Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard (Level 3)

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”
Lady Bird Johnson (former US First Lady)

This apprenticeship standard is for people to develop their skills as Early Years Educators, highly trained professionals with key roles in ensuring that young children learn and develop well, and are kept healthy and safe. Early Years Educators can work in various childcare settings such as nurseries, pre-schools and childminders. They deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements set by the Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years.

Key Facts

Eligibility: You must be at least 16 years old, and either have a level 2 in this subject or working in a role that provides opportunity to practice the skills covered in this qualification.

Qualifications: You will gain a Level 3 Early Years Educator standard; this will include a Level 3 Diploma in the Early Years Workforce (EYE) and Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (RQF)
If you have not previously passed GCSEs Maths and English, your apprenticeship will enable you to achieve equivalent qualifications in these subjects by the time you finish.

Duration: 18 to 24 months

Training: A programme of structured on and off-the-job training. This can include classes at the tpm training centre, webinars, workshops and practice sessions on skills and professional behaviour, self-directed learning, and distance learning.

Support: You will have a tpm personal trainer who will support you by phone and email. They visit you in the workplace every 6 to 8 weeks to review progress, plan next steps and identify any specific support you need.

Course content

This apprenticeship standard will give you a full portfolio of professional skills, behaviours and knowledge required to be an effective Early Years Educator, alongside a qualification at Level 3 and essential first aid skills. You will develop the professional knowledge and skills required to work with and care for children aged 0 to 5, and gain knowledge of those aged 5 to 7. Topics covered include:

Patterns of development in children; theories and philosophical approaches, and their influence on childcare practice; inclusion and equality; Identifying and overcoming barriers to learning; personal, social and emotional development, including promoting healthy lifestyles; current Early Years curriculum requirements such as the Early Years Foundation Stage; promoting positive behaviours; development of speech, language and communication, including the use of phonics; planning and leading activities; encouraging participation, socialising, and extended thinking; making accurate assessment and recording the data; working in partnership with carers, parents, colleagues and other professionals; hygiene and infection prevention; safeguarding and health and safety responsibilities; risk assessment and risk management; personal and professional development.

Apprenticeship journey

Step 1 Initial & Diagnostic Assessment
You will undergo initial and diagnostic assessments to establish your levels of English and maths. You will also complete skills scans with your trainer to accredit your prior learning and achievements so you don’t undertake training for skills you already have. Your trainer will ask you about any learning difference you have, e.g. dyslexia so that they can put additional training support in place.

Step 2 Training
The main phase of your apprenticeship is when you undertake your programme of on and off-the-job training. A learning plan will be developed specifically for you, using your job role as the guide for your training and assessments against the NVQ. A minimum of 20% of your contracted working hours must be spent on off-the-job training. You will develop your knowledge, skills and professional behaviour through different learning activities, including skills sessions at the tpm training centre, webinars, workshops, tpmonline, and distance learning. You will also do regular mock assessments to test your competence.

Step 3 Gateway
This is a point towards the end of your apprenticeship when you engage in discussions and decision-making sessions with your trainer and your employer to assess whether you are ready for your end point assessment or whether you need additional training. You must have achieved your Functional Skills to Level 2 (or GCSE) and be deemed competent in all skills, knowledge and behaviours. You must have also completed all assessments within your NVQ and your first aid qualification.

Step 4 End Point Assessment (EPA)
This is the last stage of your apprenticeship, where the skills, knowledge and professional behaviours you have acquired are assessed by an independent end point assessor organisation. You will sit a multiple-choice knowledge test and have a professional discussion underpinned by the evidence portfolio you will have built up.


After you have completed this apprenticeship standard you can progress onto level 3 Team Leading Apprenticeship Standard.

To apply

Speak to your employer to ensure you have their support to undertake this apprenticeship standard as they play an important role in the training process. The team at tpm are always available to provide advice to you and your employer. Call 0151 709 6000 for details on how to apply.