News story

Major milestone for early education

Nafeesah Rafiq of Bright Bees nursery in Leicester is the 10,000th person to achieve early years professional status.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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There are now more than 10,000 early years professionals in England, the government announced today.

Nafeesah Rafiq of Leicester is the 10,000th person to achieve Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). She studied at the University of Northampton, and currently works at a private day nursery called Bright Bees, which has been rated by Ofsted as good across all categories.

Established in 2007, the Early Years Professional Status programme has been helping people get the skills they need to become graduate leaders in early education.

Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families, said:

Early years professionals are making a huge difference to young children’s lives. I am delighted that the Teaching Agency has reached the major milestone of 10,000 early years professionals.

This means that more and more skilled professionals are helping young children to get the best possible start in life. We know that they make a particular impact on those who are among the most disadvantaged.

I hope more and more talented and passionate people sign up to this programme so that as many children as possible are well prepared for school.

Nafeesah Rafiq said:

The Early Years Professional Status programme has been a challenging and rewarding experience. I originally studied to be a pharmacist but after achieving my Masters degree I changed career direction and found a passion for working with children. I would definitely recommend EYPS to other graduates.

Lin Hinnigan, Interim Chief Executive of the Teaching Agency, said:

I am proud that the EYPS programme has reached this milestone and would like to congratulate Nafeesah on being the 10,000th person to reach this gold standard and wish her the very best in her early years career.

Every day, throughout England, early years professionals like Nafeesah are working with our under-fives and their families to make a world of difference to our young children’s lives. Early years professionals help to raise the quality of childcare and improve outcomes for all our children.

I would like to thank our training providers, employers and above all the practitioners who make the Early Years Professional Status programme such a success.

Notes to editors

  1. You can learn more about Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) in the Graduate leaders in early years - training providers bulletin. Training partners are currently recruiting for September 2012 and January 2013 intakes. Tel: 0370 000 2288

  2. One in four early years settings in England has at least one early years professional working there.

  3. Bright Bees’ owners have more than 20 years of experience and in 2006 one of the owners won a national award for outstanding contribution to childcare. Each room in the nursery is led by an early years professional.

  4. Please call 020 7783 8015 for a photo of the 10,000th recipient.

DfE enquiries

Published 15 August 2012