Early Years Practitioner Apprentice (Level 2 apprenticeship), Willow Cottage Nurseries , Eynsham, Farmoor and Bletchingdon


EARLY YEARS PRACTITIONER APPRENTICE (Apprenticeship leading to a Level 2 in Childcare)

Willow Cottage Nurseries have been championing apprenticeships for a number of years and now have several fully trained professionals on our teams who are providing the next generation of practitioners and educators.

We offer apprenticeships at all three of our settings Eynsham OX29 4EH, Farmoor OX2 9NS and Bletchingdon OX5 3DH.

If you or someone you know is seeking a career in childcare, do get in touch and we will happily arrange a showround at your preferred setting.

An exciting opportunity to learn while working in a nursery setting and to achieve a Level 2 in Childcare at the end of your apprenticeship.

Willow Cottage has now been providing apprenticeships for a number of years and we have members of staff who have remained in our employment and completed a further apprenticeship to become Early Years Educators (Level 3). Recently an ex apprentice has been appointed to a Deputy Team leader role and her career does not have any limits. We believe in developing our staff to become childcare professionals who will always be able to find employment.

Although there is a perception that nurseries tend to have female practitioners, we have a number of male practitioners and would welcome more male applicants.

Job role

  • Help with the daily routine and care of the children in your assigned department and across the setting as a whole.
  • Interact with the children to support the children’s learning and development in an age/stage appropriate way.
  • Prepare resources under the guidance of colleagues.
  • Set-up activities both inside and outside under the direction of colleagues.
  • Undertake daily housekeeping jobs as required.
  • Fill out daily paperwork as required under the direction of colleagues


£240.00 per week in the first year of the apprenticeship then the National Minimum Wage for your age for the period after your first year and until the end of the apprenticeship. Apprentices who perform exceptionally well and successfully complete their probation will be paid £7.50 per hour, ie £300.00 per week from the date of completion of the six months probation until the end of their first year when they will be paid the National Minimum Wage for their age if it is greater than £7.50 per hour.

Hours 40 hours per week between the hours of 0730 and 1800 Monday to Friday. Apprentices under the age of 18 are only able to work 8 hours per day. There is a half hour lunch break which is unpaid.

You will be supervised on a regular basis and your progress will be discussed. As you near the end of your apprenticeship, your manager will discuss what is required of a Level 3 Early Years Educator apprentice and, if you both agree that you can meet the criteria, we will arrange for either a period of working as an Early Years Practitioner Level 2 to put your training into practice or arrange for the start of the Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeship.

Willow Cottage was established over 30 years ago as a family business and, in that time, has developed three nursery settings: one at Eynsham, another at Farmoor and most recently one at Bletchingdon.


You will need to be:-

  • Flexible and adaptable so that you can adjust to the different rooms and children. Able to observe practitioners and work in a collaborative and helpful manner to support the practitioners. To have the ability to put into practice the routines you have observed and to incorporate your studies in your work with the children.
  • Friendly and willing to learn. Co-operative and willing to take a full and active part in all duties including cleaning and housekeeping. A natural curiosity about how children learn. Resilient and able to overcome challenges. Open and willing to share concerns and questions.
  • Have some good GCSE grades English and Maths at Grade 4 or above.


Please apply as soon as possible for this role. Should the right candidate be found prior to the closing date, then the vacancy may be closed early.

Getting to the nursery setting

We appreciate that some applicants may not yet drive or have a car and you should check each of the postcodes to ensure you could get to work on a daily basis.  

Apprenticeship Assessment and Information Session Any new person applying for apprenticeship roles where Abingdon and Witney College deliver the training will be required to attend an Apprenticeship Assessment and Information Session at Witney or Abingdon campus.

This will consist of a series of initial assessments (required prior to any apprenticeship offer), completion of essential paperwork, the opportunity to find out more about the apprenticeship process, the training included, and a forum for your questions.

As a new Apprenticeship applicant, you will only have to undergo this process once. If you would like to talk  about the assessments or if you would need any extra support to attend the Apprenticeship Assessment and Information Session, please call Abingdon and Witney College on 01235 216216.

Qualification checks

By applying for this vacancy, you are giving Abingdon and Witney College permission to undertake a Learner Record Service check on your previous qualifications. We make every effort to ensure that applicants from non-traditional academic backgrounds or those who may not have the formal GCSE entry requirements can access apprenticeships where possible.

Safer Recruitment

As you will be working with children, we will carry-out an Enhanced DBS check. We will also require two satisfactory references from either employers or teachers at a college/school you have attended. The referee cannot be anyone to whom you are related or a friend of the family. An interview will be carried-out prior to a job offer being made and a confirmed job offer will only be made after satisfactory references and a clear DBS certificate are received.

We are an equal opportunities employer. We will select applicants to interview based on the ability to do the job and ensure that the job applicant or employee receive less favourable treatment because of age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.



Who to contact

Contact Name
Lisa Constable
01865 864604 01865 864604
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Parent Organisation
Willow Cottage Nurseries Ltd (Farmoor)

Where to go

Willow Cottage Nurseries, Owls Leat
OX29 4EH
View OX29 4EH on a map


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