Examples of Off-The-Job Training for Childcare Apprenticeships in England

Off-the-job training is learning which is provided outside of the apprentice’s normal day-to-day work, but is completed within their contracted working hours.  Apprentices are legally required to receive off-the-job training a minimum of 20% of the time they are paid to work.

It should be training that is directly relevant to their position, and for childcare or early years apprentices, must provide new knowledge, skills and behaviours to upskill the apprentice and their competency in their childcare field.

But methods of off-the-job training are varied, and can range from practical, work-based learning to technical or theoretical learning.

For more information on off-the-job training, read our other blog post: Off-The-Job Training: Childcare and Health and Social Care Apprenticeships in England 

What is the childcare or early years manager’s role in off-the-job training?

Managers in a childcare or early years setting have the responsibility to provide the best off-the-job training they can.  This can be achieved by using a good training provider, such as Azilo Training.

Upon an apprentice’s enrolment, the training provider, the childcare manager and apprentice will all agree, record and sign a Commitment Statement.  This document outlines key information about the apprenticeship and how training will be delivered, including methods of off-the-job training, to ensure that these are suitable for the apprentice’s learning style and the childcare setting.

Evidence of off-the-job training and learning is preferred to be naturally occurring evidence, by the ESFA, rather than lots of documented records.  And by using Azilo Training, they can help support the childcare manager to make the off-the-job training as easy and efficient as possible. 

Let’s look at some examples of off-the-job training in the childcare sector.

As off-the-job training for childcare apprentice’s can be practical, technical or theoretical learning, there are a range of methods and types of training - it just has to be directly relevant to their childcare field and provide new knowledge, skills or behaviours.  

Some examples of off-the-job training for those working in childcare include:

**Mentoring, such as shadowing colleagues or coaching**

Mentoring, shadowing and coaching is a great way for apprentice’s to get practical training from experienced childcare providers.  This method also allows childcare apprentices to ask questions and receive more in-depth answers.

Scenarios that a childcare apprentice could shadow, be mentored or coached in include:

  • How to change a nappy
  • How to mediate a disagreement between children

**Role play or simulations of childcare scenarios**

Role play and simulations, including case studies and management games, provide apprentices the opportunity to analyse and discuss possible scenarios before they are encountered in their childcare setting.

It is an effective way to connect theory and practice, without the pressure of being in the situation, so apprentices can understand how they should deal with the situation.

In a childcare setting, role play or simulations that could be part of off-the-job training, can include:

  • How to encourage children to participate in activities
  • What to do if a child hurts themselves

**Classroom learning, including teaching sessions, lectures, e-learning, webinars or Ted Talks**

Classroom learning isn’t just limited to the classroom!  Classroom learning also includes online learning, such as e-learning, webinars and Ted Talks, which allows childcare apprentices to learn at their own pace.

Just make sure that all classroom learning the apprentice completes is directly related to the childcare field and will upskill their knowledge, behaviour and skills.

Examples of topics for classroom learning, include:

  • Child development (for the years they are working with)
  • Observation, assessment and planning in early years
  • Recognising and supporting children with special educational needs
  • Risk assessments
  • Safeguarding children

**Studying sessions for research, completing coursework, projects or assignments**

Off-the-job training in childcare settings can be used by apprentices for personal study sessions.  Apprentices can show initiative by keeping on track with their learning, and completing their coursework, projects and assignments.  

They can also use this method of off-the-job training to undertake research, as long as the topics are directly related to their positions within childcare.

Off-the-job studying session can include:

  • Completing assigned training via training providers, such as Azilo Training
  • Working through units and submitting coursework

**Completing workplace reflective journals - written or recorded**

Reflective journals provide childcare apprentices the opportunity to reflect upon their experiences and what they have learnt so far.  

Apprentices can also use their reflective journals to showcase their development and progress from their time at their childcare apprenticeship.

Reflective journals can include:

  • An explanation of the knowledge they have learnt
  • How this knowledge has developed their learning, behaviours and skills; and
  • Why it is important in a childcare setting

**Contributing to online forums relevant to their role and occupation**

Off-the-job training can also include contributing to online forums that are relevant to the apprentice’s role within childcare.  This method can develop learning and experience by allowing apprentices to identify with others who are in similar positions, situations and occupations.

Here, apprentices can:

  • share and reflect on their experiences in childcare
  • offer and receive different perspectives within childcare; and
  • offer and receive advice or help for any issues experienced within a childcare setting

**Attending conferences, industry shows or competing in competitions**

As long as the conferences, industry shows or competitions are undertaken within the apprentices’ contracted hours, or are arranged appropriately, this is a great way for an alternative experience of the childcare industry.

A couple of examples of childcare conferences, include:

  • NDNA - National Day Nursery Association
  • Early Education

**Visiting other departments or businesses**

Allowing your apprentice to visit other departments or businesses related to your childcare setting can enable your apprentice to understand how other professions can impact their job.

This can include:

  • Experiencing the childcare required for different ages to whom they commonly work with
  • A different childcare business, e.g. a visit to a different nursery or childcare setting

**Completing further training (if relevant to their role)**

Apprentices can also complete further certified training and qualifications during time allocated for their off-the-job training, if it is relevant for their role.

Some examples of certified training that can be completed for working in the childcare setting include:

  • First aid
  • Food safety and hygiene