Early Years Senior Practitioner Level 5

NCFE CACHE Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner

Raise your knowledge and skills to the level of a senior practitioner with this level 5 course. It’s recommended to have completed early years level 2, early years level 3 and early years level 4 before enrolling on this course.

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Due to high capacity this course is temporarily unavailable until January 2023.

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If you’re already working within the early years' sector and you’d love the chance to achieve a leadership role, then our NCFE CACHE Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner is the course you need to level up in your career!

This level 5 qualification in childcare is recognised and respected throughout the UK and will teach you everything you need to know to become a confident and highly skilled senior early years practitioner.

We’ll provide relevant reading material, and you’ll be encouraged to conduct independent research before completing an end-of-unit assignment. You’ll begin your studying level 5 early years childcare with a close inspection of care routines, followed by how to treat parents as partners and allies in the education of their children. Moving on, you’ll cover policies and procedures, safeguarding, and how speech and language develop during the early years. You’ll also closely study health and safety policy, how to recognise and seek help for common childhood illnesses, and much more. This qualification is designed to be completed at your own pace as you work in the role of leader, supervisor, or manager within early years, making it the ideal way to learn as you earn!

What you'll learn

Unit 1 - Manage care routines for children

In this unit, you’ll focus on how to provide a safe and secure early years environment, take a detailed look at how babies develop, and the care and support they need along the way. You’ll discover the right way to take care of their skin, teeth, and hair, support them with potty training, and with aspects of their daily routine like nappy changing and sleep time. You’ll also learn how to deal with rare but real threats that can occur within the childcare setting such as choking and SIDS, and gain a good understanding of the childhood immunisation schedule. Importantly, you’ll also learn how best to support the nutritional needs of babies and children, and discover how you can support parents with breast or formula feeding.

Unit 2 - Lead practice in promoting the well-being and resilience in children

Moving on, you’ll delve into the importance of wellbeing and resilience during the early years of a child’s development, and how to lead staff members in engaging positively with children to build their self-esteem. You’ll discover how to promote a healthy lifestyle, work co-operatively with colleagues to meet the needs of babies and children, and how to work in partnership with parents and carers.

Unit 3 - Model positive behaviour in the early years

Throughout the course of the third unit, you’ll analyse the theories underpinning the behaviour of babies and children during the early years. You’ll support children in managing their own behaviour, and learn the importance of engaging with parents when they’re in need of additional support. You’ll also develop a broad understanding of early brain development, and how negative childhood experiences can have a long-term health impact

Unit 4 - Lead activities, experiences and educational opportunities to promote children's speech, language and communication

In unit four, you’ll gain a solid understanding of children’s speech, language, and communication development from birth to seven years, as well as the terminology used within these discussions. You’ll explore intervention strategies that can be used if a child’s speech and language isn’t developing as it should, and how to motivate and lead team members to develop children’s skills in this area. You’ll also investigate ways that speech and language can be promoted through day-to-day activities.

Unit 5 - Lead children's early education and development

Throughout this unit, you’ll plan, lead, and review purposeful play opportunities and educational programmes with colleagues and other professionals to meet the individual needs of children within the current early education curriculum requirements. This will include focusing on communication and language, literacy, mathematics, and other areas. You’ll also discover ways to encourage children to participate in activities, and lead staff in developing effective strategies with children to enhance their group learning and socialisation. You’ll lead discussions about children’s individual progress and oversee the planning cycle, as well as consider philosophical approaches to how children learn when developing your own practice.

Unit 6 - Understand holistic child development from birth to 7 years

Moving on, you’ll investigate and explain the sequence and rate of different aspects of a child’s development, such as cognition, speech and language, and literacy and numeracy. You’ll also consider the reasons why a child’s development may not follow the pattern normally expected, and how development can be influenced by a range of personal and external factors. You’ll analyse the importance of identifying developmental delays early on, along with the benefits of working as part of a wider team to provide additional help and support to a child. Also, you’ll examine the significance of attachment, and the effect that different types of transitions can have upon children. In addition to this, you’ll explore the different methods of assessing, recording, and monitoring children’s development, and how important accurate documentation is.

Unit 7 - Developing children's emergent literacy skills

Over the course of the seventh unit, you’ll discover and explore the importance of providing children with a language-rich environment to support their budding literacy skills. You’ll examine the stages of language and communication development that children move through as they grow, and learn how to interact with children to support their individual needs. You’ll understand and explain the use of systematic synthetic phonics, and use strategies to plan activities which encourage skills like reading and writing.

Unit 8 - Developing children's emergent mathematical skills

Next, you’ll discover how you can most effectively support developing mathematical skills in your role as Senior Practitioner. You’ll investigate why mathematics is so crucial to children’s everyday lives, and how working alongside others as part of a team can best help them to develop their skills. You’ll also explore how you can support children in their understanding of mathematical concepts like weights and volumes, whilst working in partnership with parents.

