Online vocational qualifications and apprenticeships

Qualifications and education can bring benefits to you and to the children you care for, our Building Blocks survey of childcare professionals has confirmed that. We're here to support you to deliver the highest levels of care to the children in your setting. There are so many ways to help improve your knowledge and understanding, so we work with partner organisations to help you identify the best ways to improve both your knowledge and practice.

For childcarers in Wales

Discover more about the qualifications in Wales.

For childcarers in England

To expand the range of training available to members, we have partnered with a national training provider, The Childcare Company, to offer you access to high quality vocational qualifications and apprenticeships.

There are a number of funding streams available for these qualifications, so do visit The Childcare Company's funding page on their website or call one of their friendly enquiry team on 01753 596004. They're waiting to provide you with more detail! You can also email the team at

What courses are available?


Level 2 Certificate in an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

The aim of this qualification is to prepare learners to work with children between birth and 5 years, with knowledge of children up to 7. This qualification is suitable for a range of learners from the age of 16 onwards who have little or no experience in childcare, and will prepare learners to work in an early years environment.

As an apprenticeship, this is now the NCFE CACHE level 2 Diploma for the Early Years practitioner, this is the qualification that is part of the framework for an apprentice however if paying privately, a learner could choose the Level 2 Certificate in an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care.

Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) 

This qualification covers everything you need to become an Early Years Educator. Designed for those who have a little experience in childcare and wish to work with children aged 0-5 years, you will learn how to provide a safe, nurturing and supportive environment for children during this important stage of their development. Learners will need to be working, volunteering or on practical placement as you'll need to show competence in both knowledge and skill.

This CACHE qualification sets the standards for all childcare and early years professionals. Upon completing the qualification, you can progress into a wide range of job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors, including working in day nurseries, nursery schools, reception classes in primary schools, pre-schools, or working as a home-based registered childminder.

To count in the ratios at level 3, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in English and maths as defined by the Department for Education on the Early Years Qualifications List.

You can read the full EYE qualification criteria here. To register your interest, please complete the enquiry form on The Childcare Company website.

NCFE/Cache Level 3 Certificate in Assessing Vocational Achievement Qualification.

Have you considered assessing in childcare as a career pathway for you? If you are looking for a new challenge or considering a job move into training or assessing, this could be the course for you.

Discover more about the qualification here.

Level 4 Early Years Advanced Practitioner Certificate

This Level 4 qualification is the perfect opportunity for any early years practitioner who already holds a Level 3 qualification to further develop their skills and understanding. 

The course covers a range of early years topics including:

  • Enabling children to learn
  • Working with families and other professionals
  • Implementing change
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition
  • Special educational needs (SEND)

The content is a powerful tool towards solidifying your skills in leadership, mentoring, coaching and reflection.

This course explores managing and therefore we insist that Level 4 Early Years Advanced Practitioner learners are responsible for other staff, if a childminder, this may be setting up a childminding group. Likewise, a learner in a setting who is not a team/room leader must be given the opportunity to plan/lead/reflect on a project, and impliment policies or an area of the EYFS for the duration of the course.

Download the factsheet.

To learn more about the course structure and requirements, please contact The Childcare Company on 01753 596 004 or email

Places on this course are limited, so apply now and expand your future in early years. Simply download and complete the application form and return it to the enrolment team at

Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management

Suitable for those who wish to gain the knowledge and skills required to manage a childcare setting and lead others in children and young people’s services. There are two pathways: Management or Advanced Practice. The pathways cover a wide range of topics including:

  • safeguarding and protection
  • developing and carrying out policy
  • quality systems and improvements
  • promoting and developing best practice
  • supporting and development and partnership working
  • managing care services, change programmes and recruitment
  • care management

In order to be able to complete the Level 5 Diploma, learners will need to be working in the role of Deputy or Manager in an appropriate setting, or have the opportunity to carry out responsibilities associated with these roles.

For full details, please read the course factsheet.  

To register your interest, complete the enquiry form on The Childcare Company website or you can email or call 01753 596 004

Levels 2 and 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning

At Award level (level 2), this qualification is suitable for learners not yet in a school role or those newly in post. At Certificate level (level 3), this course is suitable for teaching assistants, learning support assistants or those in similar role at Level 3.

To register your interest, complete the enquiry form on The Childcare Company website.

Levels 2 and 3 Diploma in Business Administration

Ideal for all those who are working in the office of a childcare setting or have administrative responsibilities and wish to gain a qualification to support this.

To register your interest, complete the enquiry form on The Childcare Company website

I have enjoyed this course and feel that it has given me lots more knowledge and skills to use in my setting. As a childminder I think it is important to update and renew skills regularly in order to keep up to date in all areas.
Tracey Sherlock – Childminder, PACEY member.


Apprenticeships offer those who want to move into the childcare sector a chance to learn in a real work environment and also earn a small wage at the same time. Apprenticeships are available to people who have never worked in childcare before, as well as existing childcare providers who want to achieve a childcare qualification.

To discuss your eligibility for apprenticeship funding and to request an application form, please contact The Childcare Company on 01753 596004 or email 

If you are an employer, you may want to consider employing an apprentice to support the growth of your team. Additionally, if the apprentice is aged between 16 and 18, you may be able to receive a £1000 government incentive payment.

To support the recruitment of an apprentice, The Childcare Company offers a free apprenticeship recruitment service that is utilised by employers throughout the UK, and has provided new staff for nurseries, pre-schools, childminders and after-school clubs. Employers have the opportunity to advertise for apprentices using the National Apprenticeship Service website without having to devote time to the recruitment process. The service is offered at no cost to the employer, and our dedicated apprenticeship recruitment team will manage each step of the process for you. All you need to do is select your perfect candidate!

The whole process to date has been smooth and trouble free. We found three high quality apprentices in a very short space of time, two of whom have already started work, fitting in brilliantly with our staff team and adored by the children! 
Chestnuts Childcare & Training Ltd

The Childcare Company is an established Grade 2 Ofsted training provider delivering high quality apprenticeships and national vocational qualifications through a blended learning journey that results in learners developing good employment-related skills that improve their chances of progressing to higher levels of learning or job promotion but more importantly raises the quality and standard of care in the childcare sector.

Contact details
01753 596004