We are now accepting EYITT applications for our Autumn 2020 intake. Please apply before the 24th July deadline.
Note: we will now be conducting all interviews via a phone call. Contact us to arrange a time that is convenient for you.
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 have been shown to make a positive impact on the learning and life chances of the children in their care. Our trainees tell us the course is life-changing and puts them on track for a rewarding career.
A £7,000 employer incentive is available to early years settings to support a member of staff on the course.
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 via a phone call. Phone interview timings can be arranged at a time of your convenience.
"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."
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
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 holding these interviews via phone calls. Phone interview timings 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:
- already employed in an early years setting/early years department of a school
- 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 instalments.
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
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.
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
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.
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)
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 available
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 available
Funding includes a £7000 financial incentive to employers towards salary/release/support for the trainee
Initial teacher training leading to Early Years Teacher Status is designed for those who wish to specialise in early childhood development and lead education and care for children from birth to five years. Working as an Early Years Teacher with young children is a rewarding and challenging career and teachers can make a real difference to children’s development and life chances. There are opportunities to work in a range of early years settings to further develop skills and expertise and also opportunities to move into management of a setting.
Early Years Teachers can work in all private, voluntary and independent (PVI) early years settings which are where the majority of children and early years provision is based. They can also work in free schools, academies and independent schools which can employ teaching staff without the requirement for them to have QTS.
For those who wish to work with primary school-age children the most common route to becoming a school teacher is to undertake initial teacher training leading to QTS.
Specialism in early years - birth to five
EYITT leads to Early Years Teacher Status and is for graduates who are already working/have decided to work with babies and young children up to the age of five. This is most important - i.e. you must be committed to teaching, i.e. leading care and education for babies and young children up to the age of 3 as well as for children between age 3 and 5.
If you want to focus only on children age 3+, you should research other ITT options for example 3-7 Primary ITT.
Visit www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching to see all the options.
A career in early years brings the rewards of working with young children at a very formative time in their lives and gives the opportunity to make a real difference for young children's learning and life chances. You will be able to also make a lasting, positive impact on children’s wellbeing and development. Working as an Early Years Teacher with young children is a rewarding and challenging career and there are opportunities to work in a range of early years settings to further develop skills and expertise and also opportunities to move into management of a setting. (See section on employment).
Yes, you must be in paid employment. You can be already employed at the setting/school or employed specifically to join the Graduate Employment-Based route to EYITT.
This is not a route for volunteers at a setting/school. If you are not currently employed, or will not be employed from September 2019, you should apply for the Graduate Entry full-time training route - bursaries may be available.
Applications from people in this position will be reviewed on a case by case basis and may be eligible for a funded place. When applying you will need to:
- explain your reasons for withdrawing from EYPS/EYITT
- explain how your situation has now changed
- confirm that you are now able to give the required attention to completing the EYITT programme, i.e. if you are offered a place to begin in September 2019.
If you are employed in a setting/school your manager/headteacher will also need to confirm you are now in a good position to complete the programme
No. Anyone that is registered on the NCTL database as a “not met” for EYPS or EYITT is not eligible for a funded place.
No. EYPS is equivalent to Early Years Teacher Status. Those who have achieved EYPS can refer to themselves as Early Years Teachers. You are not eligible for further funding.
Eligibility for a funded place for those with Qualified Teacher Status is considered on a case by case basis. This is because a qualified teacher already has an equivalent professional teaching Status. It may be possible if you have decided to move from teaching older children to the teaching and care of children from birth to five.
Alternatively, if you have QTS and are very experienced across birth to five and want to achieve Early Years Teacher Status, it is also possible to self-fund the Graduate Entry or Graduate Employment-Based route.
If you are a graduate childminder and can confirm that you have the time to complete all the training requirements you can apply for the Graduate Employment-Based route, however, the £7000 employer incentive may not work in the same way. To be eligible for an employer incentive you must be an employee of the childminding business. If you are a sole trader or business partner and are classed as self-employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) you would not be eligible for an employer incentive. If your childminding business is a limited company, you and those working for the company are not classed as self-employed and as an employee of the limited company (the employer) you would be eligible for an employer incentive.
It is important that you think through your availability alongside your child-minding commitments because will need to make yourself available for significant time away from your childminding business i.e. for placements of at least 30 days in settings and schools where you will have the opportunity to teach larger groups/classes of children.
You will also need to confirm the ages and numbers of children under five who attend your setting.
If you have evidence of being in a teaching role from a previous employed role within the past two years prior to commencing the training with children up to the age of 5 this may be taken into account.
You must be able to confirm you can arrange for the time to be away from your own child-minding commitments. It is very important that you think this through carefully and can assure us you will definitely be available for placements and training days.
Yes if you are a graduate, you can apply as a teaching assistant. But during EYITT training you will need to be in more than a support role, i.e. have the opportunity to lead the learning and teach children in groups and whole classes.
It is for the individual to consider the most appropriate professional route for them and their career - it would probably help for you to discuss this with colleagues at school.
