0800 699 0033 ~ info@jrny.org.uk

Operations / Departmental Manager for Early Years

Key Information

 Level 5 Duration 18 - 24 months
Maximum Funding £7,500 Key Items included
  • Apprenticeship Standard
  • ILM Level 5 Diploma for Leaders and Managers
  • Functional Skills English & Maths (as required)
  • End Point Assessment


Delivery Model

Number of 5 Day Training Workshops  6
Number of 3 hour 1-2-1 coaching visits to workplace 7 - 10 
Number of hours per week guided or independent study 4 - 6
Mock End Point Assessment 1 - 3 days workshop


Bespoke for Childcare

Our leadership and management programmes have been tailored to be able to deliver the programme in a nursery setting / nursery group context to make it even more relevant for our learners. 

This means when we cover operational management the focus is on early years or budgeting, we train budget building using nurseries or groups of nurseries as examples and when we focus on leading people and communication, we aim this at the people you are likely to work with on daily basis is childcare.

This makes taking what you learn on our programmes into your early years role significantly easier than if you were undertaking a generic leadership and management programme, whilst still covering all of the topics, knowledge and skills that can be used outside of early years.    

Occupational Profile

An operations/departmental manager is someone who manages teams and/or projects, and achieving operational or departmental goals and objectives, as part of the delivery of the organisations strategy. They are accountable to a more senior manager or business owner. Working in the private, public or third sector and in all sizes of organisation, specific responsibilities and job titles will vary, but the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed will be the same. Key responsibilities may include creating and delivering operational plans, managing projects, leading and managing teams, managing change, financial and resource management, talent management, coaching and mentoring. Roles may include: Operations Manager, Regional Manager, Divisional Manager, Department Manager and specialist managers.

The Programme will teach you the following:


What is required (through formal learning and applied according to business environment)

Organisational Performance – delivering results

Operational Management

Understand operational management approaches and models, including creating plans to deliver objectives and setting KPIs. Understand business development tools (eg SWOT), and approaches to continuous improvement. Understand operational business planning techniques, including how to manage resources, development of sales and marketing plans, setting targets and monitoring performance. Knowledge of management systems, processes and contingency planning. Understand how to initiate and manage change by identifying barriers and know how to overcome them. Understand data security and management, and the effective use of technology in an organisation.

Project Management

Know how to set up and manage a project using relevant tools and techniques, and understand process management. Understand approaches to risk management.


Understand business finance: how to manage budgets, and financial forecasting.

Interpersonal Excellence – managing people and developing relationships

Leading People

Understand different leadership styles, how to lead multiple and remote teams and manage team leaders. Know how to motivate and improve performance, supporting people using coaching and mentoring approaches. Understand organisational cultures and diversity and their impact on leading and managing change. Know how to delegate effectively.

Managing People

Know how to manage multiple teams, and develop high performing teams. Understand performance management techniques, talent management models and how to recruit and develop people.

Building Relationships

Understand approaches to partner, stakeholder and supplier relationship management including negotiation, influencing, and effective networking. Knowledge of collaborative working techniques to enable delivery through others and how to share best practice. Know how to manage conflict at all levels.


Understand interpersonal skills and different forms of communication and techniques (verbal, written, non-verbal, digital) and how to apply them appropriately.

Personal Effectiveness – managing self

Self -Awareness

Understand own impact and emotional intelligence. Understand different and learning and behaviour styles.

Management of Self

Understand time management techniques and tools, and how to prioritise activities and the use of different approaches to planning, including managing multiple tasks.

Decision Making

Understand problem solving and decision making techniques, including data analysis.

Understand organisational values and ethics and their impact on decision making.



    What is required (acquired and demonstrated through continuous professional development)

    Organisational Performance – delivering results

    Operational Management

    Able to input into strategic planning and create plans in line with organisational objectives.

    Support, manage and communicate change by identifying barriers and overcoming them. Demonstrate commercial awareness, and able to identify and shape new opportunities. Creation and delivery of operational plans, including setting KPIs, monitoring performance against plans. Producing reports, providing management information based on the collation, analysis and interpretation of data.

    Project Management

    Plan, organise and manage resources to deliver required outcomes. Monitor progress, and identify risk and their mitigation. Able to use relevant project management tools.


    Able to monitor budgets and provide reports, and consider financial implications of decisions and adjust approach/recommendations accordingly.

    Interpersonal Excellence – managing people and developing relationships

    Leading People

    Able to communicate organisational vision and goals and how these to apply to teams.

    Support development through coaching and mentoring, and enable and support high performance working. Able to support the management of change within the organisation.

    Managing People

    Able to manage talent and performance. Develop, build and motivate teams by identifying their strengths and enabling development within the workplace. Able to delegate and enable delivery though others.

    Building Relationships

    Able to build trust, and use effective negotiation and influencing skills and manage conflict.

    Able to identify and share good practice, and work collaboratively with others both inside and outside of the organisation. Use of specialist advice and support to deliver against plans.


    Able to communicate effectively (verbal, non-verbal, written, digital) and be flexible in communication style. Able to chair meetings and present using a range of media. Use of active listening, and able to challenge and give constructive feedback.

    Personal Effectiveness – managing self


    Able to reflect on own performance, working style and its impact on others.

    Management of Self

    Able to create a personal development plan.  Use of time management and prioritisation techniques.

    Decision Making

    Able to undertake critical analysis and evaluation to support decision making Use of effective problem solving techniques



    What is required (developed and exhibited in the workplace)

    Takes responsibility

    Drive to achieve in all aspects of work. Demonstrates resilience and accountability.

    Determination when managing difficult situations.  Seeks new opportunities.


    Open, approachable, authentic, and able to build trust with others.  Seeks the views of others and values diversity.


    Flexible to the needs of the organisation. Is creative, innovative and enterprising when seeking solutions to business needs. Positive and adaptable, responding well to feedback and need for change. Open to new ways of working.


    Sets an example, and is fair, consistent and impartial. Open and honest. Operates within organisational values

        Entry requirements:

        Individual employers will set their own entry requirements for their apprentices. Typically candidates will have achieved a grade C or above in at least 5 GCSEs including English and Mathematics. 

        Link to professional registration:

        On completion, apprentices can register as full members with the Chartered Management Institute and/or the Institute of Leadership & Management, and those with 3 years’ of management experience can apply for Chartered Manager status through the CMI.