Early Years Initial Teacher Training

  Our EYITT application window for Autumn 2020 is now closed.   

We are accepting applications for our Graduate Employment-based (GEB) route and Graduate Entry (GE) route for 2021. 

Best Practice Network delivers Early Years Initial Teacher Training (birth to five) across England. We are proud to maintain a 100% pass rate for EYITT over the past 3 years.

Qualified Early Years Teachers learn about all the latest Early Years research and classroom techniques and will be able to use this to improve childcare provision of the children in their care.  Research evidence shows that graduate leaders raise the quality of early years provision by improving their own day-to-day practice and by leading the practice of others. Our trainees tell us the course is life-changing and puts them on track for a rewarding career.

A £7,000 employer incentive from the DfE is available to early years settings to support each member of staff on the course.

EYITT is delivered through training days, small group meetings and online lessons and every candidate gets their own personal tutor. For more details on the delivery, content, assessment and support please refer to the tab sections below. 

It is a DfE requirement that prospective EYITT candidates attend an interview to determine suitability and readiness for the programme. We are currently conducting these interviews remotely, via Zoom or a phone call.  Contact us to confirm a suitable date and time.  

"Completing my Early Years Initial Teacher Training with Best Practice Network remains one of my greatest achievements. I found the course to be challenging yet inspiring."
Charlotte Reynolds EYITT Candidate

We have also developed an online unit for the role of a Physical Activity and Nutrition Coordinator (PANCo) in the Early Years. Find out more here.


Who is this for?

EYITT leads to Early Years Teacher Status and is designed for those who wish to specialise in early childhood development work with children across the birth to five age range.

This training is suitable for:

  • Graduate early years practitioners who may work in a range of settings across the birth to five sector, including nurseries, schools, home-based settings
  • Graduates who want to join the early years sector
  • Full-time undergraduates on Early Childhood Studies degree programmes


Entry Requirements

The following entry requirements must be met:

  • GCSE Grade C and above (or recognised equivalent) in Maths, English and science
  • A degree on entry - the degree can be from any area of study.
  • Right to study and work in the UK
  • Competence in spoken and written English
  • A satisfactory DBS check
  • Meet health and physical capacity to teach requirements (GE route)

If your English or maths GCSE (or equivalent) was taken from 2017 onwards and is graded 1-9 you should check the Ofqual grading summary to confirm if your qualification meets the entry requirements.

Additionally, if you are applying for the Graduate Entry route, you are required to complete 20 voluntary days within an early years setting prior to being interviewed. You will be asked to produce evidence of days completed at the interview stage.

Please check the FAQs if you have any queries about your eligibility for the programme.

It is a DfE requirement that prospective EYITT candidates attend an interview to determine suitability and readiness for the programme.  In light of COVID 19, we will now be conducting these interviews remotely via Zoom or a phone call.  A remote interview can be arranged at a time of your convenience. 

What are the benefits?

The Government is committed to raising the quality of early years provision by encouraging graduate leadership. Research has shown that the quality of provision is higher in settings that employ more graduate trained staff.

Early Years ITT is the only teacher training focussed on the birth to five age range. To be awarded Early Years Teacher Status, trainees must meet robust standards designed specifically for high-quality work with this age group. This makes Early Years Teachers ideally placed to fulfill the needs of employers for high-quality education and care for babies and young children. The pay and conditions for working in early education and childcare settings outside maintained schools are determined by employers at a local level.

Why choose to study with Best Practice Network?

  • We have been providing EYITT and its preceding courses, EYTS and EYPS since it began in 2006 so are experts in our field
  • Working in partnership with renowned universities and school-based ITT providers gives us the benefit of a wide knowledge base and provides you with a wider support network
  • We have a rigorous behind the scenes application process ensuring that we only take on the best quality candidates
  • We offer greater placement flexibility giving you the choice of where you want to go
  • You will receive ongoing support from a designated personal tutor as well as your group tutor and our friendly office staff
  • Many of our trainees are offered employment during or following the completion of EYITT

Routes to EYITT

We offer two funded routes to Early Years Teacher Status, both of 12 months duration. Both routes require a degree on entry, as well as GCSE in English, maths and science at grade C or above.

Route 1. Graduate Entry Route (GE) - 12 months, full-time  

Funded places are available, and from September 2020 the following bursaries are also available:

  • £5,000 for a graduate with a first-class degree
  • £4,000 for a graduate with a 2:1 degree
  • £2,000 for a graduate with a 2:2 degree

Route 2. Graduate Employment-based Route (GEB) - 12 months, part-time

This route is for graduates who are either:

  1. already employed in an early years setting/early years department of a school
  2. newly recruited to an early years setting to undertake Early Years Initial Teacher Training through an employment-based route

A £7,000 employer incentive is available to cover release and other costs paid in three installments. 

How is it delivered?

The EYITT programme is a blended programme consisting of:

  • 9 locally delivered face to face training sessions
  • Online learning to meet each trainee’s individual needs via our Virtual Learning Environment
  • Practical hands-on experience in at least two settings or schools
  • Observation and assessment of teaching and care across the 0-5 age range
  • Weekly observations and meetings with a workplace mentor
  • Support from a BPN personal tutor
  • A personalised training plan including reflections on workplace learning
  • Placement experience


Placement Requirements

Trainee early years teachers need breadth and variety of experience in early years settings or schools, to enable them to meet all of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). They need to teach children from different backgrounds, and across the 0 to 5 age range, as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and to early years settings and school organisation and management.

GE Trainees

120 days of placement in two settings/schools to cover experience across the 0-5 age range. These placements are arranged by Best Practice Network

GEB trainees

Placement requirements depend on each trainee’s circumstances and ability to gain assessed experience across the 0-5 age range. If settings provide care and education for children aged 0-5 then employed trainees will only be required to complete a school placement. Where a setting provides care and education for children aged 2-5 then a placement with babies and school placement are required.

School placements

A minimum of 20 days reception experience to include the teaching of phonics and maths (can be in blocks of 10 days)

At least 10 days engagement with Key Stage 1/2 (engagement includes independent study)

Assessment requirements

By the end of the programme, whichever route is followed, all trainees will need to:

  • be able to demonstrate the Teachers' Standards (Early Years) across the birth to five age range
  • have gained teaching experience across the birth to five age range and engagement with Key Stages 1 and 2
  • meet the minimum level of practice expected of teachers as defined in the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) by the end of the training

Early Years Teachers will be specialists in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five. Early Years Teacher Status is awarded to graduates who are leading education and care and who have been judged to have met all of the Teachers' Standards (Early Years) in practice from birth to the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Early Years Teachers make the education and care of babies and children their first concern. They are accountable for achieving the highest possible standards in their professional practice and conduct.

Early Years Teachers act with integrity and honesty. They have strong early development knowledge, keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date and are self-critical. Early Years Teachers recognise that Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 curricula follow the EYFS in a continuum. They forge positive professional relationships and work with parents and/or carers in the best interests of babies and children.

Please check the FAQs if you have any queries on how the programme is delivered.

What does it cost?


Graduate Entry Route

12 months full time

  • Funded places are now available for 2021

  • A bursary of £5000 is available to those with a first-class degree

  • A bursary of £4000 is available to those with a 2:1, or £2000 for those with a 2:2 degree


Graduate Employment-based Route (GEB)

12 months, part-time

  • Funded places are now available for 2021

  • Funding includes a £7000 financial incentive to employers towards salary/release/support for the trainee

Equivalency with QTS & teaching in schools


Specialism in early years - birth to five


Qualification Requirements


Funding and bursaries

Training Sessions

Experience and commitment