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Early Years Educator (Level 2 & 3)

Key Info

Working with children, whatever their age is a fulfilling and rewarding occupation. Depending on the work environment you could come in to contact with age groups ranging from babies right through to 16 year olds. These qualifications are designed for working with children aged 0 – 5. Employment in this area is focused on ensuring children are looked after and happy, whilst supporting them in developing their social skills.

Who are these qualifications for?

There is the option of several employment pathways with this qualification – working in a nursery/playgroup setting, child-minding or working in a children’s residential home, providing an element of social support care to young people. The Level 2 qualification is for those who are new to working in the childcare industry, with no or very little experience. Often roles will be at assistant level. 

Level 3 is aimed at those who can work using their own initiative in planning and organising their work. It is also suited to those working in supervisory roles such as nursery nurses or playgroup leaders.

What are the entry requirements?

In order to start a children and young peoples workforce qualification, candidates must have a work placement. The position should ideally be for at least 30 hours per week.  If you are already employed, working requirements can be negotiated depending on existing experience. 

To access the early years educator you would be expected to have existing childcare experience and knowledge. You would also be expected to have level 2 qualifications in maths and English.  

Personal qualities required to work in this sector.

If you’re already working in childcare, chances are you will possess many of the personal qualities required to work in this sector. Good communication skills are essential to working with children (and sometimes their families) along with being able to operate effectively in a team and with other colleagues. The work environment needs to be a happy one; therefore individuals should have a caring and patient nature, with a good and warm sense of humour.

Qualification information & content

How long will it take to complete?

The Level 2 qualification will take between 12 to 15 months to complete. At Level 3, candidates can expect to complete in 12 to 24 months. Completion times may vary and are dependent on a range of factors including candidate ability, previous experience and working hours.

How will the qualifications be achieved?

Qualifications are largely work-based. Candidates will have an assessor who will visit them at work on a regular basis to document progress through observations, discussions and witness testimonies from managers. Depending on your current circumstances some individuals will just work towards the vocational qualification, whilst others may work towards an Apprenticeship.

Progression Opportunities

After completing a level 2 qualification in a childcare role, there will be opportunities for progression in your career. Depending on your job role you may be able to start the Early Years Educator. 

Achieving a level 3 will open doors further and allow for development to include higher learning and degrees in specialisms to include Early Years or Early Childhood Studies.