Early Years Educator

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Early Years Educators, and other job roles such as nursery nurse and childminders, are highly trained professionals who play a key role in ensuring that young children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. They work in a range of settings including full day care, children’s centres, pre schools, reception classes and as childminders. They may either be working on their own or supervising others to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) requirements set by Government for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.


Behaviours are the mindset, attitudes and approaches required to learn new knowledge and apply new skills. There should be many opportunities in the workplace for you to develop the anticipated behaviours that are required as an Early Years Educator. Remember, you will be judged on your behaviours at end-point-assessment (EPA). Review the following behaviours and start to work on developing and showcasing these at every opportunity.

These are the behaviours expected of all Early Years Educators carrying out their role:

  • Care and compassion –  provide the very best childcare to every child every day combined with the ability to professionally challenge poor practice
  • Being team-focused – work effectively with colleagues and other professionals and support the learning and development of others through mentoring and sharing of professional expertise and experience.
  • Honesty, trust and integrity – develop trust by working in a confidential, ethical and empathetic manner with a common sense and professional attitude.
  • Commitment to improving the outcomes for children through inspiration and child centred care and education
  • Work in a non- discriminatory way, by being aware of differences and ensuring all children have equal access to opportunities to learn, develop and reach their potential.
  • Working practice take into account fundamental British values including democracy, the rule of the law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

Nursery World Breaking News

Nursery World provides an invaluable mix of the latest news, research and opinion plus best practice and management advice from the top experts in the sector. It is essential reading for managers and practitioners involved in delivering early years education and childcare across the private, voluntary and public sectors. Read some of the top articles this month:

Monthly Newsletter & Resources

Stretch and Challenge – from Pass to Distinction

Keep reflecting on these questions throughout your apprenticeship journey. It is important to test your level of comptence in the following questions. Being able to confidently evidence each of these questions through discussions, Q&As and within your portfolio will enable you to achieve your apprenticeship at distinction level.

Professional Discussion underpinned by a portfolio

S10, 11.You can provide evidence of having used more than two behaviour management strategies to promote positive behaviours, detailing why different strategies were chosen

S26, S27,K2, K4, K8, S16, B1, B2, B3, B4. You can establish and maintains effective partnership working which leads to improvements within the provision and the outcomes for children and their families. For example: improvement in a child’s behaviour over time thanks to effective parental involvement that has improved and contributed to a child’s health, wellbeing learning and development

S3, B4. You can evidence how curriculum based planning and leading of activities has led to accelerated progression in the child’s learning, e.g. using observations, planning and documents.

S4, K2, K4, K8, S14, B1, B4. Is able to demonstrate which activities have accelerated children’s learning and which types of activities are appropriate for individual children and is able to evidence where it has accelerated children’s learning (e.g. using observations and planning documents).

S5, S14, K4, B1, B4. Is able to demonstrate having provided varied learning experiences, incorporating new ways of learning and experiences, informed by their knowledge of areas of learning, and
evidence how these have successfully engaged, enthused
and motivated children to learn

S7, B1, B4 Is able to evidence more than two strategies used to promote sustained shared thinking for children with different needs/backgrounds e.g. EAL,
SEND, disadvantaged, or ethnic minority children

S15, S13, S23, K10, B4. Can evidence that children have made
progress as a result of accurate
assessments being completed.

S13. Can demonstrate an awareness of the different types of observational assessment methods, chooses the most relevant method dependant on the needs of the individual child and understands how it is underpinned by appropriate theory or strategy

S23, K15, B3. Has suggestions to improve record keeping in relation to confidentiality of information and/or safeguarding of children and the systems in place to support children and their parents/carers

S12, K8, K10, B5. Can identify children with additional needs and implements strategies for early intervention that include working effectively with parents/carers and professionals

S24, K15, B1, B2, B3. Can offer suggestions to improve practice in relation to confidentiality of information and/or safeguarding
of children and the systems in place to support children and their parents/carers

S24, K12, B4. Can offer suggestions to improve practice in relation to Health and Safety

S20, K16. Has an excellent understanding of the menus in the setting, is able to explain why children are offered different types of meals. Plans and carries out activities that promote Healthy Lifestyles and uses strategies to support practitioners in terms of promoting a healthy lifestyle, including barriers to healthy eating.

K16, S21. Has evidence of providing recommendations of change to support effective infection
preventative and hygiene-related activities

Your Role and Safeguarding

Everyone who works with children needs to understand how to recognise the signs and symptoms that could indicate a child is being abused, but also how to respond and make child protection referrals.

The government guidance Working Together to Safeguard Children (2018) and What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused (2015) provides a national framework for all agencies working with children to join in partnership to safeguard our children effectively. In addition to the Keeping children safe in education 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk) Do not forget KCSiE 2022 will come into force on the 1st September 2022, how have you and your setting prepared for the changes?

All childcare providers need to consider this guidance and implement robust safeguarding policies and procedures for their setting, which outline how to respond to and record concerns about children and vulnerable adults.

For further support and guidance on your role in Safeguarding in the Early Years, visit Safeguarding in the early years | early years alliance (eyalliance.org.uk) and What are the safeguarding procedures in early years? | Online DBS Checks

Safeguarding Training Booking Form (Book within 6/8 weeks of start)

Sexual Consent Training Booking Form (Book within 10/12 weeks of start)

Bookable Functional Skills Sessions

4.1 Engage in professional development

2.4 Equality, diversity and inclusive practice

2.2 Safeguarding, protection and welfare

2.3 Health and safety of children legislation

1.5 How to support children who are unwell

3.14 Observation, assessment and planning

3.2 Plan, lead and review play opportunities

3.4 Promote enabling play environments

3.1 The value of play in early years

1.3 Physical care routines for children

1.1 Healthy lifestyles – food and nutrition

1.4 Children’s emotional well-being

3.15 Longitudinal studies to observe, assess and plan

1.1 Healthy lifestyles for children through exercise

3.11 Promoting children’s physical development

2.5 Understand how to work in partnership

3.13 Support children with additional needs

3.12 Personal, social and emotional development

3.9 Develop children’s cognitive skills

3.7 Support children’s transition to school

3.5 Developing children’s emergent literacy skills

3.6 Developing children’s emergent mathematical skills

3.10 Speech, language and communication

End Point Assessment (EPA) Guidance & EPA Preparatory Assessment and Predicted Grades

Added Value, Stretch and Challenge and Professional Development