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.
2. Specialism in early years - birth to five
What age group does EYITT prepare me to teach?
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. www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching shows all the options.
Why become an Early Years Teacher?
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).
Do I have to be employed by a setting/school to be accepted on to the Graduate Employment-Based Route?
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 2018, you should apply for the Graduate Entry full-time training route - bursaries may be available.
I was previously accepted to the EYPS/EYITT but withdrew before completion. Am I eligible for a funded place?
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 2018.
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
I completed the EYPS/EYITT programme but was not awarded EYPS/EYITT. Am I eligible for a funded place?
No. Anyone that is registered on the NCTL database as a “not met” for EYPS or EYITT is not eligible for a funded place. If you have sufficient subsequent experience you may be eligible for the Assessment Only route for which a fee is payable.
I have achieved EYPS and would like to now achieve Early Years Teacher Status. Can I apply?
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. There is no need for you to follow the self-funded Assessment Only Route.
I am a teacher with Qualified Teacher Status, can I apply?
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, you could apply for the self-funded Assessment Only Route. Please note that you need substantial experience of leading care and learning with the under 3s as well as teaching 3-5 year old children for eligibility for this route. It is also possible to self-fund the Graduate Entry or Graduate Employment-Based route.
I am a childminder, am I eligible?
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.
I am a teaching assistant at a school, can I apply for the Graduate Employment-Based Route.
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.
I work in a reception class. Would you recommend QTS or Early Years Teacher Status as a teacher training route?
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.
Do I have to be employed by a setting/school to be accepted on to the Graduate Employment-Based Route?
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 (will not be employed from September 2018) you should apply for the Graduate Entry route.
What happens if I move settings/schools during EYITT?
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.
Do I need to have a health check before starting the programme?
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 and Assessment Only route), this is an employer responsibility.
Is there a check made on my ability to speak and write English?
The selection process will check your competence in spoken and written English.
Do I need to undertake a new Disclosure and Barring check?
For the Graduate Entry route, a DBS check is required.
For the Graduate Employment-Based and Assessment Only Routes, we can accept the DBS number from your employer.
4. Qualification Requirements
Is a degree needed before beginning EYITT?
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 2018.
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 2018 places you need to be completing your degree in summer 2018.
Is an honours degree required?
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.
Will my degree class help me to secure a place on EYITT?
One of the government’s key priorities is to raise the Status and quality of the early years workforce. EYITT Providers are encouraged by NCTL 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.
Is an ordinary degree acceptable?
The requirements for entry are the same as for all other ITT (QTS) routes. An ordinary degree is acceptable.
Can I start EYITT with a foundation degree?
I have many years’ experience and specialist early years qualifications - am I eligible to apply for EYITT?
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.
I have mislaid my GCSE certificates - do you need to see them?
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.
I don’t remember the exam board’s title
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.
Is a letter from my school/college acceptable evidence?
A letter from your school cannot be accepted as evidence - you need exam board evidence.
What Science GCSE is needed?
You can have either combined Science, Physics, Chemistry or Biology GCSE at grade C or above. Social Science qualifications are not acceptable.
What English GCSE is needed?
You need GCSE in English Language. We cannot accept GCSE English Literature or spoken English.
I need to re-take my GCSEs. How do I go about this?
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.
Are Level 2 qualifications (e.g. Level 2 City and Guilds Numeracy or Literacy) acceptable instead of GCSEs?
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.
5. Professional skills tests
Applicants need to apply for an Early Years ITT course to a provider before they book in to take the skills tests online. New applicants do not need a reference number or TRN to register.
All those applying to take the tests will be asked to provide their personal details, which should match exactly the details that have been used in their Early Years ITT application form and the personal ID they will use when attending the skills test centre. If the details do not match, candidates may not be permitted to take the test and/or their chosen provider may be unable to verify their test results.
All trainees must meet the requirements for entry onto an Early Years ITT route which include passing both skills tests. It is the responsibility of the trainee to provide evidence of their skills test results.
Should I register for the ITT Skills Tests?
Yes. Once you have submitted your application for EYITT you can book in for the tests in literacy and numeracy. It is important that you use exactly the same name (i.e. don’t use an abbreviated forename on one application and the full name on the other).
