Careers start here.

Your Study Options

Funding Your Course

If you're aged 19 or over and you want to study A Levels, an Access to Higher Education Diploma, or a Level 3 to 6 Vocational Qualification, you could be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan.

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 and we wil try to help you find an employer.


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.

Am I ready to start?

There are no formal entry requirements for the Level 3 Apprenticeship, but you must be 16 years or older. You'll also be expected to reach the required level of litercy and numeracy.

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?

This workforce makes up around 10% of the labour market in England. A large number work in the public sector, including in schools, colleges, local authorities and the NHS. Many work in the private sector – particularly in early years, but there are private providers in all areas of services to children and young people.

How and when will I study?

The Apprenticeship will last 18 months minimum (1 day in college and 4 days in the workplace).

You will learn about:

  • Health and well-being
  • Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Professional development

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

After completing your apprenticeship you could be employed in the following roles:
• practitioner in day nurseries
• practitioner in Nursery schools
• practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
• pre-school worker.

You can also progress to the Level 3 Apprenticeship

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

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