Early Years Educator (Level 3)
This qualification sets the minimum requirements for a high quality Early Years Educator qualification.
The National College for Teaching and Learning has defined the content of the Level 3 qualification which is needed in order to secure the knowledge, understanding and skills that a practitioner must hold to be included in the ratios specified in the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The National College for Teaching & Leadership does this by defining criteria that qualifications must meet to enable practitioners to demonstrate their competence.
The Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) qualification is for:
a range of practitioners either working or wishing to work in early years education and care who have some under-pinning knowledge of early education and who wish to up-skill to a full and relevant Level 3 qualification.
All Level 3 EYE qualifications will require candidates to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of early year’s education and care, and evidence that they can:
Support and promote children's early education and development
Plan and provide effective care, teaching and learning that enables children to progress and prepares them for school
Make accurate and productive use of assessment
Develop effective and informed practice
Safeguard and promote the health, safety and welfare of children
Work in partnership with the key person, colleagues, parents and/or carers and other professionals
All Level 3 EYE qualifications must meet the national requirements set by Ofqual for valid, reliable assessment and awarding procedures. They must also be regulated by Ofqual onto the Qualification & Credit Framework or National Qualification Framework.
Full content for the new Early Years Educator Level 3 qualification can be found on the Department for Education website.
Workforce holding level 3 qualifications
If you hold a pre-September 2014 full and relevant Level 3 qualification you are still able to practice and be counted in ratios.
To be counted in ratios as a Level 3 Early Years Educator (post 1st September 2014 qualification) you must also have achieved a suitable Level 2 qualification in English and Maths as defined by the Department for education on the Early Years Qualification List published on Gov.uk.
A list of both pre and post September 2014 full and relevant qualifications can be found on the Department of Education website:
For qualifications gained since 30th June 2016 the person must hold an emergency or full paediatric first aid certificate within three months of starting work to count in the staff:child ratios. Refer to page 22 and 36 of the Early Years Foundation Stage statutory guidance (2017) for more details.
If you need advice regarding appropriate training programmes please email:
Level 5 - Foundation Degree
This undergraduate degree is suitable for all early years practitioners who are delivering early years education and childcare, including childminders. Foundation degrees provide an excellent career development route from which students can progress to a full BA Honours degree.
The Foundation Degree is for:
People who are employed in a relevant early years or childcare setting. You will also need:
a Level 3 qualification
a GCSE at minimum of grade C (or equivalent) in English
2 years prior work experience (either paid or voluntary) either working with or supporting those working with young children
the support of your employer or manager of the setting where you volunteer, who must sign the application form and the learning agreement.
Students who do not have a full and relevant Level 3 qualification, but can evidence appropriate work experience, may be offered a place on this programme subject to an employer agreement.
Students without a GCSE in English will be required to take an 'English Equivalency Test'.
This programme will take 2 years to complete on a part-time basis.
Level 6 - BA (Hons) Degree
A Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree is recognised as a Level 6 qualification. Learning at this level involves a high level of professional knowledge, and is appropriate for practitioners in senior positions with strategic policy roles and those working towards Early Years Teacher Status.
Level 6 qualifications are higher education, graduate qualifications that demonstrate high level, specialist knowledge.
If you have completed a foundation degree you may be able to undertake a one year top-up to achieve a BA (Hons). Ask the training providers you are interested in studying with, what your options are.
Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT)
The EYITT is:
A specialist programme designed for those already working or seeking to work with babies and children from birth to five years old. The programme focuses on teaching and learning with children across this age range.
Trainees must hold a degree awarded by a UK higher education institution (or recognised overseas equivalent) before EYTS is complete.
Achieving the status
Training and assessment are designed around the teaching standards for early years (known as the Teachers' Standards (Early Years)). These standards operate in parallel with the Teachers' Standards for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Early Years Teachers must demonstrate that they also understand the continuum of education including the curriculum into Key Stages 1 and 2. To be awarded Early Years Teacher Status, all trainees must meet these robust standards.
Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) has 4 pathways, which includes a pathway for people who have an unrelated degree. Training providers will be able to assist you to identify the pathway that is most suitable to you and your experience.
The following are essential prior to starting the programme:
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check
Maths, English and Science GCSE 'A-C' grade
Right to work and study in the UK
Ability to read effectively and communicate clearly and accurately in English
Canterbury Christ Church University is a named provider of the Foundation Degree, BA Honours Degree and Early Years Teacher Status Programme. More information can be found on https://www.canterbury.ac.uk/education/our-courses/our-courses.aspx
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