The directory for early years training and qualifications

EYupskill is a new, independent training and development directory for anyone interested in the early years in England. Training providers can now register their details for FREE. It’s easy to do and gives you a chance to reach 1,000s of learners from 1 November 2017. Simply add your details under the Register section. We do hope that you take advantage of this unique opportunity. If you would like to know more about this new directory, please contact us.

General Information

Qualifications Framework – Level 1 to early years teacher

What is a Level 1 qualification?

These qualifications are designed to stimulate and encourage learners' understanding of the skills required to care for children. They support the learner in preparing for the "next steps" either in training or moving towards the world of work.

Who are they suitable for?

Anyone who wants to gain more of an understanding about caring for children or working in a setting, including those with special educational needs or where English is an additional language.

Do you need to be working to take these qualifications?

No, these qualifications are completed through written and spoken tasks.

What is a Level 2 qualification?

These qualifications prepare learners to work with children between birth and five years, with knowledge of children up to seven years.  They are ideal for practitioners just starting out in their career.

What do these qualifications cover?

These qualifications build on the knowledge and skills needed when working with children from 0-5 years, with knowledge of children up to 7 years. On completion, learners will be able to work under guidance in early years care and education settings.

Who are they suitable for?

Learners aged 16+ who have little or no experience of childcare.

Do you need to be working to take these qualifications?

Yes, learners will need to be working or volunteering in an early years care or education setting as these qualifications require assessment in real working situations.

What is a Level 3 qualification?

These qualifications will enable practitioners to work with and care for children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years. 

What do these qualifications cover?

These qualifications prepare learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

Who are they suitable for?

Learners aged 16+ who meet the entry requirements should be in employment in an early years care and education setting.

NB: As of 3 April 2017, practitioners qualified as Early Years Educators will no longer need to have GCSEs in maths and English to be counted in staff ratios at level 3, although they will have to have equivalent Level 2 qualifications in both subjects.

Do you need to be working to take these qualifications?

Yes, learners will need to be working or have a suitable work placement in an early years care and education setting as this qualification requires assessment in real working situations.

Where can I find out more about level 3 qualifications?

The Nursery World can provide some information about level 3 qualifications.

What is a Level 4 qualification?

These qualifications are suitable for experienced practitioners who manage or take a lead role in an early years setting and wish to progress in their career.

What do the qualifications cover?

The content covers the age range from 0-5 years and learners will develop and use skills of leadership, mentoring, coaching and reflection as they complete the qualification through work-based learning opportunities.

Who are they suitable for?

Learners aged 18 and over, who are currently employed as an early years Level 3 practitioner.

It would suit learners who are looking to develop leadership and specialist skills for use in their current role, or in preparation to take on a specialist role.

Do you need to be working to take this qualification?

Yes, learners must be employed in an Early Years setting at Level 3 to complete this qualification.

What is a Level 5 and above qualification and how to train as an early years teacher?

These qualifications are suitable for learners who would like to enhance their understanding of early years. Qualifications of level 5 and above will support learners in developing their pedagogical, practical and leadership knowledge, as well as their understanding and skills required for a range of more senior positions in the early years sector.

What do the qualifications cover?

Level 5 and above qualifications include the following:

Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), foundation degree, Higher National Diploma (HND), awards, certificates, diplomas or NVQ’s.

Qualifications of level 6 and above can also include degrees, master’s degree, (level 7) and doctorate at level 8.

For further information about qualification levels:

https://www.gov.uk/what-different-qualification-levels-mean/list-of-qualification-levels

Who are they suitable for?

When studying at this level they are suitable for leaners who may already have experience of working the early years sector and are above 18 years old.

Do you need to be working to take this qualification?

It depends upon the level of the course and the entry requirements. The individual training provider will explain more about what they require for learners to enrol on a course.

How can I become an early years teacher and achieve Early Years Teaching Status? 

Early years teachers bring knowledge, skills and experience and contribute to improving outcomes for young children.  There are many routes to become an early years teacher and achieving Early Years Teaching Status (EYTS). For more information, visit the Department of Education website, 'Get into Teaching.'

EYFS requirements

What qualifications levels are needed to fulfil ratio requirements?

For children aged under two:

EYFS 3.31

  • There must be at least one member of staff for every three children
  • at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification, and must be suitably experienced in working with children under two
  • at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification
  • at least half of all staff must have received training that specifically addresses the care of babies
  • where there is an under two-year-olds’ room, the member of staff in charge of that room must, in the judgement of the provider, have suitable experience of working with under twos.

For children aged two:

EYFS 3.32

  • There must be at least one member of staff for every four children
  • at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification
  • at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification.

Children aged three and over

EYFS 3.33 – 3.38

For children aged 3 plus in registered early years provision where a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status, Early Years Teacher Status or other suitable Level 6 qualification is working directly with children:

  • There must be at least 1 member of staff to every 13 children
  • at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant Level 3 qualification.

