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Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard


The broad purpose of the EYLP apprenticeship is to support practitioners to be increasingly proactive and influential, working directly with children, skilfully leading day to day practice at an operational level.

The EYLP role is found in a range of settings which can include day nurseries, playgroups, nursery schools, pre-schools, kindergartens, primary schools, hospitals, social care settings, out of school environments and local authority provision.

There will be aspects of practising safeguarding and utilising digital technology. Part of the EYLP apprenticeship is going through End Point Assessment (EPA), which is the final stage of an apprenticeship. It is an impartial assessment of whether you as the apprentice has developed the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the apprenticeship standard.

Benefits for the Employer

When a team member qualifies at level 3 there is still a huge amount to learn.  The aim of this apprenticeship is to provide a balance of intellectual and practical skills and develop leads of the future. Apprentices are becoming integral to the on-going development of the early years workforce, nationally, regionally, and locally.

A central aspect of the programme is to improve and maintain practitioners’ skills to be an effective leader, to develop a vision for your setting and deliver a high standard of provision for children. It’s about the need to look beyond the norms of your setting and question ‘why are we doing it that way’?

The Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner (EYLP) Apprenticeship is ideal for highly skilled professionals who take an operational lead for the care, learning and development of all young children within their care.  A Lead Practitioner can adapt to individual needs providing inclusive and holistic provision. The main aim of the role is to be a proactive and influential practitioner, working directly with children, skilfully leading day-to-day practice at an operational level.

Benefits for the Apprentice

As an Early Years Lead Practitioner (EYLP) apprentice, you will build on your daily work, interacting with children aged birth to eight years, families, practitioners, other professionals, and appropriate agencies. As an apprentice you will be responsible for supporting the quality of learning and development in your setting.

Apprentices will lead on the operational aspects of this provision and be responsible for leading other practitioners, in an aspect or environment such as Communication and Language, Planning and Assessment, Forest School, Physical Activity and Nutrition.

As an apprenticeship you are in a paid job where you learn and gain valuable experiences. Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 6 hours per week of their working hours completing classroom-based learning.

Learning Approach

The course is delivered as ‘day release’, using a blended learning model including formal workshops, tutorials, and independent study. Training is delivered virtually using video calling.

Study Commitment

Apprenticeships are designed so you work and study at the same time. The exact hours of your apprenticeship will vary depending on the job you’re doing.

With a full-time apprenticeship, you can expect to work around 30 hours per week, plus a day of study either at your workplace, university, college, or online, which equates to 6 hours. There are flexible ways of accessing the learning to suit the needs of busy practitioners.

Qualification Awarded

Apprenticeship qualification Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner

Next Steps

This qualification can support learners to go on to further study at university.


Delivered over 18 months as a work-integrated level 5 programme, the apprenticeship is delivered via blended learning with all study material available online and mandatory live face to face teaching via VLE platforms throughout the programme of study.


Key Information

  • Course Level

    Level 5

  • Delivery


  • Duration

    Typical duration 24 months

Apply or Enquire

During the Apprenticeship programme, 6 hours per week of the contracted working hours will be spent on off the job training, learning and developing the required knowledge, skills and behaviours.

This development time will include learning relevant tasks, embedding the knowledge within their role, practical workplace training, spending development time with their Line Manager, attending online/blended teaching and time writing assignments/assessments including directed self-study hours.

All apprentices must undergo 2 observations of practice to prepare for the End Point Assessment (EPA).  These observations will be at least 45 minutes each.  There will be further mock professional discussions for preparation for EPA. Apprentices will have 4 hours of teaching and additional time to ensure the completion of the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSB), equalling 6 hours of contact time per week. The Employer and Apprentice must attend 8 weekly formal reviews.


  • Child Development
  • Early Health
  • Planning Observation and Assessment
  • The Environment
  • Play and Creativity
  • Celebrating differences
  • The Curriculum
  • Research


The assessments are varied in nature to support development across all areas, from an essay, a critical incident report to a case study, Vlog and a poster presentation during the latter stages of your study period. You will also be required to compile an e-portfolio evidencing your progress throughout the apprenticeship programme with extensive support offered from your lecturer and assessor.

End Point Assessment (EPA): Once you have met all the criteria to pass Gateway, the EPA will consist of:

Assessment Methods

Assessment method 1: Observation with questions

Assessment method 2: Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence

Assessment method 3: Case study with report and presentation and questioning

  • Support from your employer to undertake the programme
  • Funding agreed with apprenticeship account holder
  • GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C (4) or above or able to achieve Level 2 English and Maths whilst on programme
  • Level 3 Early Years Educator or Equivalent Qualifications / Extensive Experience
  • Must have held a residency in the UK for the last three years
  • Candidates must be working and interacting on a daily basis with children in the birth to 5 age range in accordance with the EYFS, the setting must be delivering the EYFS learning and development requirements
  • A list of acceptable equivalent qualifications is available from the uk website, as well as guidance on obtaining replacement certificates. It will not be possible for applicants to proceed with their application unless they are able to provide evidence of achievement or proof that they have applied for replacement certificates.
  • All applications are individually assessed.

This course enables you to build on your experience as an early years lead practitioner. Progression opportunities include Nursery Manager, Leader, Director Owner.

Successful completion of the apprenticeship programme will enable students to apply for progression onto academic programmes, such as the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies (Top Up), using evidence of their studies and extensive experience to support an application.

Financial Support

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their course and a maintenance loan to cover living costs.

We also have a range of other financial support available.

Course Fees


Degree apprenticeships are paid for by employers, not apprentices.

Employers with a payroll of more than £3 million can use their apprenticeship levy contributions to pay for places on apprenticeship programmes.

Any business with a payroll below £3 million is eligible for government funding that will cover at least 95% of the cost of an apprenticeship course.

Additional incentives are also available to employers who take on young apprentices.


Enquire about this course

To find out more and apply for this course, please contact us via the telephone number below.

Apply online Make an enquiry Call 01724 294125