• 01752 670811
  • info@acacia.ac.uk
  • Room 41, 235 Union Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth, PL1 3HN

Level 3


Typical duration to gateway:

18 months (this does not include EPA period)


Education and childcare


Upon successful completion of this apprenticeship, the apprentice will be awarded the following:

• Level 3 Diploma in Early Year Educator

• Early Years Educator Standards

• Functional Skills in Maths and English Level 2 (if applicable)

Details of standard:

Early Years Educators, and other job roles such as nursery nurse and childminders, are highly trained professionals who play a key role in ensuring that young children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. They work in a range of settings including full day care, children’s centres, pre schools, reception classes and as childminders. They may either be working on their own or supervising others to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements set by Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.


An Early Years Education plans and supervises child initiated and adult led activities which are based around the needs and interests of each individual child. Supports children to develop numeracy and language skills through games and play. Has key person responsibility to help ensure each child feels safe and secure. Observes each child and shapes their learning experience to reflect their observations. Meets the care needs of the individual child such as feeding, changing nappies and administration of medicine. Works in partnership with other colleagues, parents and/or carers or other professionals to meet the individual needs of each child. With additional experience, an Early Years Educator can become the manager of an early years setting. Individuals will undergo all the checks as per the EYFS requirements to ensure suitability to work with children. 

What is covered in the course?

The apprentice will be expected to complete the 18 mandatory diploma units below:


• Developing effective Study Skills
• Promoting partnership working with parents
• Modelling, promoting and supporting positive behaviour
• Principles of safeguarding policies and procedures in early years settings
• Promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the early years sector
• Working in partnership with colleagues and other professionals in early years settings
• Planning and implementing activities, play opportunities and educational programmes in the early years setting
• Continuous professional development and using reflective practice in the early years sector
• Children’s development from conception to 7 years
• Promoting children’s health and welfare
• Promoting health and safety of children
• Promoting children’s speech, language and communication development
• Supporting organisational requirements for recording, storing and disclosing information and providing reports in an early years setting
• Supporting children’s creative and imaginative experiences in the early years setting
• Supporting children experiencing transitions and significant events in the early years setting
• Theories which underpin practice in the early years sector
• Observation and assessment in the early years sector

Job titles might include:

Upon achievement of this qualification learners will gain their licence to practise and it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators or progress to higher education. Learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as practitioner in day nurseries, practitioner in nursery schools, practitioner in reception classes in primary schools and pre-school worker.

Entry requirements:

The apprentice must be aged 16 years or over, living in England and not in a full-time education.  The apprentice will be required to undertake a DBS check, must be employed, working more than 16 hours per week and have some experience of working within the early years sector.

Off-The-Job Training:

It is compulsory for the apprentice to spent 20% of their normal working hours on training. The training can happen every week, every month or in a separate block of time. The training can take place at the workplace, training provider or online.

Guidance: How employers and training providers should meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices, with some best practice examples.


Employers who do not pay levy:  For apprenticeships that start from 1 April 2021, the rate of co-investment is 5% of the total price of the apprentice’s training, with the government covering the remaining 95% of the cost, up to the funding band maximum.

Employers with fewer than 50 people working for them are able to train, at no cost, apprentices aged 16-18 or aged 19-24 who have previously been in care or who have a Local Authority Education, Health and Care plan. These employers are not required to contribute the 5% co-investment; instead, the government will pay 100% of the training costs for these individuals up to the
funding band maximum.

Employers who pay levy: All funds that appear in the apprenticeship service accounts of employers who pay the levy expire 24 months after they appear in the account, if not already spent. Please contact us to discuss your apprenticeship strategies.

Policy paper for Apprenticeship funding can be found here.

Learner Loan: Qualifications higher than Level 2 can also be funded via the Government Advanced Learner Loan.

How to apply?

You can apply for this apprenticeship at any time of the year provided you meet the entry requirements. 

Need advice on apprenticeship? Are you an employer looking to launch your own apprenticeship training programme? 

Take advantage of the government incentive up to £4,000 and recruit an apprentice today.