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Kickstart Your Early Years Career for FREE!

Details: Written by Kelly Worsnop |

free early years courses

Are you looking for free early years training courses? If you are ready to start a fulfilling career in early years education, we’ve got a Skills Bootcamp to help you get there - fast!

The Skills Network is proud to announce its continued expansion of national Skills Bootcamps through a strategic partnership with Hawk Training to deliver a funded Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp. The partnership will see individuals complete an intensive 12-week Skills Bootcamp programme and advance onto an accelerated apprenticeship with reduced study time. The Skills Bootcamp ultimately serves to remedy the crippling skills gaps within the early years sector and equip a dynamic entry-level workforce with the skills needed to thrive in a rewarding early years career.

What are Skills Bootcamps?

Skills Bootcamps are free, flexible online courses of up to 14 weeks for learners aged 19 and over in England, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track career progression. Learners are offered a job interview with an employer once they complete the course.

These have been developed as part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, helping everyone gain skills for life and providing the perfect first step into a new career. The £3bn Government initiative is designed to close the skills gap in the UK that has been intensified by the disruption that coronavirus caused to job sectors and businesses.

Check out our NEW Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp

The Early Years Sector is in Crisis

Nurseries across the UK are facing a crippling staff recruitment and retention crisis.

More than half of all nursery and childminding staff surveyed by the Early Education and Childcare Coalition (EECC) said they were considering or planning on leaving the sector in the next 12 months.

The impact of staff already voting with their feet is huge, with 9 in 10 local authorities in England placing a lack of staff in the sector and staff-to-child ratios as primary obstacles to extending free childcare for young families.

With Chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledging to increase the number of eligible places for free childcare hours starting in April 2024, a mass exodus of staff is threatening the delivery of Hunt’s flagship plans.

About 10,000 people in England have left jobs in nurseries since 2019, representing a 3% fall- The Guardian

The Skills Network is Ready to Support the Early Years sector

In partnership with Ofsted outstanding early years apprenticeship provider Hawk Training , The Skills Network is ready to inject some much-needed entry-level talent into the early years sector.

Mark Dawe, CEO of The Skills Network said:

“This is a great example of where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The Skills Network’s expertise in delivering Skills Bootcamps online in a flexible and responsive way, combined with Hawk’s Early Years expertise and outstanding delivery of apprenticeships, allows us to offer both the learner and employer an incredible pathway into work. The Skills Network is very excited to be working with Hawk and hope that this is the beginning of a strong and growing relationship.”

In the first instance, Hawk is partnering with three well-established early years employers – Hungry Caterpillar Nursery, The Co-operative Childcare and Kindred.

All three early years employers will provide supported employment opportunities which will benefit from a structured early years apprenticeship delivered by Hawk.

And the best part of it is, Skills Bootcamp graduates will be work ready in just 12 weeks.

The early years training course with The Skills Network offers learners an intensive programme of study split into four manageable units. Learners will gain a foundational understanding of becoming an early years practitioner and will participate in weekly live learning sessions with an expert tutor to help stretch and challenge their skill sets.

The four units are:

Unit 1) Understanding child development

Unit 2) Understand the importance of health and wellbeing in an early years setting

Unit 3) Understanding how to safeguard and child protection

Unit 4) Understand the importance of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Learners must complete:

  • 5 hours of mandatory live learning each week.
  • Complete 1 hour of pre-learning each week
  • Dedicate 7.5 hours to assessment, employment preparation and career journaling each week

Discover the Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp

Why choose an Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp?

Why choose an Early Years Skills Bootcamp?

Imagine enrolling on a fully funded (that means FREE) Skills Bootcamp that will equip you with the skills you need to receive a guaranteed offer of an interview with an early years employer, in just 12 weeks.

If that wasn’t enough, what if you were also provided with an enhanced DBS check for FREE? These are just some of the incredible benefits that come with enrolling on an Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp with The Skills Network.

Other benefits include;

  • An accelerated route to an apprenticeship with reduced length of study time
  • A guaranteed offer of a job interview for those seeking a new job role
  • An enhanced DBS check at no cost to you
  • Fully online course with group live learning sessions
  • Study from anywhere
  • Access to an award-winning e-learning platform
  • Support and guidance from a dedicated Learning Support Adviser throughout your course
  • Unlimited support from qualified tutors
  • Receive a digital e-certificate upon completion of all mandatory learning and a successful job offer related to the Skills Bootcamp
  • No hidden costs
  • An accelerated Early Years Apprenticeship

    How are Skills Bootcamps Flexible?

    We know that life is busy! Skills Bootcamps are designed to work around your lives and other commitments.

    Once you are verified as being eligible for the Skills Bootcamp, you can pick your own start date and choose from the below range of days and times to attend your weekly live learning sessions:

    Daytime & Weekend sessions:

    Tuesday OR Saturday 9am – 2pm

    Evening sessions (you must attend all 3 evening sessions):

    Tuesday & Wednesday 7pm – 9pm

    Thursday 7pm – 8pm

    *Please note your chosen day and time will occur every week for the full 12-week programme

    You cannot swap between the various daytime or evening sessions listed.

    Enrol on the Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp

    Skills Bootcamp Eligibility Criteria

    Our Skills Bootcamps are for adults aged 19 or over as of the 31st August 2023 who are either employed or recently unemployed or returning to work after a break. You must have lived in England for at least the last 3 consecutive years, and have the right to work in the United Kingdom.

    • Learners who are looking to build upon a Skills Bootcamp by moving onto an accelerated early years apprenticeship
    • Adults who are employed and looking to move into a new sector and start an entry-level role
    • Learners who are recently unemployed (for less than 12 months) or returning to work after a break and are looking to get started with an entry-level job in a new sector
    • Applicants who have lived in England for at least the last 3 consecutive years, and have the right to work in the United Kingdom (there are exceptions for Ukraine or Afghanistan nationals)
    • Learners who are not currently undertaking any formal education, including another Skills Bootcamp
    • Learners who have not studied a Skills Bootcamp in the current funding year
    • Learners who have a reliable internet connection, a laptop or computer with a camera and microphone and access to Microsoft Office
    • Adults who are able to commit to and attend 100% of live sessions as per the course requirements they are choosing to enrol on

    The early years sector stands at a pivotal moment, grappling with the pressing need for a wave of entry-level staff to meet the demands of extended funding for childcare hours.

    As we've explored the challenges and opportunities within this blog, it's evident that the commitment to providing quality childcare services relies heavily on nurturing a dedicated and skilled workforce.

    The Early Years Educator Skills Bootcamp can propel individuals into an early years career in a matter of weeks, fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to thrive within the sector for years to come.

    The commitment to extended childcare hours this April is within reach, and with a concerted effort, we can ensure that every child receives the nurturing care and education they need for a promising future.

    Are you ready to make a difference?

    Enrol Today

    Read more about our apprenticeship partnership with Hawk Training

    Find a Skills Bootcamp