Early years qualifications
Find out if a qualification allows an individual to work in an early years setting and be included in staff-to-child ratios for the EYFS.
All early years providers working with children from birth to 5 years old must follow the regulations on qualified staff-to-child ratios. These regulations are set out in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage (EYFS). Providers must ensure staff have the appropriate qualifications to be counted in the ratios.
The Department for Education (DfE) is responsible for defining the qualifications that staff must hold to be included in the staff-to-child ratios.
Our early years qualifications list is a searchable list of qualifications. Both providers and prospective staff can use it to check qualifications and confirm if a person can be counted in the qualified staff-to-child ratios.
Early years educators
DfE introduced early years educator qualifications in September 2014. They are qualifications at level 3 or above, approved by DfE as meeting the early years educator criteria.
If staff have an early years educator qualification they must also have suitable level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications to count in the level 3 staff-to-child ratios.
Staff who had full and relevant qualifications before introduction of the early years educator criteria can still count in the level 3 staff-to-child ratios and do not need to hold level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications.
Early years apprenticeship
An early years educator qualification can be completed by itself or as part of the advanced apprenticeship for the children and young people’s workforce.
To complete the advanced apprenticeship, apprentices need to have an early years educator qualification and suitable level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications.
Find out more about apprenticeships.
Use our contact us form if you have any queries.
Published: 25 April 2014
Updated: 21 June 2017
- Updated text to show policy changes to literacy and numeracy requirements and revised apprenticeships information.
- Content updated and new links added to the level 3 educator qualifications.
- New apprenticeship standards
- First published.
From: Department for Education