Careers in Focus: Early Years Sector

Why work in the early years sector?

If you love working with children and would like a career in a supporting role in a school, then studying one of our apprenticeships is ideal for you. Helping to look after the educational, social, physical and emotional development of school-age children is incredibly satisfying.

A recent government document outlined the importance of early development of infants and how it plays a vital and lasting influence on the child’s later life. The government recommended the recent improvement in training and qualifications for the early years workforce by introducing early years educator qualifications in September 2014, which stated:

“Providing children with good-quality education and care in their earliest years can help them succeed at school and later in life. This contributes to creating a society where opportunities are equal regardless of background.”

There are some significant changes planned for Autumn 2021 with a greater focus on improving school readiness particularly around early language and literacy, and greater expectations on nursery leaders and managers. Our Level 2 and Level 3 courses and apprenticeships reflect the planned changes in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and our new Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner will support leaders to develop the knowledge, skills and practices needed in the sector.

Working with children is rewarding and never dull!

There are many roles you can work in that help children learn and develop, that don’t require a degree. From working in a pre-school as a nursery worker to encouraging independent play as a playworker in a childcare setting to working as foundation stage teaching assistant in a primary school.

What are the roles and responsibilities of an early years educator?

As an Early Years Educator, you’ll work with children aged 0-5 in various settings such as nurseries, preschools and reception classes. It’s important that the activities you plan and carry out meet the requirements of the early years foundation stage (EYFS).

Your aim is to motivate children and imaginatively use resources to help them learn. You’ll provide a safe and secure environment for them to develop their social and communication skills, while recording observations and summarising their achievements.

You should be focused on the development of the child to prepare them for a successful transition to primary school.

What is the salary?

An Early Childhood Educator (ECE) earns an average salary of £19,500 per year. This is depending on also your experience within this sector.

Why choose Train Together?

Our course is designed to be as flexible as possible and allows you to fit it in with your existing commitments. Unlike a traditional college (where you are required to attend lessons at set times) you will be able to study the theory element in your own time and in the privacy of your own home.

If you don’t currently work in a child care setting, we can support you in helping you to find the right placement, so you can work and learn at the same time. At Train Together we believe it is important to put things into practice for it to be more realistic to you and to create an experienceable learning journey.

Our Trainers are specialists in delivering the Level 3 Early Years Educator courses with years of experience. We ensure your journey from the beginning with us is unique for you! Your trainer will provide you with exceptional support whether this is face to face at your school or at home, or remotely via phone, email or skype. Train Together is fully prepared to help you along the way. From educational and administrative assistance, to personal, emotional support, we will do all we can to ensure your success.

Embark on a course with Train Together and you could gain the qualifications and confidence that you need to secure the perfect job.

How will I be assessed?   

During your childcare apprenticeship, you’ll be assessed through a mixture of knowledge-based written work, observation in the chosen school setting, professional discussions and work products. Before this happens, your trainer will talk with you to find out what learning style suits you best and tailor your assessments around it.

At home

  • Writing from personal experience
  • Case studies on children
  • Assignments asking you to describe/explain something
  • Reflections on how you dealt with past events

At work

  • Observations
  • Professional discussions with your trainer

The journey doesn’t need to stop there..

You can progress in to different roles as an early year’s educator. See below:

– Nursery manager

– Early years teacher

– Primary school teacher

– Child psychologist

– Speech and language therapist

– Childminder

– Private day care nanny

– SEN co-ordinator

The course’s available

Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner

If you’re new to the sector or looking to start a role in early years, this course offers a great jumping off point. Learn the foundational knowledge, skills and practice needed for a role in early years as a standalone qualification or as part of our Level 2 Early Years Practitioner apprenticeship standard.

L3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (EYE)

The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

This qualification will enable you to qualify in a variety of roles such as; Early Years Practitioner, Pre-School Assistant, Nursery Worker, child-minder or Nanny. So, if you want to “make a difference” in the lives of infants this career route is ideal for you.

The diploma is available as a standalone qualification or within out Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship standard.

Level 4 Short Courses in Neuroscience and SENCo

If you’re looking to specialise and broaden your knowledge of neuroscience and SEN Co-ordination, these NCFE Cache courses are perfect to make you stand out from the crowd and develop your practice in these key areas.

Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Children and Young People’s Services

If you’re experienced and established in the sector, we can support you to develop the leadership knowledge, skills and practice to make the difference you’re looking for in your professional development and in your workplace. The diploma is also available as part of the Level 5 in Children, Young People and Families Manager.

learn! smart is great.

education can change the world

Our trainers

Here are the trainers who will be helping you become a personal trainer. They are all experienced in the sector and have undertaken the courses so have an inside track on what is needed.



Hi I’m Jack and I am a Personal trainer and Nutritionist. I have been working in the fitness industry since I was 18 years old and I have gone from working in professional clubs and coaching to working one to one with professional athletes in a variety of sports from professional footballers to boxers and many more.

I work with the general public (specifically busy professionals) to help them achieve their body transformations and weight loss goals. And more recently focused on injury rehabilitation, including major accident victims.

I love working with Train Together as they gave me the platform to be able to pass on my knowledge and help others become part of an industry which I thoroughly enjoy. You can truly help change peoples lives, whether that be through someones weightloss or preparing them to compete at a high level event, it is an incredibly rewarding sector to work in.



Hi I’m Taj. I am a qualified Personal Trainer and I have worked in the fitness industry for three years as a Fitness instructor but also as a personal trainer.

I completed my level 2 fitness instructing qualification at Loughborough College. Following this I worked in a local gym where I led inductions for new members and led circuit training classes. I was then fortunate enough to complete my personal trainer course for free through a government funded scheme that was available at the time. I am passionate about fitness, health and nutrition.

Currently I work for Train Together as a Trainee Assessor teaching the Level 3 Diploma in Supporting the Delivery of Physical Education and School Sport.

I have coached sports for 5 years from primary schools up to secondary schools. I believe sport as a huge benefit to health and fitness but it also helps to improve self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills.



Hi I’m Zaheer and I am working towards becoming a qualified Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer.

I work for Train Together as a Performance Manager, the lead on the centre’s data management team, management of performance across the curriculum delivery team, and actively identifying performance improvements across the organisation.

As part of my CPD and passion within the fitness industry, I took the opportunity to undertake the personal trainer program which means I will become a qualified personal trainer during 2018.

frequently asked questions

Here are some of the questions we have been asked about working in the Early Years Sector. If you can’t find the question or answer you are looking for, then please get in touch so that we can help you.

How much can I earn?

An Early Childhood Educator (ECE) earns an average salary of £19,500 per year. This is depending on also your experience within this sector.

Which Early Years Settings does Train Together work with?

We work alongside local authority schools across Leicester and Leicestershire and Multi Academy Trusts across the Midlands and South East including Anthem Schools Trust, Community Inclusive Trust, Discovery Schools Trust, Flying High Trust, The Mead Educational Trust, and Tudor Grange Academies Trust, as well as independent nursery settings and local authority maintained primary and secondary schools.

How long does it take to qualify?

The EYE qualification takes between 9 and 18 months to complete depending on experience and chosen training option.

How much does the training cost?

L3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (EYE) = £2,882

How can I pay for it?

This qualification can be funded through an Advanced Learner Loan. More information about the Advanced Learner Loan can be found at

Another option would be to self-fund and pay for the qualification yourself.

Why not come along to one of our Early Years career events to discuss your next steps? You will get a chance to meet the trainers, discuss the course and find out about funding options.

Case studies

Ready to take your next steps to work in the Early Years Sector?

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