Early Years Lead Practitioner
Standard Level 5

NCFE CACHE Level 5 Early Years
Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard

1. Occupation Summary

You should be working directly with children, skilfully leading day to day practice.

2. Occupation

The Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner is suitable for people working directly with children who hold the responsibility to manage and lead change, this can include:

• Room Leaders.
• Managers.
• Deputy Managers.

3. Who do early years lead practitioners report to?

They usually report directly to the head of the setting (The Proprietor, The Manager, The Leader, The Director etc.).

4. Who are the early years lead practitioners?

Early Years Lead Practitioners are 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. The broad purpose of the Lead Practitioner is to be a proactive and influential practitioner, working directly with children, skilfully leading day to day practice at an operational level.

5. What do early years lead practitioners do?

The lead practitioner is an active practitioner. They are effective role models of play based learning. They support others to develop their own practice. They are highly skilled professionals who take an operational lead for the care, learning and development of all young children within their care, adapting to individual needs providing inclusive and holistic provision.

6. Who do the Early Years Lead Practitioners work with?

Lead Practitioners engage with a range of people and agencies, locally and nationally. They have a commitment to developing their own professional and educational competencies and to help colleagues in their setting to develop their skills.

In their daily work, a Lead Practitioner interacts with children aged birth to eight years, families, practitioners, other professionals and appropriate agencies.


7. Lead Practitioners are typically responsible for:
  • Leading other practitioners.
  • Being responsible for an aspect of the environment such as:
    Communication and Language.
    Planning and Assessment.
    Forest School.
    Physical Activity and Nutrition.
8. Entry requirements
  • You must undertake the Disclosure and Barring Services process.
  • You must be eligible to receive funding from the Skills Funding Agency.
  • You must have a level 3 Early Years Qualification or significant experience of working with children age 0-8.
  • You must be eligible to work in the UK.
  • GCSE or equivalent in Maths and English.
9. Real work environment requirement
  • Because all learners need to show competence in their knowledge, skills and behaviour. All learners will need to be working throughout the programme of study and for the End Point Assessment in a learning environment.
  • There is also a 20% off the job training requirement.
10. How long will it take to complete the Apprenticeship?
  • The Apprenticeship can last up to 24 months.
  • The End point assessment can take up to 5 months from Gateway.**You must be employed and working directly with children for the duration of your qualification including the End Point Assessment (Total time on programme 29 months).
11. Project planning. What is involved?

The duties and KSBs have been carefully planned and are embedded within five main projects. Each project is employer and apprentice led and covers the topics of:

*Approximate duration of each project

  • Quality improvement (10 weeks)*
  • Leaderful practice
    (22 weeks)*
  • Contemporary issues
    (22 weeks)*
  • Approaches
    to pedagogy (20 Weeks)*
  • Health and well-being
    (20 weeks)*
12. On Programme Assessment methods can include:
  • Activity plan or planned activity.
  • Observation of children, young people or adults by the learner.
  • Portfolio of evidence.
  • Reflection on own practice in real work environment.
  • Written and pictorial information.
  • Witness testimonies.
  • Scenario or case study.
  • Oral questions and answers.
  • Essays.

The decision to take an apprentice through Gateway is made between the apprentice, the employer and your tutor at AVT. The apprentice must have achieved all the required on-programme elements before they enter Gateway.



For an application pack please contact:


Return the application pack along with any level 3 Qualification certificates, GCSE, Key skills or Functional Skill certificates you may have for English, and maths to: Juliejones@avtl.co.uk


Julie will be in touch to discuss your requirements and check your suitability for the Level 5 Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship


Support Materials

Key Facts

This document outlines the key information of this qualification for the Centre, learner and employer.

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