In July 2011, the Government commissioned Professor Cathy Nutbrown to investigate the qualifications of the early education and childcare workforce as part of an independent review. The final review, Foundations for Quality, was published in June 2012.

All those involved in delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage need to be clear that, regardless of their role, they are teaching children to develop their cognitive, behavioural, physical and emotional capabilities that will in turn support children to be ready for school and future learning opportunities.

It is the aspiration that the early years workforce is recognised as highly professional and trained to ensure that children have the very best provision in their early years. To achieve this, two new qualifications have been introduced – the Early Years Educator and the Early Years Teacher.

Early Years Educator (Level 3): qualifications criteria

The qualification criteria set out the minimum requirements for what an early years educator should know, understand and be able to do, to be considered qualified to support young children from birth to 5 years old in the early years foundation stage.

Early Years Teacher

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 standards in practice from birth to the end of the early years foundation stage (EYFS).

Read more about the Government’s policy: Improving the quality and range of education and childcare from birth to 5 years here.