If a potential trainee teacher wishes to work in a school with older children into Key Stage 1 and not work with babies then teacher training leading to QTS is more relevant. If they wish to work with babies and children under 3 Early Years Teacher Status is more relevant, as QTS does not cover this younger age range.
Ideally, this will not happen - although it is acknowledged that this may be unavoidable for some.
Your new employer will need to agree for you to continue on EYITT and enter into a partnership agreement. If you apply for another job whilst on the EYITT, you should be clear that you are mid-way through the programme in your job application.
Those who are offered a place on the Graduate Entry route will be asked to complete a health questionnaire. If you are currently in employment (the Graduate Employment-Based route), this is an employer responsibility.
The selection process will check your competence in spoken and written English.
For the Graduate Entry route, a DBS check is required.
For the Graduate Employment-Based Route, we can accept the DBS number from your employer.
Early Years Teacher Status is a graduate professional Status - at least an ordinary degree is required on entry to Graduate routes.
All accredited Early Years ITT providers must ensure that all entrants hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. A first degree comprises an award of 300 HE credit points of which 60 must be at a level 6 of the QCF. Applicants with a foundation degree will need to supplement this qualification with at least 60 credits at level 6 (HE level 3) in order to attain an equivalent qualification before applying for EYITT.
The Graduate Entry and Graduate Employment-Basedroutes both require a degree before beginning the programme.
The only eligible applicants who can apply for these three routes without an already awarded degree are those finishing their degree in the summer of 2018, i.e. you will have the degree before beginning the programme in September 2019.
Practitioners who are in the process of topping-up from a foundation degree can apply for a place on the Graduate Employment-Based route to begin once they have achieved a full degree. Applications can be made in advance of being awarded a degree - for September 2019 places you need to be completing your degree in summer 2019.
Graduates with either ordinary or honours degrees can apply. For the Graduate Entry route those with a 1st class degree, 2:1 or 2:2 degrees are eligible for a bursary (£5,000 for 1st class, £4,000 for 2:1 or £2,000 for 2:2). Bursaries also apply to Master’s and PhD degrees. There are no bursaries available for those with other classes of honours degree or for an ordinary degree.
One of the government’s key priorities is to raise the Status and quality of the early years workforce. EYITT Providers are encouraged by the DfE to recruit a high proportion of trainees with good degrees, as for all other ITT routes. Of course, you would also need to demonstrate other entry requirements and suitability to lead the education and care of babies and young children up to the age of five.
The requirements for entry are the same as for all other ITT (QTS) routes. An ordinary degree is acceptable.
You will need to have been awarded a degree before you can begin EYITT. Early Years Teacher Status, in parallel with Qualified Teacher Status, is a graduate professional status and therefore everyone who is awarded Early Years Teacher Status must have been awarded at least an ordinary degree.
Yes. We do need to see your certificates or if you have mislaid them, a certified statement of results that can be obtained from the examination board. This is a straightforward process. Refer to guidance on obtaining certified statements of results on our website. The results slip that is sent before the certificate is not sufficient as these are subject to change. You need a certified statement from the exam board for which they make a charge.
If you don’t know your exam board(s), ask a friend or family member who went to your school if they have their certificates and can check for you. If you can contact your school/college they may also be able to tell you.
A letter from your school cannot be accepted as evidence - you need exam board evidence.
You can have either combined Science, Physics, Chemistry or Biology GCSE at grade C or above. Social Science qualifications are not acceptable.
You need GCSE in English Language. We cannot accept GCSE English Literature or spoken English.
You can take a GCSE course at most local colleges.
Alternatively to enable candidates to meet the GCSE (or recognised equivalent) qualification requirements for the EYITT Programme, Best Practice Network works with Equivalency Testing (EQT), who provide English, mathematics, biology and combined science (biology, chemistry and physics) equivalency tests which are nationally recognised and accepted by colleges, universities and other HEIs.
Please follow the link below for further information, where you can also find available testimonials from previous candidates who have sat these tests - www.equivalencytesting.com.
No. Although these are Level 2 qualifications, as are GCSEs, they do not cover the same breadth of knowledge so cannot be accepted as equivalent to a GCSE.
For the full-time Graduate Entry route, you will need to undertake 120 days placement in at least two settings including at least a 10 day Key Stage 1 placement in a school.
For the part-time Graduate Employment-Based route, placements will be based on an assessment of individual needs. All trainees will need to be able to demonstrate recent evidence of their good teaching and care of children from birth to five across at least two settings, plus 10-day engagement with key stage 1.
In practice, most GEB trainees need to undertake one or more placements to consolidate their experience across birth to five. The main placement must be of at least 30 days duration. The 30 days can be split into blocks of no less than 2 weeks if this is more convenient. Additional shorter placements may also be necessary to give a current experience of teaching and care across birth to five.
All GEB trainees need experience in a Reception class in school either from recent relevant experience of placement during EYITT.
Funding and bursaries
For the Graduate Entry route, funded places are available. There are bursaries available for those with various degrees (£5,000 for 1st class and PhD, £4,000 for 2:1 and Masters or £2,000 for 2:2). There are no bursaries available for those with other classes of honours degree or for an ordinary degree.
