Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship Level 5

 Wraparound support for the apprentice and employer

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

Levy-funded, which we can help you access

“Best Practice believed in me and supported me on my journey. Their expertise in Early Years provisions and the wrap-around support has enabled me to enhance my experience and knowledge. They were always available to answer my questions and the continued support means so much.”
Davinder Kalsi, Early Years Apprentice

What are the benefits?

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.

Early Years Lead Practitioner apprentices learn how to:

      • Adapt to individual needs providing inclusive and holistic provision
      • 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
      • Skilfully lead day-to-day practice at an operational level and disseminate best practice
      • 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
      • Be a reflective practitioner, enhancing skills and knowledge to improve pedagogical practice
      • And you’re entitled to a TOTUM student discount card

How is the programme delivered?

This programme has termly start dates. 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 apprentices' progress.

Delivery includes:

  • Termly start dates
  • 18-months on programme with up to 3-month End Point Assessment
  • Monthly training events, face-to-face or online
  • Weekly check-ins with Apprenticeship Tutor
  • 6-weekly reviews with Apprenticeships Tutor and Employer

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.

Looking for employment? 

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

Find an apprenticeship

How do I access the funding?

Apprenticeship Funding

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. 

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.

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 below. 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.  

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. 


Early Years Lead Practitioner (EYLP) Level 5 Apprenticeship - Why Choose Us