Early Years Lead Practitioner

Level 5 Apprenticeship


This Level 5 Apprenticeship consists of several components to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours of practitioners to create influential, proactive and highly skilled lead practitioners. The Early Years Lead Practitioner will promote the health and wellbeing of all children, whilst ensuring compliance with legislation, policies and strategies at national, local and setting based level. Throughout the apprenticeship, reflection skills will be developed in order to improve pedagogical practice and initiate personal and team continuous professional development.

Who is it suitable for:

  • Room Leaders
  • Deputy Managers
  • Assistant Managers
  • Senior Practitioners

Key information

Qualification level: 5

Duration: 24 months

Qualifications achieved:

Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship

NCFE Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years
Senior Practitioner

Functional skills: Level 2 in maths and English, unless certificates that match the exemption criteria (e.g. GCSE Grade 4-9, A-C or equivalent) can be shown

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Whilst there are no previous qualifications required, we encourage applications from practitioners who have completed their level 3 Early Years qualification. Apprenticeships are funded through the Government and as such have eligibility requirements to enable funding to be accessed.

Apprentices must:

  • Be aged 16 or over.
  • Not be in any other form of education or study.
  • Have been resident in the EEA (European Economic Area) for the past 3 years and have proof of this.
  • Have a National Insurance number.
  • Hold a permanent contract of employment prior to starting your apprenticeship (this will be within a Childbase Partnership nursery)


This 24-month apprenticeship costs £8,000 and can be funded through your employer either via the Apprenticeship Levy Fund or a 5% contribution which is only £400.

More details on the Apprenticeship Levy Fund can be found on the Government website here.

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced in April 2017 and applies to employers who have an annual pay bill of over £3 million. Around 2% of employers fall in scope to pay the levy and it’s charged at a rate of 0.5% of an employer’s pay bill. Each employer receives an annual allowance of £15,000 to offset against their levy payment and the levy is collected via the PAYE system on a monthly basis and paid into an online account.

The levy is administered through the Apprenticeship Service (AS) system which includes an online digital interface where employers can spend their levy with a registered apprenticeship provider of their choice. Employers have two years from when funds enter their account to spend those same funds before they expire. The levy can only be spent on the costs of the apprenticeship programme, not on salaries.

If you do not need to pay the Apprenticeship Levy

Smaller employers with an annual pay bill of under £3 million are required to pay a contribution towards the cost of the apprenticeship training programme. Upon enrolment of the apprentice, you will need to pay 5% towards the cost of training of your apprentice. The total cost will vary dependent on the funding band the apprenticeship programme is within. For this you will need to:

  • agree a payment schedule with the training organisation
  • pay them directly for the training

The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum. They’ll pay it directly to the training organisation.

There are some exemptions to the 5% contribution:

  • If you have 50 or fewer employees, the apprenticeship is fully funded by the government if the apprentice is aged 16-18 or the apprentice is 19-24 and has previously been in care or has a Local Authority Education and Health Care Plan.
  • Levy-paying employers can utilise their levy pot to pay for your apprentice programme using a levy transfer scheme. In these instances, you will not be required to pay the contributions.

Employer incentive
An employer incentive payment of £1,000 is available for new apprentices aged 16 to 18 and those under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Further information:

Apprentices are assigned a qualified and dedicated Trainer Assessor (and Functional Skills Tutor if required) to provide them with the help and support needed. The apprenticeship is delivered via a blended learning approach of on and off the job training to ensure they can develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for your role and to support your learning style. This includes:

  • Regular training days and one to one support sessions at our Academy in Newport Pagnell.
  • Observations and discussions with a dedicated Trainer Assessor/mentor to evidence skills within your nursery.
  • Witness statements from colleagues to evidence behaviours.
  • Support with assignment writing to evidence knowledge.
  • One to one functional skills support, if applicable.

Employers will also have the opportunity to incorporate their in-house training programme alongside the apprenticeship to gain maximum value, enhance organisational impact and maximise employee development.


An overview of what will be studied…

Month 1

Induction onto programme

Month 2

Managing care routines

Month 3

Health and safety

Month 4

Partnership working

Month 5

Safeguarding, equality, diversity and inclusion

Month 6

Lead practice in promoting the wellbeing and resilience in children

Month 7

Modelling positive behaviour

Month 8

Research project 1 and reflective practice

Month 9

Assignment and case study writing

Month 10

Holistic child development

Month 11

Promoting wellbeing and resilience

Month 12

Play and learning

Month 13

Child development

Month 14


Month 15

Pedagogy and curriculum

Month 16

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Month 17


Month 18

Leaderful practice

Month 19

Research project 2

Month 20

Reflective practice

Month 21

Professional development

Month 22

Case study and report

Month 23

Presentation skills

Month 24

Getting ready for End Point Assessment

Months 25-28

End Point Assessment

Month 29


Bud: Online Platform

The training plan and communication related to the apprenticeship are managed through an online platform called “Bud.” This platform serves as a central hub for all apprenticeship-related activities.

Ease of Use: Bud is designed to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. This is crucial for both apprentices and employers to ensure that they can access and utilise the platform effectively.

Login Access for Employers: Your employer will be provided with login access to Bud. This feature allows them to monitor and keep track of your progress in real-time. Employers can view your completed tasks, achievements, and any issues or challenges you may be facing.

Progress Tracking: The platform includes features for tracking and documenting your progress. This involves the submission of completed work, assessments, and feedback from supervisors, mentors and the Trainer Assessor. The progress tracking helps in evaluating your development and ensuring that you are meeting the objectives set out in the training plan.

Overall, this approach combines modern technology with a structured training plan to enhance the effectiveness of apprenticeship programmes, making it easier for apprentices and employers to collaborate and monitor progress throughout the apprenticeship journey.

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