Early Years Educator

Information on our Early Years Educator Apprenticeship Standard qualification.

Duration: Typically, 18 months                                                       Level: 3

Early Years Educator- Occupational Profile

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.


This qualification is suitable for a range of learners, either working or wishing to work in early years education and care.

male & female early years educators with children


The apprentice must achieve the following on-programme assessment requirements prior to Gateway:

  • Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification
  • Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid (RQF) or Level 3 Award in Emergency Paediatric First Aid (RQF)
  • Level 2 English and maths.

Gateway requirements

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 and completed a minimum of 372 days on programme.

End-point assessment (EPA) Requirements

Knowledge Test

The Knowledge Test features 35 multiple choice questions carrying one mark each.

Professional Discussion underpinned by a Portfolio

The Professional Discussion is a structured discussion of 90 minutes underpinned by the Portfolio.


Overall Grading is Fail, Pass or Distinction.

Future Job Prospects

Upon achievement of this qualification learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as:
• Assistant in Children’s Centres
• Practitioner in nursery schools
• Practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
• Pre-school worker

Future Learning Opportunities

Learners can progress to the Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner or other higher-level early years qualifications. With additional experience, an Early Years Educator can become the manager of an early years setting.

Need more information on Apprenticeships? Find out more about the benefits for learners & employers.