Unit 9 - Develop and implement policies and procedures to support the safeguarding of children

In unit nine, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the current legislation that underpins safeguarding and child protection, and the local and national policies involved. You’ll investigate how why inquiries and serious case reviews are required, and discuss the role that you’ll play as a Senior Practitioner in helping to keep children safe. Also, you’ll liaise with different organisations to develop or review safeguarding procedures, and mentor and support your team to take an active role in safeguarding.

Unit 10 - Develop health and safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices in Early Years Settings

Next, you’ll study the legislative framework for health and safety, confidentiality of information, and promoting the welfare of children. You’ll demonstrate that you understand how to comply with health, safety, and risk management, whilst supporting others to do the same. You’ll learn how to complete all relevant records and reports, contribute to the development of policy, and monitor procedures for controlling infection. Moving on, you’ll discover how to identify common childhood illnesses, and monitor the health of children when required.

Unit 11 - Champion equality, diversity and inclusion

Moving on, in this unit, you’ll gain an understanding of the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion within an early years environment and the potential consequences that can occur when this isn’t achieved. You’ll learn how to challenge discrimination and exclusion in policy and practise, and support others to do the same. You’ll also propose improvements to address shortfalls in current processes, and learn how to balance your own individual rights with your duty of care.

Unit 12 - Supporting children with Special Educational Needs and Disability in an Early Years Setting

Throughout unit twelve, you’ll examine legislation and national frameworks relevant to the role of Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). You’ll gain an understanding of how the Disability Access Fund and Early Years Pupil Premium are allocated and used, as well as what sources of additional training are available to early years staff. You’ll investigate the specific needs of children for whom English is an additional language, and appreciate the role of different professionals involved with SEND in an early years setting. Importantly, you’ll also discuss the pressures that families may face when caring for children with SEND.

Unit 13 - Work in partnership in Early Years Settings

Throughout this unit, you’ll evaluate why it’s so important to work in effective partnership with others. You’ll analyse how this results in better outcomes for children, and how to overcome barriers to working as part of an effective partnership. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of your own responsibilities within this area, evaluate your own working relationships, and agree on common objectives.

Unit 14 - Lead and manage a team within an Early Years Setting

Next, you’ll learn the features of effective team performance, and identify the challenges faced by both established and developing teams. You’ll investigate ways of developing and maintaining trust and accountability, analyse the effectiveness of different management styles, and compare methods of addressing conflict. You’ll also identify the components of positive team culture, and developing a shared vision. You’ll explore the importance of sharing skills and knowledge between team members, and how to agree roles and responsibilities. Additionally, you’ll consider the right ways to provide performance feedback to team members, and how to manage them when performance is not up to standard.

Unit 15 - Develop, maintain and use records and reports

Next, you’ll gain further understanding of your own responsibilities when recording information and producing reports, and the responsibilities of others. You’ll learn the importance of producing accurate and coherent records, and how to make sure they’re complete, up-to-date, and comply with all relevant standards. Additionally, you’ll investigate ways in which you should respond to feedback from those who receive your records and reports, and evaluate how they can be used to provide evidence for the basis of judgements and decisions.

Unit 16 - Quality provision in Early Years Settings

Throughout unit sixteen, you’ll develop an understanding of the requirements and principles of the early years framework. You’ll be able to evaluate policies and procedures for monitoring learning and development, safeguarding and welfare, budgeting, and more. You’ll investigate ways to prepare an area within the work setting, being able to explain how it support’s a child’s learning and development. You’ll support others to participate in and reflect upon action research to improve outcomes for babies and children, and review approaches to active participation for parents and carers.

Unit 17 - Promote professional development

Moving on, you’ll investigate and explain the importance of continually improving knowledge and practise. You’ll compare sources and systems of support for professional development, and evaluate your own performance and knowledge against standards and benchmarks. You’ll produce a plan for your own professional development, establish a process to evaluate the effectiveness of your plan, and explain the importance of reflective practise to improve performance.

Unit 18 - Review own knowledge of learning and development for early years practice

Throughout the final unit, you’ll gain an understanding of each of the areas of learning and development, and how they are interdependent. You’ll use different sources to plan work for children, and help them to engage in their own learning. You’ll learn how to use language that’s accurate and appropriate to support children’s learning activities, and demonstrate that you can reflect on your own practise to make changes and improvements.

Extra info

Awarding Body

CACHE logo

CACHE stands for the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education, and are the leading specialist Awarding Organisation for the Care and Education Sector.

Click here to confirm it's real with OfQual.

Course Outcome

Successful learners will be awarded a formal certificate of achievement by NCFE CACHE. This training course has been designed specifically to meet the needs of learners who prefer to study from home. You can read more about NCFE CACHE. You’ll also be able to work as a Senior Practitioner within an Early Years setting or progress onto higher education in a relevant subject area.

