Early years qualifications
Find out if a qualification enables an individual to work in an early years setting and be included in the staff to child ratios for the EYFS.
All 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 National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is responsible for defining the qualifications that staff included in the specified ratios must hold.
Our Early Years Qualifications List is a searchable list of qualifications. Both providers and those wanting to work in an early years setting can use it to check qualifications and confirm if a person can be counted in the qualified staff to child ratios.
Early years educators
Early years educator qualifications were introduced in September 2014. They are qualifications at level 3 or above, approved by NCTL as meeting the early years educator criteria.
If staff have an early years educator qualification they must also have at least a GCSE grade C in English and maths to undertake a level 3 job role.
The position for staff holding full and relevant qualifications prior to the introduction of the early years educator criteria has not changed. They can still practice in level 3 job roles and do not need to hold GCSEs in English and maths.
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.
The Advanced Apprenticeship for Children and Young People’s Workforce includes the new early years educator qualification and requires learners to achieve GCSEs English and maths at grade C or above on exit.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is working with groups of employers (Trailblazers) to develop and publish new apprenticeship standards for a range of sectors. This includes an early years apprenticeship standard.
Find out more about apprenticeships.
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