old or is between 19-24 and has a local authority education, health and care plan.

Employers and training providers will both receive an additional £1,000 where the apprentice is between 16 and 18 years old.  

Apprenticeship Levy Transfer

If an employer pays into the Apprenticeship Levy and has unspent funds, they can transfer up to 25% of that contribution to another employer. That means you can benefit from the levy-contributions of a different organisation to cover the full costs of an apprenticeship for a member of your team.

Organisations who are actively willing to transfer unspent funds can be viewed on the pledge page. Learn more about the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer on the Government website.

Early Years Lead Practitioner Level 5

Are you looking to do an apprenticeship?

If you are employed within a setting...
Please check that your employer is supportive of you going on programme and then apply directly here. When you submit an application with your setting’s details, an employer declaration will automatically be sent across for them to complete.

If you are not employed within a setting...
Please look at our list of vacancies that we are currently recruiting for throughout the country.  Our recruitment team will then be in touch to book an online screening interview. If you are deemed successful at this stage, your details will be sent over to the employer, who will then decide whether to book you in for an in person formal interview or work trial.

Find a list of current apprenticeship vacancies from our partner settings.

Find an apprenticeship

If you do not find a vacancy which is within your area, do not worry!
Simply apply for our programme here and our recruitment team will be in touch to book an online screening interview. If you are deemed successful at this stage, we will support you in finding a setting local to you.

Are you an employer and looking for an apprentice?

If you are interested in upskilling some of your current staff members by supporting them on an apprenticeship, please ask them to apply via our Apprenticeship Recruitment.  

If you are looking for apprentices and would like us to recruit possible candidates in your area, please fill out our vacancy form. This information will allow us to populate your vacancy altered uniquely to your setting. 

In order for us to be able to recruit on your behalf…. 

  • Every week, our recruitment team will collect applications that come through for your vacancy. Candidates will be invited for a vigorous screening interview to find out if they are suitable for the role and to be put on programme.
  • Successful candidates will be sent over with their CV, application and interview notes for you to make a decision whether you would like to invite them in for a formal interview and/or work trial. 

Once they are given an offer and accepted onto the programme... 

  • For us to be able recruit for you and secure funding for your apprentices, you will be required to set up a Digital Apprenticeship Service Account. This is a government portal that allows you to get funding for apprenticeship costs and recruit apprentices via the government website.  
  • Once you have signed up you will need to add Best Practice Network as your training provider and set us permissions to recruit apprentices and add apprentice records. Once this is completed, we will be able to recruit apprentices on your behalf and secure apprenticeship funding.  

We will provide all instructions on how to complete this and our dedicated funding and recruitment support teams are happy to book in a meeting with you, to provide further support and help set up your account.  

Fill Out Vacancy Form

Tutor Quote Geoffery

How to Apply

You can apply for our Early Years apprenticeship programmes by clicking the apply button below or on the programme page. You will then be asked to create an account and fill in an application form which saves your progress. Once you submit your application,  our Early Years team will be in touch for any extra information that is needed and will support your setting to secure funding from the Government. 

If you are an employer who is looking to use Best Practice Network for multiple applicants or nurseries, you can contact our team at enquiries@bestpracticenet.co.uk or call 0117 920 9428.