Trailblazers deliver new childcare standard

Derren Hayes
Monday, April 29, 2019

The organisation that has led the development of an early years apprenticeship standard says the new qualification will help practitioners deliver improved outcomes for children and childcare settings.

The new Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) standard - recently approved by the Institute of Apprenticeships - has been developed over the past two years by a trailblazer group led by Busy Bees and BB Training, and other childcare providers including Darcy Bunnie Nursery, Little Cupcakes, Hollies Day Nursery, Blossom Day Nursery, Cheeky Monkeys, The Learning Tree, Shapes Day Nursery, Holmes Park Day Nursery and First Quest Day Nursery.

Busy Bees say the standard's indicators of knowledge portray the current vision of early years, providing a very child-centred approach. With the inspection framework changing, the focus is on the key person's understanding of the child's development, rather than what the results are saying.

The standard still includes the EYE qualification so that early years staff have the licence to practice once the apprenticeship is achieved, but now also requires completion of the Level 3 award in paediatric first aid or emergency paediatric first aid to support the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Apprentices will undertake an "end point assessment" to demonstrate their understanding of the qualification and which will allow them to present their new-found knowledge to other assessment professionals.

The sector requires practitioners to gather knowledge of children through observations, say Busy Bees, so presenting observations of children's skills, or providing a statement, enables learners to give an accurate account of their ability.

Expected responsibilities and skills of those who complete the 18-month apprenticeship - which carries maximum funding of £6,000 per apprentice for employers - include acting with care and compassion, working well in a team and being honest.

Busy Bees director of operations Sandy Silvester says: "The introduction of the standard now identifies behaviours we expect staff to adhere to - care and compassion, being team focused, honesty, trust and integrity, commitment and working in a non-discriminatory way - behaviours that are fundamental British values.

"In the previous qualification, these behaviours were not clearly identified so this will help inform employers as to the type of staff they should be recruiting. It also allows the workforce wishing to join the sector to understand what is expected of them and supports training providers in their search for excellent learners."

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