Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship Level 2
Delivering a high level of support with monthly tutor visits and taught lessons
Employer incentive of up to £4,000 - for a limited period
Levy-funded, which we can help you access
Career progression opportunity on completion with our EYE Level 3 Apprenticeship
“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.”
An Early Years Practitioner (EYP) works in a range of early years settings delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) including; full daycare, children’s centres, playgroups, pre-schools, nursery schools, reception classes, home-based provision.
EYPs work under the guidance and supervision of an Early Years Educator, teacher or other suitably qualified professional in the Early Years Workforce supporting the planning and delivery of the educational programmes for children in the 0-5 age range.
Early Years 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.
Upon successful completion of this qualification, learners can enter the workforce as a qualified Level 2 Early Years Practitioner or continue to study for a Level 3 Diploma holding Early Years Educator status including the Early Years Educator apprenticeship.
Why choose us?
|Supporting employers||Supporting apprentices|
|We recognise how important it is to you 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?
- Support and promote children’s early education and development
- Contribute to the planning and the organisation of activities in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage
- Support the collection of accurate and up-to-date records which identify children’s individual needs, abilities and progress.
- Develop effective and informed 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
- And you’re entitled to an TOTUM student discount card
How is it 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
- Successful interview
- Must have held a residency in the UK for the last three years
Who is it for?
- Ideal for someone looking to pursue a career as an Early Years Practitioner, Nursery practitioner, Classroom assistant.
- Suitable for either someone already working in or someone looking for a career in, an early years childcare and education setting
How do I access the 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 provide 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 £4,000 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.
Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship Level 2
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.
Anyone in a job role who will benefit from substantial new learning to carry out the role.
We will support employers and applicants to recruit and fill positions.
- No age restrictions
- Cannot be on any other apprenticeship or programme funded by the AEB or DfE.
- Able to achieve Level 1 English and maths whilst on programme (specific rules for those with an EHCP).
- All Level 2 apprentices are required to sit Level 2 Functional skills but they do not have to have achieved them.
There are residency conditions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apprenticeship-funding-rules-for-employer-providers/annex-a-eligibility-criteria-who-we-fund
The apprentice is paid a lawful wage (minimum of £4.30 per hour from April 2021)
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 when completing a Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship.
12 months on programme plus End Point Assessment.
- L2 Early Years Practitioner Apprenticeship
- NCFE CACHE Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner
Monthly face to face training with the Apprenticeship Tutor in the workplace (Covid allowing) to deliver Knowledge elements
8 week review meetings with Apprenticeship Tutor
Monthly Observations with Apprenticeship Tutor/mentor to evidence skills
Reflective accounts and work products confirmed by witness statements to evidence behaviours
One to one maths and English tuition if required
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 and face to face training days with the dedicated apprenticeship tutor (dependant on current legislation).
Throughout your apprenticeship you will have face to face visits (dependant on current legislation and guidance from BPN and your workplace) 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.
Early Years Practitioner Qualification (level 2)
English & Mathematics at Level 1, and Level 2 attempted
Professional discussion underpinned by portfolio – 90 minutes and ten questions
Knowledge test 40 multiple choice questions
If you are over 19 you must be paid at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage of £4.30 an hour, however many employers pay more than this and the average weekly wage is £200.
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.
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.
For example, on completing the Level 2 Apprenticeship your employer may wish to support you on to the Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship.
Email: EYApprenticeships@bestpracticenet.co.uk telling us your name, phone number and location and we will arrange a call to discuss your options and to support you towards finding an apprenticeship.
Any current vacancies will be advertised on the National Apprenticeship Service at https://www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship
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
The purpose of Employer incentives is to support employers to build capacity and capability following the disruption of Covid-19, while creating high-quality opportunities for individuals and equipping them with skills that are in demand, the deadline has been extended until 30 September 2021.
Employers will be entitled to £3000 per apprentice, regardless of age
The payment is in addition to the £1,000 employers already receive for hiring an apprentice:
- aged 16 to 18 years old
- under 25 with an education, health and care plan or has been in the care of their local authority
The payment is different from apprenticeship levy funds, so you can spend it on anything to support your organisation’s costs. For example, on uniforms, your apprentice’s travel or their salary. You do not have to pay it back.
You must set up an apprenticeship service account if you want to apply for an incentive payment for a new employee.
Even if you don’t pay the apprenticeship levy you can now create an account on the apprenticeship service and reserve government funding to cover 95% of the cost of apprenticeship training and assessment.
- The number of reservations available to you on the apprenticeship service at any given time has now increased from 3 to 10, so you’ll be able to access more funding for apprentices in this way.
- Although most non-levy paying employers contribute 5% towards the cost of their apprentices’ training and assessment (known as co-investment), this fee is waived for businesses with fewer than 50 employees, as long as:
- Apprentices are aged 16-18
- Apprentices are aged 19-24 and have previously been in care or have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care Plan
The eligibility criteria for these payments are as follows:
- The apprentice must be a new employee of the business
- The apprentice must have a contract of employment with a start date between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2021 (inclusive)
- The apprentice must not have been employed by the business within the six months prior to the contract start date
- The payment is made in 2 equal instalments for each apprentice. The first payment is after an apprentice completes 90 days of their apprenticeship and the second is after 365 days.
- To receive the full payment, the apprenticeship must last for at least one year.
- Payments are made by Bacs on the 14th working day of the month. It usually takes 3 working days to process.
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
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%.
As part of our Early Years initiative, learners who wish to become early years professionals, or those already working in this area of education, can take part in our programmes and advance onto other qualifications related to early years and child care. This initiative supports you in achieving your own ambitions and allows you to gain the skills required to support the next generation in being able to reach theirs.
Our Early Years Career Pathway has been developed to support your career development, take into account the variety of roles within the early years sector, and help you develop your career.
This pathway includes the following programmes: Early Years Practitioner (EYP) Apprenticeship Level 2, Early Years Educator (EYE) Apprenticeship Level 3, Early Years Lead Practitioner (EYLP) Level 5 and Early Years Initial Teacher Status (EYIIT) (eligible with a degree top-up).
Are you currently recruiting for an apprentice in your setting? With our expertise and industry knowledge, we help you find the best apprentices. Thanks to our fully-managed and free-to-access recruitment service, you only ever see the best candidates. Every candidate goes through a thorough interview and screening process, as well as receiving one-on-one interview training and CV writing.
Please fill out the Apprenticeship Vacancy Form below so that we can help you find the best apprentice for your setting.