New Higher Apprenticeship in Early Years Consultation

Lucy-and-Cheryl-NAWA new draft apprenticeship standard for a Higher Apprenticeship (Level 4), developed by employers, has been released for consultation.

To complete the online survey please visit:

The Higher Apprenticeship Standard is the next step for those who have completed a Level 3 apprenticeship or qualification in early education and care.

The standard has been written for the occupation of “Early Years Senior Practitioners” or Room Leaders, who can play a variety of important roles in leading, managing  and inspiring teams in the early education and care of young children.

They work in a range of settings including full day care, playgroups and family and children’s centres but may also work as child-minders or in specialist 1:1 support role.  They may be in charge of a room, or may have additional important roles within a setting such as the Health & Safety Representative, SENCO or ENCO.

We expect the qualification for the apprenticeship to be at Level 4 and to include both mandatory and optional units depending on the roles and responsibilities of the higher apprentice.

If we are unable to identify sufficient level 4 units already in existence that we can utilise (must be 70%), the Higher Apprenticeship may end up being at level 5 and/or may be delayed and not be available at the same time as the level 3, but 6-9 months later.

We have included comments boxes throughout to capture ideas we may not have included already; we would welcome your thoughts and ideas.  Even though the deadline is June 5th we will keep this consultation open until June 18th to enable more contribution with the intention of making adjustments right up until the last minute.

Cheryl Hadland, Managing Director of Tops Day Nurseries and the Aspire Training Team who chairs the early years trailblazer group, said “Employers and practitioners have been crying out for early years focused training to enable good level 3s to become great room leaders/supervisors.

“There used to be a Level 4 which was well appreciated but has now gone out of date, I believe we need something to replace this, in between Level 3 and University study, and something that is funded either through apprenticeships or 24+ loan,  so please speak up, using this consultation.

“The Awarding Organisations needs to know that it will be worthwhile them developing  qualifications to suit.  What would you like on this proposed new standard?”

The consultation goes live on Friday 30th May and will run until 18th June, after which the trailblazer group will submit the standard to skills minister Matthew Hancock for his approval.  Background information is contained within the survey.

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