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About Finding an Employer

You MUST have an employer before you can start an apprenticeship. You can search for an apprenticeship job here.

If you don't yet have an employer you can still apply for an apprenticeship while you continue to look. We can offer you advice on how to successfully secure an apprenticeship with an employer.


21 months


Do you enjoy working with young people and have a caring and patient nature? A career in childcare care could be perfect for you. Doing an Early Years apprenticeship will allow you to gain the skills you'll need to work in this dynamic industry. You'll learn how to work with children of different ages, educate and care for children and ultimately how to excel in your Early Years career.

You will be supervising others in the care and education of 0-5yr olds in early years settings and gaining practical and theoretical knowledge covering a variety of topics to include child development, health and safety, safeguarding and inclusion.

Am I ready to start?

Ideally English or Maths at grade 4 or above

Level 2 Diploma in Early Years

At least 4 GCSEs at 3 or above

How does an Apprenticeship Work?

An apprenticeship programme is delivered via a mixture of on and off-the-job training, where you can practice your skills in real work situations.

The apprenticeship programme usually consists of the following elements:

Knowledge element:
This is the technical certificate and covers the theory side of your work which is delivered when you attend College, so that you can put these newly acquired skills into practice at work.

Competence element:
This is the practical side of the programme and is assessed directly within the workplace by a Harlow College Assessor to ensure that you are developing your skills within the workplace and putting all that you learn at College into practice.

Functional skills:
This area covers English and Mathematics for learners that have not achieved an A-C grade at GCSE level.

Employment Rights and Responsibilities:
This area covers units in relation to Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning.

Transferable skills:
These are the skills that help you develop your Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS).

The duration of the course is dependent on prior attainment but generally is completed over a period of 12 months. You will attend College for 1 day a week and you be in the workplace for the remaining 4 days.

What does the course involve?

You will learn about:

  1. support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
  2. Support healthy lifestyles for children through exercise
  3. Support physical care routines for children
  4. Promote children’s emotional well being
  5. Understand how to support children who are unwell 

2.2 understand legislation relating to safeguarding protection and welfare of children

2.3 use legislation relating to the health and safety of children

2.4 follow legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice

2.5 working in partnership

4.1 engage in professional development

3.1 understand the value of play in early years

3.2 plan lead and review play opportunities which support children’s learning and development

3.4 promote enabling play environments

3.5 developing children’s emergents literacy skills

3.6 developing children’s emergent mathematical skills

3.7 support children’s transition to school

3.9 develop children’s cognitive skills

3.10 promote children’s speech language and communication

3.11 promoting children’s physical development

3.12 promoting children’s personal, social and emotional development

3.13 support children with additional needs

3.14 use observation assessment and planning to promote the development of children

3.15 use longitudinal study to observe, assess and plan for children’s needs


How and when will I study?

The Apprenticeship will last 18 months (1 day a week in college 4 days a week in employment).

Assessment methods:

  • End point assessment
  • Task
  • Direct observation
  • Professional discussion
  • Reflective account

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

After completing your apprenticeship you could be employed in the following roles:

  • Nursery manager
  • SEND co ordinator
  • Room leader
  • Lead teaching assistant
  • School leader

You can also progress to the Level 3 Apprenticeship

Salary levels vary depinding on your responsibilities, but a manager can earn around £30,000

Employers we work with:

Rum tum tuggers

Pear Tree Mead School

Raindrops Day Nursery

Got a job?

You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.

If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.

Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.

An apprenticeship comprises two parts:

  • Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
  • 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.

Great, so what do I do now?

Call 01279 868240 to speak to an Apprenticeships adviser

Contact us about applying for an Apprenticeship