For children aged three and over at any time in registered early years provision when a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status, Early Years Teacher Status or another suitable level 6 qualification is not working directly with the children:

  • there must be at least one member of staff for every eight children
  • at least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification
  • at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant level 2 qualification.

EYFS 3.34 - 3.35

For children aged three and over in independent schools (including in nursery classes in free schools and academies), where a person with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Professional Status, Early Years Teacher Status or another suitable level 6 qualification, an instructor, or another suitably qualified overseas trained teacher, is working directly with the children:

  • for classes where the majority of children will reach the age of five or older within the school year, there must be at least one member of staff for every 30 children
  • for all other classes there must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children
  • at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification.

EYFS 3.37

For children aged three and over in maintained nursery schools and nursery classes in maintained schools:

  • there must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children
  • at least one member of staff must be a school teacher as defined by section 122 of the Education Act 200241
  • at least one other member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification.

EYFS 3.38

Reception classes in maintained schools and academies are subject to infant class size legislation.

The School Admissions (Infant Class Size) Regulations 2012 limit the size of infant classes to 30 pupils per school teacher (subject to permitted exceptions) while an ordinary teaching session is conducted. ‘School teachers’ do not include teaching assistants, higher level teaching assistants or other support staff. Consequently, in an ordinary teaching session, a school must employ sufficient school teachers to enable it to teach its infant classes in groups of no more than 30 per school teacher.

EYFS paragraph 3.23 footnote 29

To count in the ratios at level 3, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in English and maths as defined by the Department for Education on the Early Years Qualifications List published on GOV.UK. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-qualifications-finder

This requirement does not apply to practitioners holding full and relevant level 3 qualifications other than Early Years Educator.

How many staff need a Paediatric First Aid certificate?

EYFS 3.25

At least one person who has a current paediatric first aid (PFA) certificate must be on the premises and available at all times when children are present, and must accompany children on outings. The certificate must be for a full course consistent with the criteria set out in Annex A. Childminders, and any assistant who might be in sole charge of the children for any period of time, must hold a full current PFA certificate. PFA training must be renewed every three years and be relevant for workers caring for young children and where relevant, babies. Providers should take into account the number of children, staff and layout of premises to ensure that a paediatric first aider is able to respond to emergencies quickly. All newly qualified entrants (see below) to the early years workforce who have completed a level 2 and/or level 3 qualification on or after 30 June 2016, must also have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate within three months of starting work in order to be included in the required staff:child ratios at level 2 or level 3 in an early years setting. Providers should display (or make available to parents) staff PFA certificates or a list of staff who have a current PFA certificate.

Providers are responsible for identifying and selecting a competent training provider to deliver their PFA training. Training is available from a wide range of providers including: those who offer regulated qualifications; or the Voluntary Aid Societies (St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and St Andrew’s First Aid who together are acknowledged by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as one of the standard-setters for currently accepted first aid practice for first aid at work training courses); or those who operate under voluntary accreditation schemes; or one that is a member of a trade body with an approval and monitoring scheme; or those who operate independently of any such accreditation scheme. The Register of Regulated Qualifications may help providers identify PFA providers, which can be found at: http://register.ofqual.gov.uk/qualification. It may also be helpful to refer to HSE’s guidance about choosing a first aid training provider, which can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis3.htm

“Newly qualified entrants” includes staff who have been apprentices or long term students who have gained a level 2 or level 3 early years qualification. 32 Newly qualified entrants who started work between 30 June 2016 and 2 April 2017 must have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate by 2 July 2017 in order to be included in the required staff:child ratios at level 2 or level 3 in an early years setting.

Newly qualified entrants who started work between 30 June 2016 and 2 April 2017 must have either a full PFA or an emergency PFA certificate by 2 July 2017 in order to be included in the required staff:child ratios at level 2 or level 3 in an early years setting.

Providers can make an exception to this requirement where a newly qualified entrant to the workforce is unable to gain a PFA certificate if a disability would prevent them from doing so. Such a newly qualified entrant can still be included in the staff:child ratios if otherwise competent to carry out their childcare duties. Where possible, such staff should attend a relevant PFA training course and obtain written evidence of attendance.

Millie’s Mark is an optional training provider listed to provide paediatric first aid where a setting can gain an accreditation reward. To search for other first aid training providers please click here.

To achieve Millie’s Mark settings are required to have 100% of staff working directly with children qualified in paediatric first aid. The mark is about putting theory in to practice. Reflective tools and an assessment process ensures settings evaluate practice and paediatric first aid training is kept at the forefront of practitioners’ minds, so they are confident, ready and capable to act should an emergency occur’.

What qualifications does a manager need?

EYFS 3.23

In group setting, the manager must hold at least a full and relevant level 3 qualification and at least half of all other staff must hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification. The manager should have at least two years’ experience of working in an early years setting, or have at least two years’ other suitable experience. There must be a named deputy who, in the provider’s judgement, is capable and qualified to take charge in the manager’s absence.

