Early Years Advanced Practitioner Level 4

This nationally recognised qualification will demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills to take on a leadership position within the early years sector.
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Every early year’s team needs a confident, skilled leader to help provide an environment in which children and babies can grow and thrive. If you’ve already achieved an early year’s qualification at level three and you’re looking for a course that will take your career in childcare to the next level, then the NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner is the natural next step.

This level 4 childcare course and diploma is similar to the first year of a degree course and is therefore structured similarly. We will provide relevant reading material, and you’ll be encouraged to conduct independent research before completing an end-of-unit assignment.

You’ll gain a detailed insight into the development of babies and children from birth to five years and learn exactly what it means to lead a team working as one to provide a supportive, nurturing setting. You’ll develop your knowledge of how to implement the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, and study policies and procedures as well as other crucial areas such as safeguarding. You’ll study this advanced early years course in your own time, at your own pace, and complete your assessments over the course of your normal routine. Simple, and convenient!

Before you study early years level 4 you will need to study early years level 2 and early years level 3. After you’ve completed your level 4 studies you may wish to progress to early years level 5.

What you will learn

  1. Unit 1 - Enabling children to learn

    Throughout the opening unit, you’ll explore the role of the Advanced Practitioner. You’ll investigate the importance of working in harmony with colleagues, how to be a mentor, and how to delegate effectively. You’ll examine the importance of working in close partnership with parents and carers, as well as the more technical aspects of your role such as record keeping and policy.
    You’ll gain a detailed understanding of the statutory framework for early years, and develop your own role, along with that of your team, in providing purposeful learning experiences for babies and children. You’ll cover safeguarding and welfare and understand pedagogical approaches to early years practise. Additionally, study ways to plan an enabling learning environment, understand the monitoring and assessment process, and practise reflecting on your own role and the roles of others with a view to implementing improvements.

  2. Unit 2 - Promoting health and well-being through physical activity and nutrition co-ordination (PANCo) in the early years

    In the second unit, you’ll gain an appreciation of the benefits of physical activity and a healthy diet to the wellbeing of babies, children, and their families. With this in mind, you’ll consider statutory requirements, local and national initiatives, and wider perspectives that are instrumental in promoting positive approaches in these areas. As you study and continue with your work-based experience, you’ll be required to reflect on your own performance to implement positive changes. You’ll work with staff, parents, and carers to make positive changes for the health of the babies and children in your care in the role of a Physical Activity and Nutrition Coordinator (PANCo).

  3. Unit 3 - Working with others to support children with additional needs, including special educational needs and disability

    This unit will focus on effective inclusion for children in early years settings. It will allow you to demonstrate the leadership and management skills of the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO), whilst promoting best practise for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families.

  4. Unit 4 - Working with families and other professionals in early years settings

    During this unit, you’ll examine statutory requirements for working in partnership with families. You’ll also discover how working in effective partnership with other professionals can improve the care and development of the babies and children in your care. You’ll explore some of the complex and diverse needs of families, and how to overcome some of the barriers you might face when working with them. Additionally, you’ll learn how to apply coaching, leadership, and mentoring skills to educate and motivate staff to work effectively in partnership with others.

  5. Unit 5 - Implementing change in an early year’s setting incorporating a small-scale research project

    Throughout the final unit, you’ll be required to plan, implement, and evaluate change in relation to an identified theme. You’ll achieve this through a small-scale research project. The theme selected will allow you to reflect on practice, use current research to produce recommendations for improvement to your own setting, implement these recommendations, and summarise your findings.


Course Outcome

At the end of this course, successful learners will receive the following qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner. This means that it is independently accredited at a level of learning equivalent to Level 4 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NCFE CACHE has been developing courses in the childcare, education and healthcare sectors since 1945 and is one of the most reputable awarding bodies for qualifications in the UK and overseas. Practitioners working in these areas are much more employable having gained NCFE CACHE certification and many employers specifically ask for their qualifications when taking on members of staff.

How is this course assessed or examined?

This course is assessed in two ways:

Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Each unit is followed by a tutor-marked assignment (TMA) which will be completed at the end of each module and marked by your tutor.

You will not be required to take an external exam with this course as your portfolio of evidence is internally assessed by us and externally quality assured by the awarding body. The outcomes for each TMA are Achieved or Not Yet Achieved. Your tutor will provide feedback on your work, and should there be any amendments required, they will outline what is needed for you to complete that assignment.

Entry requirements

To complete this qualification, you are required to be employed in a learning environment (in a nursery), holding a full Level 3 early years/childcare qualification. You’ll also need to be at least 18 years old.

Courses Taught by Experts


Counselling and Psychology

I always knew that a career focused around helping people achieve their goals was perfect for me. That’s why I became a tutor. I love to see my student’s confidence flourish as they progress through their courses. It’s important to help them fit their learning goals around their personal commitments so they have the best chance of success! 

Kelly, tutor


Education and Childcare

My 30-year stride in education started with childminding, to working with pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. I then tutored in a national reading programme and went on to become a Higher-Level TA. I’m elated to say I graduated with a First-Class BA Honours Degree when I was 50 – living proof that it’s never too late to chase your dreams!



Early Years

Beginning my career as an early years practitioner inspired me to step into the world of teaching. I have since elevated my skillset through a range of qualifications including L3 in Assessing Vocational Achievement, L3 in Education & Training and L4 in Internal Quality Assurance. I’m a big kid at heart; I love Disney movies and also dabble in photography.  



Health care

For 10+ years, my passion for helping learners develop and grow has driven my career as a teacher. To help me progress even further, I am currently studying to achieve the IQA award. I love reading and I’m a self-professed Harry Potter fan. Talk to me about all things history, rock music, tattoos and true crime podcasts. 

Laura, tutor


STEM and History of Art

Marine biology, jellyfish conservationist, hairdresser, fitness instructor… I have an eclectic backstory! Art is my passion and one of my proudest moments was achieving my Masters in Fine Art. I then requalified as an Art teacher to share my knowledge with my students. For most of my career, I’ve supported vulnerable students with additional needs such as SEMH and SEN.