Early Years Lead Practitioner Level 5 Apprenticeship
Wraparound support for the apprentice and employer
Employer incentive of up to £4,000 - for a limited period
Levy-funded, which we can help you access
“The thing that stood out most for me is just how organised it all is, everything that I need to find is easily accessible. Furthermore, after completing tasks, the quality of the responses from the tutors has been excellent, the whole package is really well organised.”
The Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner (EYLP) Apprenticeship is ideal for highly skilled professionals who take an operational lead for the care, learning and development of all young children within their care. A Lead Practitioner can adapt to individual needs providing inclusive and holistic provision. The main aim of the role is to be a proactive and influential practitioner, working directly with children, skilfully leading day-to-day practice at an operational level.
A Lead Practitioner will usually report directly to the head of the setting (The Manager, The Leader, The Director).
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.
Early Years Lead Practitioners work with and care for children from birth to 8 years. They play a massive role in supporting children to have the best start to their education. Research shows disadvantaged children are four months behind at age 5, 10 months behind by the age of 11, and 19 months behind when they reach 16. As an Early Years Lead Practitioner, you will personally help to close the gap and increase the life chances of the children you work with.
Why choose us?
|Supporting employers||Supporting apprentices|
|We recognise how important it is that you find apprentices who are the best fit for your early years setting, that they have ongoing support and that you know how they are progressing at every step.||By joining the Best Practice Network apprentice programme, the apprentice can be assured that they will be supported every step of the way to succeed, both within the programme and in their career.|
What are the benefits?
Early Years Lead Practitioner apprentices learn how to:
- Support and promote children’s early education and development
- Be responsible for supporting the quality of learning and development in their setting
- Engage with sector developments both locally and nationally
- Skilfully lead day-to-day practice at an operational level
- Safeguard and promote the health, safety and welfare of children
- Work in partnership with the key person, colleagues, parents and/or carers or other professionals
- And you’re entitled to an NUS student discount card
How is the programme delivered?
This programme has monthly start dates – it does not run as per the typical academic year. Work is submitted using Bud, the cutting-edge online platform, which is easy to use and includes login access for employers to keep track of their apprentice’s progress.
- Monthly online training events to deliver Knowledge elements
- Half termly review meetings with Apprenticeship Tutor
- Regular Observations with Apprenticeship Tutor/mentor to evidence skills
- Witness statements to evidence behaviours
Our delivery model is a blended learning model consisting of the following components:
Am I eligible?
Apprentices must have:
- Support from your employer and levy 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
- Successful interview
- Must have held a residency in the UK for the last three years
- Level 3 Early Years Educator or Equivalent Qualifications / Experience
How do I access the funding?
Any employers who hire a new apprentice between 1 April 2021 and 30 September 2021 will receive £3,000 per new hire, regardless of the apprentice’s age.
This is on top of the £1,000 payment already provided for new apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan, meaning that some employers could receive £4,000 in total.
The levy is paid by large employers with a wage bill of over £3 million. These employers pay 0.5% of their total annual pay bill into the levy. Most nurseries state-maintained schools and multi-academy trusts pay into the levy and all settings and schools can access the levy to fund apprenticeship training. Dependent on the individual setting or school, levy funding can be accessed through their trust, their local authority, or the ESFA via the co-investment scheme.
Best Practice Network provides support to candidates and their employers in order to access this funding.
The level of funding depends on each candidate’s learning needs, with a maximum allocation of £8,000 to cover the cost of the apprenticeship.
- Levy-paying employers
Levy accounts are linked to the employers PAYE numbers so please check who is managing your Apprenticeships Service Account. This could be your Local Authority Apprenticeships Team, your business manager or HR department. They will need to add Best Practice Network as a provider and add any apprentices to the AS Account. Your account will automatically go into co-investment if you do not have enough apprenticeship funds to pay for training and assessment.
- Employers that do not pay the levy
If your organisation does not pay the levy, then it always co-invests with the government. The maximum amount your organisation will pay for apprenticeship training is 5% of the total cost.
The apprentice must be paid a lawful wage and they cannot contribute towards the cost of the apprenticeship.
Early Years Lead Practitioner Level 5
An apprenticeship is a job with an integrated formal training program.
Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes that are designed to help employers and individuals train for specific job roles. Apprentices get a paying job with valuable training while working towards a nationally recognised apprenticeship standard.
Both new and existing staff may embark on an apprenticeship.
The EYLP Level 5 apprenticeship is ideal for someone looking to further their career possibilities as an Early Years Senior Practitioner, Room Leader, Deputy Manager, Supervisor, or Child Minder.
It is suitable for someone already working in an early years childcare or educational setting.
Early Years Lead Practitioners work with and care for children from birth to 5 years. They play a massive role in supporting children to have the best start to their education. Research shows disadvantaged children are four months behind at age 5, 10 months behind by the age of 11, and 19 months behind when they reach 16. As an Early Years specialist, you will personally help to close the gap and increase the life chances of the children you work with.
