Level 3 early years apprenticeship could receive £8,000 funding

The Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship standard has now been approved, Nursery World can reveal, with increased funding in prospect.

The standard has been ‘agreed subject to certain conditions’, but is not yet ready to go live because the assessment plan has not been finalised.

According to the Institute for Apprenticeships, an early years Level 3 apprenticeship has been recommended for funding of £6,000-£8,000.

This is higher than the funding initially indicated by the trailblazer group, of £5,000-£6,000.

The move to standards means apprenticeships will now be funded at a much higher rate than previously. Early years apprenticeships attached to the old frameworks are capped at around £2,500.

A spokesman for the Institute for Apprenticeships said, ‘The Early Years Educator standard has recently been agreed by the Institute subject to certain conditions which the trailblazer is currently working through. It will be published as soon as these have been addressed. 

‘The trailblazer is also now working on the related end-point assessment plan. The apprenticeship standard will only be approved for delivery once [this] plan has been submitted and approved and a final funding band has been accepted by the trailblazer and approved by the Department for Education.

‘The standard has been given an indicative funding band of £6,000-£8,000.’

The news comes four years after the first trailblazer group was set up, led by Early Years Equality's Chrissy Meleady. It was sacked by the Government after resisting DfE pressure not to include equivalents to GCSEs as acceptable qualifications at Level 3. GCSE equivalents including Functional Skills were finally permitted, following a sector campaign, last March with the publication of the early years workforce strategy.

The new trailblazer group, led by Busy Bees' Fay Gibbin, has also faced delays over disputes over wording between the IfA and DfE. Read the full story, in Nursery Management, out now.

Keep track of the standard’s progress here:

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