For the Graduate Employment-Based route there is £7000 setting grant which employers should use for costs associated with working towards EYITT. (If you are a childminder, please see ‘I am a childminder, am I eligible?’ for further funding information).
There is no set list of activities for the employer incentive. It is intended to contribute towards costs incurred by the employer in supporting and employing the trainee during their training and can be used for things like supply cover; salary enhancements; employment costs, National Insurance and other overheads. This funding should not be used to cover sickness or maternity. Employers should keep auditable information on how this money is spent as we may ask employers to provide this information for the DfE should they request it.
There is no charge to trainees or their employers for the funded Graduate Entry and the Graduate Employment-Based routes as the DfE funds these training routes.
It is possible to fund the GE and GEB routes. Details available on request.
This route is DfE funded for the training fee and what is called an ‘employer incentive’. This will be £7,000 to contribute towards release costs and other support costs while you are on the EYITT programme.
The list of all named ITT providers is available on the DfE website.
The list names only the accredited ITT providers with allocated places i.e. does not refer to delivery partners. For example, Best Practice Network is working to deliver the EYITT programme on behalf of two providers - eQualitas and the University of Wolverhampton - but we are not named on the list.
Training venues will be arranged to be as convenient as possible within the region, taking into account accessibility by public transport. Group training will be approximately once a month.
The Graduate Entry and the Graduate Employment-Based routes run from September to June.
Experience and commitment
The Graduate Entry is a full-time programme. You need to be available on a full-time basis, including 120 full days in placement. This means that you will be required (normally) for four days a week sometimes five, in placement. Your family/other commitments must enable you to be able to commit to full-time attendance.
The Graduate Employment-Based route is part-time, i.e. you undertake the training including placements alongside your employment in an early years setting/school.
The Graduate Employment-Based route is for those in paid employment, so this is not the correct route for you - unless you have secured an employed post for September 2018.
If you do not wish to become employed whilst training you should consider the full-time Graduate Entry route.
Yes. Whichever route you follow this is a necessary requirement - the experience of leading education and care/teaching across birth to five in at least two settings. Previous experience (from the two years before starting EYITT) can be taken into account only if you have evidence of assessed practice, for example, performance management records.
For the Graduate Entry route, your placements will be across at least two settings/schools.
For the Graduate Employment-Based route you may need to undertake a thirty day placement ( in blocks of no less than two weeks ) in another setting/school with children aged up to five during the programme - i.e. if you do not have sufficient evidence of assessed practice in another setting/school. You may also need shorter additional placements.
Yes. This applies to all routes. A minimum of 10 days engagement with the curriculum and expectations in Key Stage 1 is a necessary requirement. This is completed through study and time spent with Years 1 and 2.
Yes. This experience can be recent employment or placement during your EYITT programme.
If experience is from recent employment you need evidence of assessed practice in the previous setting/school. This evidence could come from performance management for example. A record of your experience on its own is not sufficient - you need evidence of the quality of your practice in leading education and care/teaching which evidences the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).
National guidance says you should work with children for no more than 90 per cent of your contracted time. If you work full time, this equates to half a day release a week as a minimum. The release time does not have to be apportioned exactly each week, e.g. it could be one day a fortnight. You will need to undertake a placement of at least 10 days in Key Stage 1 and may also need placement with the under 5s for your second setting/school experience.
... I don’t currently have a job in the early years sector. Would I have to find a setting/school who will employ me or does the ITT provider link me up with a setting/school who are employing individuals specifically to complete the programme?
Yes. You can begin employment in an early years setting specifically to undertake the Graduate Employment-Based route. Finding employment could work either way - i.e. you may know of a school/setting that would employ you or the EYITT training provider could assist in this process.
Equivalency with QTS & teaching in schools
Those with Early Years Teacher Status can work in maintained settings but only individuals who meet the legal definition of a school teacher can lead teaching in a maintained nursery school or a nursery class in a maintained school for children aged 3 and over. Those with Early Years Teacher Status are, therefore, not able to lead classes in a maintained nursery or school, unless they also hold QTS (or a suitable international teaching qualification as defined by NARIC). Early Years Teachers can, of course, lead teaching in all other early years settings.
There is no pay scale for Early Years Teachers. The pay and conditions of individuals with Early Years Teacher Status are determined by employers. All early years settings including maintained schools are free to set the level of pay for individuals they employ with Early Years Teacher Status
Yes. Some ITT providers offer a 3-7 years Primary QTS route. If you wish to work with children 3+ this may be the best option for you. You can find details on the 'Get Into Teaching' section of the Department for Education’s website.
The government’s reforms are focussed on birth to five as the evidence is clear that high-quality early education teaching and care can have a powerful impact on young children preparing them for school and later life. Although routes to QTS for three to seven years remain, the birth to five years Early Years Teacher route recognises the key importance that quality education has on the outcomes for young children from their earliest years.
Early Years Teachers are specialists in birth to five years and are ideally placed to fulfil the needs of employers in private and independent settings and schools to provide high-quality education and care for our youngest children.
There are specific entry requirements so please check your eligibility carefully before beginning your application.
View our Early Years candidate case studies.