Please arrange to take the tests as soon as possible as you will normally need to have passed both tests before the interview.
Must I have passed the skills tests before attending for the interview?
If you have been able to do so that would be ideal.
However, we understand that it may not be possible for everyone to take the tests before the interview as there may not be a test date in your area prior to the interview. In this circumstance please book in for the skills tests and tell us on the interview day when you are due to take them.
Where can I find out more about skills tests?
You can find more information about the Literacy and Numeracy Professional Skills tests on the DfE website, where you will also find practice papers.
If you are not successful when you first take the tests, please let us know so we can advise you and support you to have another go. It is not a good idea to book straight into the test again without taking advice and doing some more practice.
The DfE practice tests are a very good way of familiarizing yourself with what is required. It may be a bit daunting - as it is a different way of being tested and some of the contexts are unfamiliar but the more you practise the more likely you are to pass. The guidance on mathematical terms like mean and median is also very useful. Go through all the guidance - don’t jump straight to the tests. If you aren’t successful the first time, then go back to the guidance too.
Have paper and pencil by your computer when you do the practice tests. You are allowed to make notes as you work out the answers. On the actual tests, they will give you a laminated card and pen.
Practising will help you pace yourself and see where you need to do some more work. Candidates will be able to book three tests per subject free of charge. A charge will be applied from the fourth test attempt per subject.
If you have a documented medical condition or disability that may affect your performance in the tests, you may be entitled to reasonable adjustments. Further information can be found here.
If English is not your first language, you may request 25% extra time in which to complete the tests by clicking on this option when booking your test.
I have previously completed and passed the professional skills tests. Do I need to take them again?
Skills test are valid for 3 years. If you have passed the tests within this time, there is no need to re-take them after applying for EYITT.
What is the placement requirement?
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.
7. Funding and bursaries
What bursaries are available to me?
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 NCTL should they request it.
How much does EYITT cost?
There is no charge to trainees or their employers for the funded Graduate Entry and the Graduate Employment-Based routes as the NCTL funds these training routes.
The Assessment Only Route is self-funded - £1,950.
Is it possible to self-fund?
The Assessment Only Route is a self-funded route, funded (by the individual or employer and is for graduates who are very experienced as teachers and leaders of care and education across the birth to five age range (normally three to five years’ experience).
It is also possible to fund the GE and GEB routes. Details available on request.
Can my employer pay the fee for the Assessment Only Route?
Yes. The fees can be paid by an employer or individual. If you decide to fund yourself as an individual, you will need your employer’s full support and confirmation of your experience and eligibility.
How does the funding work for the Graduate Employment-Based Route?
This route is NCTL 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.
Who are the EYITT providers?
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.
9. Training Sessions
Where do training sessions for EYITT take place?
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.
What is the length of the different routes?
The Graduate Entry and the Graduate Employment-Based routes run from September to June.
Assessment Only Route - 3 months - i.e. time to collect evidence together and prepare for assessment.
10. Experience and commitment
Are the training routes full-time courses?
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 Assessment Only Route involves you in preparing for assessment. You need to be very experienced (at least three to five years’ experience of leading education and care and teaching in early years across the birth to five age range). This route is over a short timescale (3 months) and so you must be able to commit to the necessary work in collating evidence and preparing for assessment.
I am a volunteer with children under five - which route is for me?
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.
Do I need experience in at least two settings/schools to achieve Early Years Teacher Status?
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.
Is there a requirement to have experience in Key Stage 1?
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.
On the Graduate Employment-Based route, is there a requirement to have recent experience in two settings/schools?
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).
On the Graduate Employment-Based route, what release time will I need?
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 am interested in the Graduate Employment-Based route but 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.
11. Equivalency with QTS & teaching in schools
Can I be employed as a teacher in a maintained school with Early Years Teacher Status?
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.
Where can those with Early Years Teacher Status lead teaching?
Early Years Teachers can work in all private, voluntary and independent (PVI) early years settings which is 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.
What is the pay scale for Early Years Teachers?
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.
Is there an Early Years QTS route?
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.
Why has Early Years Teacher Status been introduced as a different status from Qualified Teacher Status?
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.