Qualifications update



April 2019

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has approved the new Level 3 Early Years Educator Standard.


26 July 2018

The Department has set out the criteria for new Level 2 early years qualifications.

Find out more

3 March 2017

The Department for Education has confirmed that alternative Level 2 English and maths qualifications other than GCSES (such as Functional Skills) are now acceptable qualifications for Early Years Educators to be counted in Level 3 ratios.

5 November 2016

The Department for Education has launched a consultation  on the literacy and numeracy skills needed by early years staff, which will inform the upcoming early years workforce strategy:

View the consultation

5 August 2015

The Department for Education has confirmed that practitioners who hold Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) can now count in staff ratios, whether or not they hold GCSEs at grade C or above.

Further information on the Early Years Qualification List

31 July 2015

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has removed the previous GCSE English and maths entry requirement for standalone Level 3 EYE courses. The SFA confirmed that, while it will not place a formal exit requirement of GCSEs, it does expect providers of standalone courses “to support learners to achieve the necessary GCSEs in English and maths alongside their Early Years Educator qualifications.”

Updated ‘SFA funding rules: 2015 - 2016’ document
Download our Level 3 Early Years Educator Qualifications: Frequently Asked Questions document

1 July 2015

The government has confirmed that, as of 1 August, GCSEs will be an exit, rather than entry, requirement for apprentices undertaking Early Years Educator (EYE) level 3 qualifications.

The Under 5 story on the announcement.

12 February 2015

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has removed an apprenticeship requirement which previously stated that practitioners wanting to start a Level 2 or Level 3 apprenticeship must have gained GCSEs in English and maths within the past 5 years if they had achieved a Grade B or C.

The Nursery World article on the change.
The updated specification of apprenticeship standards for England (SASE)

22 August 2014

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has published the early years educator apprenticeship standard.

The Under 5 news story on this announcement
Apprenticeship standard: early years educator

25 April 2014

The National College of Teaching and Leadership have created a searchable list of early years qualifications to allow practitioners to check if their qualifications allow them to be counted in staff ratios.

Download the qualifications finder.

3 April 2014

The Department for Education has published guidance on becoming an early years teacher (EYT), including information on the four routes to early years teacher status and available funding.

Early years initial teacher training (ITT): a guide for providers

25 February 2014

The National College of Teaching and Leadership has confirmed that funded early years educator course entrants will GCSE maths and English at grade C or higher on entry of their course. The NCTL has also confirmed that all practitioners holding the new EYE qualification must have these qualifications in order to count in staff ratios.

NB: This only applies to practitioners holding the new EYE qualification, not those holding existing ‘full and relevant’ level 3 qualifications.

Policy updates