Level 5 Apprenticeship


Course Duration

18-24 months (excluding End-Point-Assessment)


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

• NCFE CACHE Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner

• Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship Standards

Details of standard:

The aim of the Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner qualification is to support leadership and management skills in early years and the knowledge and skills relating to the early years practice.

The Early Years Senior Practitioner will be a positive role model for the team. Through clear leadership and effective management, the Senior Practitioner will support and promote best practice within legislative requirements to enable quality provision. Working collaboratively with colleagues, other professionals and parents/carers the Senior Practitioner engages and motivates all involved for improved outcomes for babies and children.

What is covered in the course?

In order to achieve this qualification, learners must achieve all 18 mandatory units.

  1. Manage care routines for children
  2. Lead practice in promoting the well-being and resilience in children
  3. Model positive behaviour in the early years
  4. Lead activities, experiences and educational opportunities to promote children’s speech, language and communication.
  5. Lead children’s early education and development
  6. Understand holistic child development from birth to 7 years 
  7. Developing children’s emergent literacy skills
  8. Developing children’s emergent mathematical skills
  9. Develop and implement policies and procedures to support the safeguarding of children
  10. Develop health and safety, and risk management policies, procedures and practices in Early Years Settings
  11. Champion equality, diversity and inclusion
  12. Supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disability in an Early Years Setting
  13. Work in partnership in Early Years Settings
  14. Lead and manage a team within an Early Years Setting
  15. Develop, maintain and use records and reports
  16. Quality provision in Early Years Settings
  17. Promote professional development
  18. Review own knowledge of learning and development for early years practice

Entry requirements:

To be able to show competence in both knowledge and skills, learners will need to be working in the role of Leader, Deputy or Manager in an appropriate setting, or have the opportunity to carry out responsibilities associated with these roles to be able to study for the Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner.

Off-The-Job Training:

It is compulsory for the apprentice to spent at least 6 hours a week 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.

Government guidance: How employers and training providers should meet the off-the-job training requirement for apprentices, with some best practice examples. Click HERE.


Employers who do not pay the apprenticeship 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 the apprenticeship 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.


How to apply?

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