The Professional Role

The Early Years Lead Practitioner’s (EYLP) role involves being an influential and proactive practitioner, working with children aged 0-8 years, leading daily practice at an operational level.

They are highly skilled professionals providing an inclusive and holistic provision, taking the operational lead on care, development and learning of all children. They keep up to date with developments in the Early Years sector both locally and nationally and will typically be responsible for leading other practitioners or an aspect of the environment such as communication, planning, forest school, physical activity, or nutrition. They report directly to the head of the setting.

In the Early Years Lead Practitioner apprenticeship, you can work within a range of early years settings including full day care, children’s centres, preschools, and reception classes.

The Learning Journey

The length of the course is typically 24 months plus the End Point Assessment.

On Programme Learning

The course is delivered as day release, using a blended learning model including formal workshops, tutorials, and independent study. Some of this training may be delivered virtually using video calling. 

Through a series of assignments, observation, and reflection. You will work towards competency in all the knowledge, skills and behaviours, a sample of which can be seen in the knowledge, skills, and behaviours table.

Knowledge Skills Behaviours
  • Baby & child development from conception to 8 years
  • How children develop in relation to typical and atypical neurological, cognitive, social, emotional, behavioural, communication and physical development within the social, cultural context and the impact of this on their future
  • Theories of attachment, self-regulation, resilience and well-being and the impact of adverse early childhood experiences
  • Theoretical perspectives of play and enquiry based active learning
  • How to promote inclusion, equality and diversity, effective transitions and enabling environments
  • Current and relevant policy, statutory guidance, and legal requirements
  • Leadership, health and wellbeing, safeguarding, policies, and procedures
  • Show leadership as a practitioner to support, mentor, coach, train, and guide colleagues in a range of settings
  • Provide a dynamic, evolving and enabling environment that reflects the current interests, motivations, and play of individual and groups of children
  • Observe, assess, plan, facilitate and participate in play opportunities which include current curriculum requirements
  • Make use of formative and summative assessment, tracking children’s progress to plan for future learning
  • Ethical, fair, consistent, and impartial, always valuing equality and diversity
  • Modelling of innovative, aspirational reflective practice to others, with a person centred, and friendly approach
  • Positive and proactive member of the team, being assertive and exercising diplomacy
  • Receptive and open to challenge and constructive criticism
  • Creative and imaginative approach to play and problem solving

This qualification can support learners to go on to further study at university to gain Qualified/Early Years Teacher Status. 

Additional Requirements

In addition to the above, you will need to achieve a level 2 qualification in English and maths if you do not already hold these at GCSE or equivalent. 

End Point Assessment

Once you have met all the criteria to pass Gateway, the EPA will consist of:

  • Observation with questions
  • Professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence
  • Case study with report, presentation, and questioning