Apprentice Early Years Practitioner WILLOW COTTAGE NURSERIES LTD

An exciting opportunity to learn while working in a nursery setting and to achieve a Level 2 Early Years Practitioner standard in Childcare at the end of your apprenticeship. Willow Cottage has now been successfully providing apprenticeships for a number of years. We believe in developing our staff to become childcare professionals.

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Closing date: 08 Jan 2024

Apprenticeship summary

  • Annual wage


    The starting salary is now £14,560 and will increase to £17,680 after probation.

  • Working week

    40 hours per week between the hours of 07:30 and 18:00 Monday to Friday. Apprentices under the age of 18 are only able to work 8 hours per day. There is a half hour lunchbreak which is unpaid. Exact shifts tbc.

    Total hours per week: 40.0

  • Expected duration

    18 Months

  • Possible start date

    29 Jan 2024

  • Date posted

    14 Aug 2023

  • Apprenticeship level

    Level 2 (GCSE)

  • Reference number


  • Positions

    1 available

What you will do in your working day

Working as a part of the nursery team you will learn from more experienced colleagues whilst providing care for the children at the setting and supporting their development. 

Main duties include: 

  • Help with the daily routine and care of the children in your assigned department and across the setting as a whole.
  • Interact with the children to support the children’s learning and development in an age/stage appropriate way.
  • Prepare resources under the guidance of colleagues.
  • Set-up activities both inside and outside under the direction of colleagues.
  • Undertake daily housekeeping jobs as required.
  • Fill out daily paperwork as required under the direction of colleagues.

The training you will be getting


  • 13 months practical training period, plus 3 months for End Point Assessment

Delivery model:

  • Work-based training with your employer
  • Approximately 12 on-site assessment visits per year
  • Level 1 Functional Skills in maths and English (7 days at college for each, if required) at Abingdon or Witney campus
  • Off-the-job training will count for at least 6 hours of an apprentice’s time at work

Qualifications included:

  • Level 1 Functional Skills in English and maths (if required) at Abingdon or Witney campus
  • Level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner delivered in the workplace by assessor/tutor

End Point Assessment:

  • Knowledge test
  • Professional discussion

What to expect at the end of your apprenticeship

Potential for permanent employment or further level 3 apprenticeship study for the right applicant on successful completion of this apprenticeship.

As you near the end of your apprenticeship, your manager will discuss what is required of a Level 3 Early Years Educator apprentice and, if you both agree that you can meet the criteria, we will arrange for either a period of working as an Early Years Practitioner Level 2 to put your training into practice or arrange for the start of the Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship. 

Requirements and prospects

Desired skills and personal qualities

Communication skills, Attention to detail, Customer care skills, Problem solving skills, Team working, Initiative, Patience, Flexible


GCSE or equivalent 4 at (Grade A*-C/9-4) Desired
GCSE or equivalent English (Grade C / 4) Desired
GCSE or equivalent Maths (Grade C / 4) Desired

Things to consider

Please apply as soon as possible for this role. Should the right candidate be found prior to the closing date, then the vacancy may be closed early. Getting to the nursery setting: there is no public transport provision to this location nor is there a footpath. Please check whether you can get to work and get back home again. Apprenticeship Assessment and Information: any new person applying for apprenticeship roles where Abingdon and Witney College deliver the training will be required to complete  a series of initial assessments and an interview with Abingdon and Witney College as part of the application process. As a new Apprenticeship applicant, you will only have to undergo this process once. If you would like to talk to us about the assessments or if you would need any extra support, please call us on 01235 216216. Qualification checks: by applying for this vacancy, you are giving Abingdon and Witney College permission to undertake a Learner Record Service check on your previous qualifications. We make every effort to ensure that applicants from non-traditional academic backgrounds or those who may not have the formal GCSE entry requirements can access apprenticeships where possible. Safer Recruitment: as you will be working with children, we will carry-out an Enhanced DBS check. We will also require two satisfactory references from either employers or teachers at a college/school you have attended. The referee cannot be anyone to whom you are related or a friend of the family. An interview will be carried-out prior to a job offer being made and a confirmed job offer will only be made after satisfactory references and a clear DBS certificate are received. Apprentices are paid for their normal working hours and training that's part of their apprenticeship (usually one day per week). For more information please visit:

About the employer

Willow Cottage was established over 30 years ago as a family business and, in that time, has developed three nursery settings: one at Eynsham, another at Farmoor and most recently one at Bletchingdon. Willow Cottage Nurseries offer parents and carers the highest quality childcare and a preschool education of excellence. Parents and carers can leave their child with confidence, knowing that they are in a happy, safe, and loving extended family environment. Our nursery practitioners and their teamwork in close partnership with parents and carers to support their child’s happiness and developmental and educational needs and so provide the best possible outcomes for their future.




Willow Cottage Nursery – Eynsham Setting

Owls Leat


OX29 4EH

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Training provider


Adjustments for experience

You could reduce your training time, or finish your apprenticeship faster, if you have relevant prior learning or experience. This could be relevant:

  • training
  • qualifications, like an NVQ in a relevant field
  • industry or sector experience


01235 216 216

Apprenticeship standard

Early years practitioner

Level 2 (GCSE)

Demonstrating experience

If your application is successful, you will have a chance to discuss your relevant prior learning or experience with your training provider and employer. You will all need to agree any adjustments to your training plan.

You should be prepared to show your competence, and evidence of relevant qualifications

Before you apply

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