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Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT)

Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) leads to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) - the only qualification specialising in early childhood development and  allowing to teach children across the birth to five age range.

To be awarded EYTS, trainees must meet robust standards designed specifically for high-quality work with this age group. Through achieving EYTS, you will meet the expectations of employers in the early years sector. Please note that the pay and conditions for working in early education and childcare settings outside maintained schools are determined by employers at a local level.

As the leading EYITT provider in England with a 100% pass rate, our course will provide the trainees with the latest early years research and classroom techniques. Qualified Early Years Teachers are proven to raise the quality of early years provision, be a core element of setting's team development, and improve children’s life chances.


"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

Obtaining the EYTS qualification would allow you to teach children up to the age of 5 in private nurseries, children's centres and reception classes in academies and independent schools. It does not allow you to lead the teaching in reception classes in maintained schools. To enable you to be the lead teacher in maintained schools, you will be also required to obtain QTS.

"29% of children start school without the basic skills they need to learn. For the most disadvantaged children, this grows to 43%.” - DfE, 2018           

“Disadvantaged children are four months behind at age 5.”  - Sutton Trust, 2020

Information for Employers

Research has shown that the standards of teaching are higher in settings that employ more graduate-trained staff.  The Government is committed to raising the quality of early years provision by encouraging graduate leadership, that is why the EYITT is fully-funded by the DfE.

For graduate practitioners who are eligible for a place on the programme, an employer incentive of £7,000 will be paid to the setting. This funding can be used for supply cover, mentoring and other costs associated with supporting the trainee during the programme. 

How can you support your employee?

Documents required at the application stage

  1. Completed Employer Declaration - available as an online document or a Word template
  2. Two observations of teaching and learning for the applicant. We can provide an observation template upon request.  

On-programme support

Employment-based trainees should have no more than a 90% timetable directly working with children giving them a 10% minimum release time. This will enable trainees to attend face-to-face training, setting mentor meetings, fulfil the placements and also time to work on their assessment. 

Mentoring and Support

The employment setting will need to identify the mentor and a lead trainer who will be supporting the trainee in the setting. Mentors are expert colleagues who enable trainees to develop the ability to reflect on their practice, provide specific support for the development of subject knowledge with professional skills and behaviours and will monitor the effective use of funding to ensure that the employee incentive grant is fully utilised to support trainees .

Best Practice Network will assign a personal tutor to your trainee. The personal tutor and QA team can make visits to the trainee and will facilitate the release of the trainee and mentor for face-to-face or remote discussions on the day of the appointment.

Why choose to study with Best Practice Network?

  • We have been providing EYITT, and its preceding course EYPS, since it began in 2006 so we 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

Part-Time Training via Graduate Employment-Based Route (GEB)

Our Graduate Employment-Based Route is designed for graduates who already work in paid employment  within a range of settings across the birth to five age range (including nurseries, schools, home-based settings).  The programme duration is 12 months. Upon the completion of this part-time training you will be awarded the Early Years Teacher Status. 
Table illustrating part-time route

Programme highlights:

      • Fully-funded by the Department for Education
      • £7,000 employer incentive available to cover release and other costs
      • Minimum 30 days in placement across the birth to five age range; all placements are bespoke to each individual case
    • Completed over an academic year, full-time
  • 9 face-to-face training days, normally held once a month, regionally
  • A Personal Tutor to support you
  • A Mentor and Lead Trainer assigned within your employment setting
  • For further information, click on   Graduate Employment Based Route Summary

What does it cost?


