Identify the skills, knowledge and attributes required for the role of the Early Years practitioner

Qualification: NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Educator
Unit: Unit 2.1: An introduction to the role of the Early Years practitioner
Learning outcome: Understand the role of the Early Years practitioner
Assessment criteria: Identify the skills, knowledge and attributes required for the role of the Early Years practitioner


Early Years practitioners require a range of skills, knowledge and attributes in order to be effective in their role. Many of these have been summarised below.


Early years practitioners play a vital role in the development of young children. They are responsible for providing care and support during the crucial early years when children are learning and growing rapidly.


To be effective in their role, early years practitioners must possess a range of personal attributes. They must be empathetic, kind and caring, with a genuine interest in helping children to reach their full potential. They must also be patient and have a positive attitude, as young children can sometimes be challenging. Creativity is also essential, as early years practitioners need to be able to engage children in meaningful activities that stimulate their imagination and encourage learning.


The skills required for the role of early year practitioner include excellent written and verbal communication, organisational skills, and the ability to work as part of a team and in partnership with parents, carers and other professionals.


Early year practitioners need to identify the individual needs of each child in their care and develop programmes of activities and experiences that support their learning and development.

Excellent observational skills are essential, as is the ability to record children’s learning accurately and meaningfully. Practitioners must also be able to reflect on their own practice and identify ways in which they can improve.



In order to work effectively as an Early Years practitioner, it is essential to have a sound understanding of the current legislation and regulations surrounding the care of young children. This includes the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework, which sets out the standards that all early years settings must meet to provide high-quality care.

It is also important to be aware of how to safeguard and protect children in order to ensure their safety and wellbeing at all times.


Equality, diversity and inclusion are also key concepts that all practitioners should be familiar with in order to create an inclusive environment for all children.

Furthermore, knowledge of child development is vital in order to support children’s learning and development effectively.


Finally, it is also important to understand how to plan and implement activities suitable for young children, taking into account their individual needs and interests.

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