After you’ve completed this course, you may choose to work as an Early Years Senior Practitioner within the Early Years Workforce across the private, voluntary and independent sectors or progress to higher education in a relevant subject.

How is this course assessed or examined?

This work-based Level 5 diploma aims to provide you with everything you need to develop professionally as an Early Years Senior Practitioner, and to expand the career opportunities available to you.

As you progress on this course, you will demonstrate your ability to work at Level 5. This course takes place across 18 units, where learners must achieve a total of 90 credits and complete a variety of assessments to demonstrate workplace competency. You will also be assessed during observations, which will take place during your normal routine. Your Oxbridge tutor will mark your written assignments, as well as sign off your observations.

Your performance in the workplace can be assessed by a workplace assessor who has held a supervisory role for over two years, and has an Early Years qualification at Level 5 or above. Alternatively, you can choose an assessor who holds a qualification such as A1 or CAVA, alongside an Early Years qualification at Level 5 or above. Oxbridge will verify the suitability of your assessor, and we offer free guidance in how to observe and write in a format suitable for marking by your Oxbridge tutor. An Oxbridge assessor can also be provided for you if required, for an additional fee. Find out more about what’s required of an assessor.

When you submit your written work, you will be required to include a bibliography using clear citations and references. You will also need to provide documentation of your work, such as an evidence record, and a log of placement hours. Your tutor will explain exactly what is needed.

Entry requirements

You must already have a Level 3 Early Years Diploma, up-to-date maths and English Level 2 qualifications, and already be working in an Early Years setting in some form of managerial/leader capacity. You must also be aged 19 years or over.


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Can I sign up for a Student Beans account and get Student Discounts?

Yes! One of the many benefits of being an Oxbridge student is that you get access to great discounts with a Student Beans account! Eligibility criteria apply and acceptance is made at the discretion of Student Beans. Find out how to sign up.

Why study a Childcare course online with Oxbridge?

In addition to all of the benefits mentioned above, we have a much higher-than-average pass rate, 20% higher to be precise, which we believe is down to our excellent tutors and learning materials, including videos, e-books and quizzes.

It’s our mission to make childcare training fun and exciting, the way it always should have been. But, sadly, that’s not the experience many of our students have had with traditional education.

From early years practitioners to SEN specialists, our courses can help you follow your passion. So take a look through our courses, and if you struggle to pick, ask our learning advisers for their input.

What qualifications do I need to work in a nursery?

No official qualifications are required in order to work as a nursery assistant. However, getting qualified will help you stand out from other candidates, and help you progress in your nursery career.

What are the benefits of studying your Childcare courses from home?

By studying childcare from home, you take away the strain of having to travel to a particular place at a specific time and learn at a pace that’s dictated by your entire class.

So whether you’re an early riser or concentrate better late at night, you’re in complete control of your study schedule and can spend as much or as little time as you need on each unit; that’s why so many of our students complete their courses much sooner than anticipated.

Additionally, you can reap the advantages of one-on-one time with your personal tutor; whether you need help or advice, they are fully qualified in the sector you’re hoping to work in. All of our tutors love seeing their students succeed; it’s not just a job to them; they genuinely are rooting for you.

Do you need Maths and English for Childcare Level 3?

The entry requirements for a career in childcare will vary depending on your role and responsibilities. With that said, employers will likely expect candidates to hold a maths and English qualification at GCSE level as a minimum requirement.

If you don’t currently have these, don’t worry. We recommend that you get in touch with our learning advisors for support and advice. Alternatively, it’s never too late to achieve fantastic GCSE grades through an online course.

Why study Childcare courses online?

You’re never too old to discover your passion and change your life. The beauty of opting for an online childcare course is that you don’t have to turn your entire world upside down.

Online courses offer flexibility that traditional establishments just can’t. You don’t need to quit your job or sacrifice your other commitments and responsibilities. We will work with you to make sure you succeed.

Courses Taught by Experts


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.  



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!



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.



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
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Sandie has really helped me with great feed back for my counselling course and we spoke on the phone as at the time I was really struggling with my health after having covid and she really helped me to understand the referencing still learning and I try super hard and take my time as life is so buzy with hubby ill health and child with addictions needs to and with work balance. But am getting there. Loving the level 3 course then onto level 4 hopefully. Thank you Oxbridge.
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I had a difficult time with the enrollment process (all entirely down to me and issues on my end). However, when I called the team at Oxbridge, I spoke to an individual named Ellie, who is without a shadow of doubt, one of the best customer service people I have ever been served by. I received positive conversation, had my every question dealt with and sorted in a highly professional manner and was smiling throughout. I had to make several calls and each time specifically asked to speak with her. She is a credit to the institution.
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