Graduate Employment-based Route (GEB)

12 months, part-time

  • Funded places are now available for 2022

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

  • For further information, click on Funding Guidance for GEB Employers

Full-Time Training via Graduate Entry Route (GE)

This EYITT route leads to Early Years Teacher Status and is designed for graduates who want to join the early years sector. The full-time route (known also as Graduate Entry Route) involves studying full-time through an academic-based training. The programme is usually delivered across 12 months.
Table illustrating full-time route

Programme highlights:

    • Fully-funded by the Department for Education
    • Bursary for 1st class, 2:1 and 2:2 holders (£5,000/£4,000/£2,000)
    • Full-time training completed over an academic year
    • 120 days in placement across the birth to five age range, including Reception and Key Stage 1 and 2
    • 9 face-to-face training days, normally held once a month, regionally
    • GE candidates take on additional 5 workshops on top of the 9 training days
    • A Personal Tutor to support you
    • Placements are found for the participants by BPN
For further information, click on    Graduate Entry Route Summary

What does it cost?


Graduate Entry Route

12 months, full time

  • Funded places are now available for 2022

  • 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

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 setting or school placements
  • 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
  • EYITT Training Event Delivery Timetable - 2021/2022

Please note, that training days for the September 2022 cohort will be announced soon. The below dates can be used as an indication of upcoming event windows.
Engagement window Programme element
15/09/21 – 30/09/21

Event 1: The Effective Early Years Teacher

11/10/21 – 22/10/21

Event 2: Adaptive Teaching

08/11/21 – 19/11/21

Event 3: PSED, Attachment and the Key Person system

06/12/21 - 17/12/21

Event 4: The Teaching of Early Reading and Early Mathematics

10/01/22 – 28/01/22

Event 5: Leading Practice as an Early Years Teacher

21/02/22 – 11/03/22

Event 6: Inclusion, Diversity, Wellbeing and Transition

28/03/22 – 08/04/22

Event 7: Best Practice in Early Years Teaching, Babies and Toddlers

16/05/22 – 27/05/22

Event 8: The Continuum of Children’s Learning

04/07/22 – 15/07/22

Event 9: EYITT Recommendation Presentations

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 at least 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 is also required.

School placements

Both routes must undertake a minimum of 20 days reception experience to include the teaching of phonics and maths (unless the trainee is undertaking the GEB route and already possesses enough experience within Reception). Placements can be done in blocks, with a minimum of 10 days in each)

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 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.

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 within a range of settings across the birth to five age range (including nurseries, schools, home-based settings)
  • Graduates who want to join the early years sector


Eligibility and entry requirements are set by the Department for Education (DfE). These eligibility and entry requirements are mandatory and cannot be changed or waived.

Entry Requirements

The following entry requirements must be met:

  • GCSE Grade C/4 or above (or recognised equivalent) in English language, maths and science. If you do not have a GCSE in any of these subjects, then we can accept equivalency exams. For further information about equivalency exam providers, please see our FAQs tab
  • Bachelor's 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
  • 10 days of voluntary experience within an Early Years setting (for Graduate Entry applicants only)

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 conduct these interviews remotely via Zoom or a phone call. 

Equivalency with QTS & teaching in schools


Specialism in early years - birth to five


Qualification Requirements


Funding and bursaries

Training Sessions

Experience and commitment

How to Apply

Click here to be taken to our application portal

Apply for EYITT

How does it work?

  • Once you click on the Apply for EYITT button, you will be transferred to the application portal where you will need to create a login (we recommend that you save your password on your computer) before you can start filling in your answers
  • It will take at least an hour to complete the form as you will need to fill in your details , employer's/reference details, education history, upload your documents and complete a personal statement
  • Once we have processed your application and we have all of the required documentation from you, we will invite you for a remote interview with one of our Quality Assurance team. This will be sent to you via email, which you will need to accept via the link in order for the interview to go ahead
  • If you are unable to attend the allotted date and time scheduled for you, then please click reject on the link and a new date and time slot will be sent to you
  • Within the invite, there will be instructions on what to prepare beforehand so please do read these carefully ahead of your interview

    Then what happens?

    • Once your interview has been completed, your documentation will then be ratified through the provider and a decision will then be made between 10 - 15 working days after your interview date
    • Details of whether you have been offered a conditional or unconditional place will follow 
    • We will send you an electronic learner contract to sign and return to us within 5 working days
    • Before the course starts, you will be provided with a welcome pack which will include our induction and programme handbooks and next steps ready for the September start