Level 3 Early Years Educator or Equivalent Qualifications / Experience
There are no age restrictions.
There are residency conditions:
GCSE’s in English and Maths at Grade C (4) or above or able to achieve Level 2 English and maths whilst on programme
- Certificates or evidence on the PLR will be required for an exemption from sitting English and maths.
- Lost certificates – please contact your awarding body for copies
- If you have no evidence, we will support you to achieve Level 2 Functional skills
The apprentice is paid a lawful wage
The apprentice cannot contribute towards the cost of the apprenticeship
An initial assessment must consider whether the individual already possesses any of the training content e.g. the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprenticeship:
- It is important to know the apprentice’s starting point so that the training plan does not duplicate prior learning.
- Any existing relevant qualifications will be checked against the Apprenticeship Standard criteria during the initial assessment to ensure there is no duplication.
- Significant new learning must be required.
Only knowledge, skills and behaviours in the Apprenticeship Standard are relevant, existing non-relevant qualifications at the same or higher level do not exempt learners from the programme, e.g. a degree in landscape design
Typically you will have GCSE’s in English and Maths at Grade C (4) or above, or able to achieve Level 2 English and maths whilst on the programme, but a full list of acceptable equivalent qualifications to exempt you from maths and English can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-and-maths-requirements-in-apprenticeship-standards-at-level-2-and-above
Typically, 18 to 24 months duration.
On successful completion of your apprenticeship, you will be awarded the Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship is a work-based qualification, which means that the majority of the training and assessment for the apprenticeship will be completed at your workplace. You will need to build an apprenticeship e-Portfolio of evidence. Your Apprenticeship Tutor will observe you in the workplace and guide you on which pieces of work-based evidence are suitable for your e-Portfolio.
Delivery will also be through webinars, online courses, briefings and face to face.
Throughout your apprenticeship, you will have remote visits and face to face visits with your Apprenticeship Tutor to carry out reviews and observations and support you and your employer.
Once you have completed all the criteria for the apprenticeship and mock tests you will have a gateway meeting with your Tutor and Line Manager/Mentor to agree you are ready for your End Point Assessment (EPA). The EPA is completed to assess the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you have learnt throughout the apprenticeship.
If you are over 19 you must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage of £4.15 an hour, however many employers pay more than this.
If you are 19 after completing the first year of your apprenticeship, you must be paid at least the full National Minimum Wage.
All apprentices are employed and have a contract of employment. You are counted as a regular employee so get all the benefits such as holiday and sick leave as well.
The decision to take an apprentice through Gateway is made between the employer, Independent Training Provider and apprentice. The apprentice must have achieved all the required on-programme elements before they enter Gateway, including the completion of a Portfolio of Evidence that will underpin the Professional Discussion (video evidence can be withheld for the EPAO to view at the employer’s premises) and The case study title and scope will be agreed between the apprentice, employer and the EPAO at the gateway.
The EPA for Early Years Lead Practitioner contains 3 methods of assessment as outlined below:
Observation with questions
An observation with questions involves an independent assessor observing and questioning an apprentice undertaking work, as part of their normal duties, in the workplace. This allows for a demonstration of the KSBs through naturally occurring evidence. The observation must be of an apprentice completing their usual work and simulation is not permitted. The independent assessor will ask questions in relation to KSBs that have not been observed although these should be kept to a minimum.
Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion which must be appropriately structured to draw out the best of the apprentice’s competence and excellence and cover the KSBs assigned to this assessment method. A professional discussion is a two-way discussion which involves both the independent assessor and the apprentice actively listening and participating in a formal conversation. The apprentice leads the discussion. It gives the apprentice the opportunity to make detailed and proactive contributions to confirm their competency across the KSBs mapped to this method.
Case study with report and presentation and questioning
The assessment method is the completion of a case study and the outcome will be a case study report and presentation. The case study report will be based on a case study that the apprentice has done with an individual child or group of children. The case study report should include an analysis of observations the apprentice has made. The presentation will complement the report by allowing the apprentice the opportunity to provide more information about the report and to answer questions on it. A case study must be based on a real-life workplace situation which involves the apprentice completing a relevant and defined piece of work. The work must have a real benefit to the children or setting the apprentice is working in. The in-depth analysis of the observations and resulting case study report and presentation must be undertaken after the apprentice has gone through the gateway. The case study, report and presentation should be designed to allow the relevant KSBs to be assessed for the EPA. The EPAO must refer to the grading descriptors to ensure that case studies are pitched appropriately. The observations, analysis and preparation of the case study report and presentation will typically take 12 weeks. The case study report and presentation must be submitted 12 weeks after the gateway.
Grade aggregation table :
There are three levels of Apprenticeship:
Level 2: Intermediate Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to five A* GCSEs)
Level 3: Advanced Level Apprenticeship (equivalent to two A-Levels)
Level 4, 5 and 6: Higher Apprenticeship (Foundation degree level)
It is up to you what you do when you have finished your apprenticeship. There may be an opportunity to stay on at the same company and progress to the next level of apprenticeship or you may want to look for a new job or professional development opportunity.
