Teachers: Training

Department for Education written question – answered on 11th September 2015.

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Photo of Anna Turley Anna Turley Labour/Co-operative, Redcar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans her Department has to increase the skills and qualification level of the early years workforce.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Early years providers play an important role in developing their workforce in line with Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The EYFS sets clear staffing and qualification requirements for the workforce. The skills of the workforce have increased significantly, with 87% of full day care staff holding level 3 qualification or higher (as of 2013).

In order to meet the requirements of the EYFS, and to increase the skills and qualification level of the early years workforce, the Department for Education has:

  1. Developed a robust new set of standards for the Early Years Educator qualification at Level 3. Staff operating at Level 3 must also have GCSEs in English and maths at grade C or above. The department has recently made these GCSEs an entry to work requirement rather than an entry to training requirement. This has opened up training routes, ensuring more people with the right skills are able to join the early years workforce, including individuals on an apprenticeship.

  2. Introduced the Early Years Teachers Status for graduates who specialise in early years. Early years teachers must meet the same entry and qualifications requirements as teachers of older children, including skills tests, and a robust set of teachers’ standards.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework can be found online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2

Guidance on early years educator criteria can be found here:


The teachers’ standards (early years) can be found here:


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