Level 4 and 5 Early Years training and Early Years Teacher Status | Oxfordshire County Council

Level 4 and 5 Early Years training and Early Years Teacher Status

Training for Level 4 and 5 courses in Early Years

The Foundation degree is available at Brookes University. On completion of the course, many students choose to stay in their current workplace. Some may take on new work or new responsibilities.

The Foundation degree is for practitioners with significant experience working at supervisory or management level in early years registered settings. It builds on practical work already being undertaken in the workplace to provide clear links between theory and practice.

A growing number of students decide to complete a third year of study to gain a full honours degree in Early Childhood Studies. This can also be done at Brookes University.


You may be able to get a loan from student finance to help fund all or part of your training. Bursaries or additional funding may be available for particular circumstances. See https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)

Early Years Teacher Status has replaced Early Years Professional Status. Practitioners with EYTS are specialists in early childhood development and their work will reflect the specialist role that they have in working with babies and children from birth to five years old.

Early Years Teacher Status will be awarded to graduates who are judged to have met all the Teacher's Standards (Early Years).

Entry requirements

  • That all entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examinations in English, mathematics and a science subject.
  • That, in the case of graduate programmes of Early Years ITT, all entrants hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification.
  • That all entrants, as part of the provider's selection procedures, have taken part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess their suitability to teach.
  • That all entrants beginning Early Years ITT on or after 1 August 2014 have passed the professional skills tests prior to entry (see below for details).

Skills tests

The professional skills tests for trainee teachers are intended to ensure all teachers have a good grounding in the use of numeracy and literacy in the wider context of the professional role of the teacher, regardless of their specialism or intended teaching age range. The same expectations have to be met by all candidates, regardless of their previous qualifications.

NCTL will pay for the first tests undertaken in numeracy and literacy. If candidates do not achieve the pass mark and wish to retake the tests they will have to pay for the additional attempts at £19.50 per test.

Routes to Early Years Teacher status

There are four routes to Early Years Teacher Status.

  • A mainstream HEI graduate entry route.
  • An undergraduate entry route, through an early childhood related degree blended with Early Years Teacher Status
  • An employment-based graduate route to encourage employer engagement.
  • An assessment only route.

NCTL funded routes

NCTL funding will be available to support:

  • Graduate entry (mainstream HEI) route. Funding will cover training grants for courses fees along with bursaries for trainees with high academic achievement (a first class degree or a 2.1). Bursary levels for academic year 2014/15 will be communicated in due course.
  • Graduate employment-based route. Funding will cover an employer incentive encouraging a move to an employer demand-led model of delivery. The current funding for School Direct Primary is £14,000 and the funding for the employer incentive has been set at the same level. This funding could be used to pay all training course fees and could also include supply cover or salary enhancement for example.

NCTL non-funded routes

  • Undergraduate entry route funding may be accessed by eligible trainees through fee-loans via Student Finance England (SFE). Trainees will be liable for the repayment of course fees.
  • Assessment only route is a self-funded route.

An undergraduate route is  in place for practitioners to progress. Undergraduate access programmes will support those with a Foundation Degree to complete their degree and move onto the graduate employment based training routes or the full time HEI graduate route whichever is most appropriate. There is no NCTL funding for this programme.

Checking qualifications are ‘full and relevant’

To check whether a qualification you may have is full and relevant or may need updates, please look at the qualifications listfor those delivering the Early Years Foundation stage.

Overseas qualifications

In order to confirm whether staff with qualifications from overseas can be counted in the level 2 or level 3 ratio’s they will need to contact UK Naric to get a Statement of Comparability for the Early Years Sector (SOCEYS).

To count in the ratios at level 3 staff with qualifications from overseas must also hold qualifications which are comparable to GCSE English and maths at grade C or above.

Playwork training level 4 and 5

Oxfordshire Play Association (OPA) can offer playwork training at levels 4 and 5. For details please contact OPA at www.oxonplay.org.uk.

Further details

For further details of funding and learner grants please see our funding for training courses page.

Last reviewed
21 June 2018
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