What are the Safeguarding requirements?

The lead practitioner for safeguarding must attend a child protection course training course that takes into account any advice from the LSCB or local authority, that enables them to identify and respond appropriately to signs of possible abuse and neglect.

Providers must train all staff to understand their safeguarding policies and procedures, and ensure that all staff have up to date knowledge of safeguarding issues. Training made available by the provider must enable staff to identify signs of possible abuse and neglect at the earliest opportunity, and to respond in a timely and appropriate way.

Who needs to read Prevent Duty?

In Prevent Duty content please update copy (including link) to: Providers must have regard to the Prevent Duty Guidance for England and Wales 2015. If providers have concerns about children’s safety and welfare they must notify agencies with statutory responsibilities without delay.

Which staff need inductions?

EYFS 3.20

Providers must ensure that all staff receive induction training to help them understand their roles and responsibilities. Induction training must include emergency evacuation procedures, safeguarding, child protection and health and safety issues.

Which staff need Food Hygiene training?

All staff involved in preparing and handling food must receive training in food hygiene.

Can students be included in staff ratios?

EYFS 3.29

Only those aged 17 or over may be included in ratios (and staff under 17 should be supervised at all times). Students on long term placements and volunteers (aged 17 or over) and staff working as apprentices in early education (aged 16 or over) may be included in the ratios if the provider is satisfied that they are competent and responsible.

Workforce Strategy, policy and research

What is the Workforce Strategy?

This is the government's plans to help employers attract, retain and develop early years staff.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-workforce-strategy

Where can I read more research about the early years?

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) aims to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/earlychildhoodeducationandcare.htm

http://www.oecd.org/edu/school/starting-strong-v-9789264276253-en.htm

FAQs

What things should I consider before choosing the best training or qualifications for me?

Consider your current level of experience and skills, then how, ideally, you see yourself progressing with your future career. Or, think about the skills or knowledge you need to fulfil your role in the best way.

Consider how you want to learn – do you want to study full time, part time, on the job or at home?

Would you be willing to travel to a course or do you need something local to you?

You will also need to consider the cost of the course and how you will fund it.

Talk to others in the early years sector who have more experience than you and get their advice about what you could do, or will need to do.

You can also visit the ‘Next Steps’ page on this website to find a profile similar to you and get inspiration on what you could do next.

Where can I get more career advice about working in the early years?

Talk to people who are doing it — either friends or friends’ parents who are already working as practitioners or professionals across the early years sector. If you don’t know anyone, contact your local nursery or childcare setting or speak to a registered, local childminder. Arrange to meet them at a quiet time to find out more about their average day, ask them to share any challenges and positive things about their work to get a better feel.

Try the National Careers Service website which can advise on hundreds of different careers, offering details on what the role entails, salary expectations, skills required, qualifications needed and so on. Choose the right profile for you e.g. nursery worker.

How can I try to ensure I choose a good quality training course?

Once you have identified the kind of course or training you need, gather a list of a few possible training providers that meet your requirements. Then research as much information as you can about each provider.

Ask other people in the early years sector if they know the provider and can provide any feedback about them. If they don’t know the providers you’ve chosen, ask them who they used to complete their training.

Go to the providers’ websites to try and get a feel for them — how experienced and trusted they are. See if they have testimonials on their website or on their social media pages.

Look to see if the website is up-to-date with full course details, current contact details, a proper address and a professional email address.

The training provider should be Ofsted-registered so check their latest Ofsted report. Training providers are only registered with Ofsted when they are delivering formal childcare qualifications. Some training providers who deliver short courses or consultancy may not be registered with Ofsted.

You could also visit online forums or communities for online reviews, although bad reviews aren’t always reliable as they may not always be fair or balanced, and could be written by someone with a grudge — so take them with a pinch of salt. You’ll have to use your judgement.

When you have refined your list of providers, compile a list of questions about the course and talk to the provider directly.

If possible, ask to speak to one of the trainers who could give you a greater level of detail about the course.

It is worth asking the provider what happens if, at the end of the course, you are not satisfied. They should be happy to provide you with their complaints procedures.

Employers looking for apprenticeship providers should look at the government’s apprenticeships website.

How can I get help with covering course fees?

To find out what funding can be accessed for individual needs you will need to contact your training provider, or visit the DfE’s website.

I can only do distance or part-time training, what are my options?

Once you have found a suitable course and chosen a provider, ask them directly for advice on what is available and what funding is accessed for distance learning.

What should I do if I’m not happy with the quality of the training chosen at a later date?

Try to resolve this directly and privately with the training provider – keep calm and don’t take to social media in the first instance to complain. Give them a chance to resolve the issue.

Ask to see the providers’ complaints procedure and follow it, making sure you keep all correspondence. If you are still dissatisfied and if the provider is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, you can also complain via its website.

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