Applying for an apprenticeship is like applying for a job so you will have to go through an application process.
Yes, apprentices can move employers but they must check that the new employer is happy to support them on the programme and the employer will need to complete checks and contracts with us first.
- Off-the-job training is about upskilling an individual to reach full occupational competency, not accrediting their existing skills.
- Off-the-job training must make up at least 20% of the apprentice’s normal working hours (paid hours excluding overtime) over the planned duration of the apprenticeship.
- Off-the-job training must be away from the apprentice’s normal working duties and must teach new knowledge, skills and behaviours relevant to their specific apprenticeship.
- You can deliver off-the-job training in the apprentice’s normal workplace or at an external location.
- Progress reviews and on-programme assessment do not count towards 20% off-the-job training.
- Apprentices may choose to spend additional time training outside paid hours, but this must not be required to complete the apprenticeship.
- If training must, by exception, take place outside of the apprentice’s normal working hours, e.g. in an evening or at a weekend for an apprentice that normally works Monday to Friday between 9-5, we would expect this to be recognised, for example through time off in lieu or by an additional payment to the apprentice.
Benefits of OJT
Apprenticeships are about upskilling an individual. Reaching occupational competency takes time.
- Many employers and apprentices have praised the positive effect off-the-job training has on their productivity
- Apprentices feel valued by the significant investment in their training.
- It can be delivered flexibly, for example, as a part of each day, one day per week, one week out of five or as block release.
- You may already have existing training programmes or materials you can use to deliver elements of the apprentice’s off-the-job training.
- We have developed a range of delivery styles to suit employer and apprentice needs. Employers should work with us to decide when and where off-the-job training should take place and who is best placed to deliver it.
- Learning support - To be successful, learners may need a range of approaches and support, which will be targeted appropriately. As well as material assistance, such as physical adjustments or access to accessibility software, some apprentices may benefit from additional time, revision or personal support from their training provider, to help them to stay on track and to achieve specific knowledge, skills and behaviours.
- Develops strategic leadership skills and behaviours
- Improves core management techniques
- Focused learning experience
- Builds leadership capabilities to motivate and inspire your teams
- Builds self-awareness
- Addresses real organisational issues
- For those that are engaged on an apprenticeship there may be an initial loss of productivity, due to the time the apprentice is engaged in training, but in the long term the new skills that the person brings back to the workplace, which makes them fully occupationally competent, should compensate for this.
- The importance of off-the-job training to a quality apprenticeship was emphasised in the Richard Review of Apprenticeships and more recently in Taking Training Seriously, a report by the Gatsby Foundation which compared English apprenticeships to those in other countries. This report reinforced the need for off-the-job training and concluded that 20% should be the bare minimum if England is to compete with the strongest apprenticeship programmes internationally.
- Ofsted and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) have also highlighted the importance of off-the-job training to a quality apprenticeship in their various publications.
- A key element of Ofsted’s inspection regime is a judgement about how well apprentices make progress from their starting points i.e. what an apprentice can do as a result of their training and experience on the apprenticeship programme that they were unable to do before.
- Networking events
- Shadowing others
- Employer induction programme, e.g. conflict resolution and corporate induction as these are part of the required knowledge.
- Reflective learning
- Self-directed distance learning (where the apprentice is working on their own with no real-time support)
- Interactive online learning (virtual classrooms where the learner can receive support, in real-time, from their training provider).
- Practical training
- Time writing assignments
- Lectures, role-playing, simulation exercises
- Online learning
- Industry visits
- Learning support
Apprenticeship funding is available for employers from the government. The size of the funding employers receive varies depending on whether they pay the apprenticeship levy or not. Non-levy paying companies currently pay 5% of the cost with the government paying the rest. For levy-paying employers, the funds are drawn from their levy accounts or topped up by the government if they have insufficient funds.
- The entire apprenticeship is eligible for funding
- The apprentice cannot pay towards an apprenticeship
- Resits may incur extra costs to the employer
How are apprenticeships paid for and are they affordable?
Payments are spread across the entire lifetime of the apprenticeship - taken each month by your training provider. This means that you don’t have to meet the full cost of the apprenticeship at the start of the training. You just need enough funds in your account to meet the monthly payments. In addition, 20% of the cost of the apprenticeship will be held back and taken from your Apprenticeship Service (AS) online account at the end of the apprenticeship.
Do Levy funds run out?
Yes. Levy funds will expire 24 months after they enter your digital account unless you spend them on apprenticeship training. For example, funds that entered your account in July 2019 will expire in July 2021. If you don’t use them, you will lose them. The account works on a first-in, first-out basis. Whenever a payment is taken from your digital account it automatically uses the funds that entered your account first.
What happens if an employer’s Levy funds don’t cover the full cost of training?
If an employer pays the Apprenticeship Levy but their funds do not cover the full cost of the apprenticeship training, then additional support is available. The government will pay 95% of the additional costs (up to the maximum of the relevant funding band) - with you as the employer ‘co-investing’ 5%.