Elevate: Transforming Early Years Education with a Skills-Focused Revolution

Guest Blog from our Curriculum Manager, Charly Webb-Ellis

 

The world of early years education is buzzing with transformative energy! As of 1st April 2024, the Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship is shaking things up. No more diploma requirement, a laser-focus on honed knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSBs), and employers will be investing more in enrolling their team members on the Early Years Educator apprenticeship. 

These changes are a game-changer, and Paragon Skills is leading the response with Elevate. Our reimagined Early Years Educator Level 3 curriculum seizes this moment, offering a streamlined, skills-driven, and deeply impactful learning experience.  We believe Elevate is the key to empowering early years professionals to reach new heights, ultimately creating the best possible outcomes for the children in their care. 

Understanding the Shifts 

To gain deeper insights into how these changes will shape the future of early years education, I spoke with Cristina Parente, our Elevate Early Years Educator Level 3 Curriculum Developer. Cristina brings a wealth of experience to the table, with 14 years working in early years settings and 5 years delivering early years apprenticeships. 

We can reassure employers that these apprenticeship changes, including the removal of the diploma and the focus on KSBs, lead to positive outcomes for both learners and their businesses.

This evolution puts the focus where it belongs: developing the real-world skills, knowledge, and behaviours essential for early years professionals. Learners personalise their experience, ensuring immediate benefits for their setting and role. This means employers have team members equipped with the latest, most impactful competencies. 

Please explain how this focus on KSBs empowers a more individualized learning experience.

Absolutely! Prioritising these core competencies lets learners show off their talents in ways that match how they learn best and align with their setting’s unique needs. It’s about demonstrating skills in action, not just memorising theory. This makes the apprenticeship experience far more meaningful and the results more valuable for the employer. 

 

The Elevate Response 

The Elevate curriculum isn’t just about adapting to the changes; it is designed to truly leverage them. The curriculum ensures learners are gaining the most relevant, up-to-date competencies.

We’ve meticulously crafted our Early Years Educator Elevate curriculum to provide a rock-solid foundation while seamlessly integrating the new standards. Here’s our approach: 

  • Sequenced Learning: Concepts are strategically ordered for deep understanding. Learners master the basics before progressing, so new ideas build on a stable knowledge base. 
  • Contextualised Learning: Learners bridge the gap between theory and practice, seeing how concepts apply to their unique setting. 
  • Collaborative Workshops: Monthly interactive workshops are a space for learners to connect, problem-solve together, and build vital communication and teamwork skills. 
  • Portfolio-Based Assessment: Learning resources provide constant opportunities to build a strong portfolio that shows off KSB mastery. This, along with personal tutor support, sets learners up for success. 

This approach ensures learners arrive at their EPA fully equipped and ready to deliver on the latest, most relevant competencies in their early years educator roles. 

 

Elevate’s Innovative Edge 

Our Elevate Portfolio breaks away from traditional teaching methods with an arsenal of innovative models that boost learning: 

  • Flipped Learning:  Flipped Learning: eLearning resources let learners study at their own pace, freeing up live sessions for deeper discussion and real-world application. This includes monthly interactive workshops where learners focus on putting their newly developed KSBs into action, driving richer discussions and ensuring knowledge translates directly to their work. 
  • The Autonomy, Technology, and Coaching (ATC) Learning Model:  Adults leverage their own experiences, set personalised goals, and thrive with integrated tech and expert coaching. This model fosters independence, ownership of the learning journey, and rapid skill growth. 
  • Spiral Curriculum: Key concepts are revisited with increasing depth, ensuring learners genuinely grasp the fundamentals and their real-world use. This creates educators confident in applying their knowledge flexibly to diverse situations and allows them to move from a basic understanding to handling complex scenarios with nuance. 

 

Elevating Learners, Elevating the Future 

Given the significant industry changes we’ve discussed, let’s explore how the Elevate curriculum at Paragon Skills is specifically designed to meet the new KSB requirements, streamline learning, and address the evolving needs of learners and employers. Beyond these essentials, Elevate incorporates innovative approaches like flipped learning, the ATC model, and the spiral curriculum. Please elaborate on how these methods translate into real-world advantages for those enrolled in the apprenticeship, offering benefits that extend beyond simply acquiring KSBs.

Elevate is designed to impact the heart of early childhood care. Here’s how: 

  • Holistic learning and Development: The curriculum gives learners every opportunity to embed knowledge throughout their journey, supporting holistic learning connected to their practice. It also offers opportunities for challenge and personal development, including in maths and English, even for those who are exempt from functional skills. 
  • Comprehensive Support: Learners have access to a holistic support network including eLearning, workshops, 1-on-1 tutor sessions, functional skills tutors, and additional learning support. 

Let’s imagine the benefits: 

  • Engaged Learners, Thriving Children: Elevate cultivates a passion for learning, leading to greater enthusiasm within the workshops and a direct positive impact on children. 
  • Empowered Educators, Enriched Learning: Elevate doesn’t just give facts; it builds a deep understanding of child development. Learners can tailor their approach to each individual child, creating a richer learning environment for everyone. 
  • Nurtured Growth, Lifelong Impact: Ultimately, Elevate’s greatest impact is on the children themselves, setting a foundation for lifelong learning and well-being. 

 

Positive Outcomes for Learners and Children 

Elevate goes beyond simply meeting apprenticeship requirements; it transforms learners into confident, knowledgeable, and highly effective early years educators. Let’s look at examples of how this transformation and its benefits unfold for both learners and the children in their care: 

  • Increased Engagement: A learner who was initially hesitant about technology now excitedly uses the different technologies to research ways to spark curiosity in her toddler group. 
  • Deep Understanding: An educator applies her child development knowledge not just to plan activities but to identify a potential language delay in a child, allowing for early intervention. 
  • Holistic Child Development: Children in an Elevate learners settings experience consistent routines, nurturing engagement, and activities clearly designed with their developmental level in mind. 

 

Let’s delve a little deeper into how the Elevate apprenticeship curriculum translates these learner advantages into specific, positive outcomes for the young children themselves.

Elevate fosters several key benefits that directly impact the quality of care children receive: 

  • Steady Progress: Learners make consistent progress and achieve their goals in a timely manner, allowing them to gain experience and make a difference in their settings sooner. 
  • Enhanced Expertise: Educators develop a strong command of essential knowledge, skills, and behaviours, leading to richer, more effective interactions with children. 
  • Networking and Collaboration: Elevate fosters a sense of community, encouraging educators to connect and share best practices. This benefits children by expanding the knowledge base within their settings. 
  • Career Development: The programme supports learners’ goals and aspirations within the early years sector. Confident, motivated educators provide a more stimulating and nurturing environment for children. 

 

Investing in the Future of Early Years 

The Elevate curriculum is an investment in transforming early years education. It doesn’t just react to industry changes; it seizes them to create an environment where educators and children alike flourish.  

Want a setting known for nurturing children AND empowering your team? Choose Elevate, choose transformative results. 

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