Find out if a person’s qualifications allow them to work in an early years setting, and if you can include them in staff:child ratios.
This guidance is for anyone who wants information about early years qualifications.
All early years providers working with children from birth to 5 years old must follow the regulations on early years foundation stage (EYFS) staff:child ratios. This is the number of qualified staff, at different qualification levels, an early years setting needs to have in order to meet the needs of all children and ensure their safety. These regulations are set out in the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework.
Providers must make sure staff have the appropriate qualifications to count in the ratios, including the need to have at least one staff member trained in paediatric first aid.
Qualifications and ratios
The Department for Education (DfE) defines the qualifications that staff must hold to count in EYFS staff:child ratios. Providers can use our early years qualifications lists to:
- check if a person’s qualification meets the approved ‘full and relevant’ criteria for early years qualifications
- confirm if a person counts in the EYFS staff:child ratios
The guidance on Early years qualifications and ratios covers:
- which qualifications are acceptable to work in early years
- paediatric first aid (PFA)
- how to contact the department and disputes
Qualifications achieved in England
The Early years qualifications achieved in England guidance details the list of qualifications gained in England that are all full and relevant and accepted by DfE to work in an early years setting.
- qualifications started before 1 September 2014
- qualifications started after 1 September 2014
- level 2 and 3 qualifications
- special educational needs and disability (SEND)
Qualifications achieved outside England
If you did not get your qualification in England you will have to make an application for recognition to work in early years education in England.
The Early years qualifications achieved outside England guidance covers the information you will need to apply for recognition of overseas qualifications to be counted in the EYFS staff:child ratios in England.
This applies to those in:
- Northern Ireland
- Rest of the world
Qualifications that do not meet the criteria
Some qualifications do not meet the ‘full and relevant’ criteria set by DfE, meaning you cannot count them, at the appropriate level, in the EYFS staff:child ratios.
Based on certain criteria this could include:
- specialist community public health nurses
The Early years qualifications that do not meet the criteria guidance provides further information.
Pathway into early years
The Pathway into early years education guidance is for:
- anyone considering a career in the sector
- careers advisers
- Department for Work and Pensions work coaches
- early years practitioners who wish to progress their careers
It contains planning information and tools for those interested in working in the early years education sector including an Early years career progression map.