Early Years Teachers

About Early Years Teachers

Early Years Teachers specialise in early years development and are specifically trained to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and may be found in early years settings. You could work in private and independent nurseries, free schools, academies, hospitals, schools run by the armed forces and children's centres.


Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) replaced the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) and was introduced so there was one role of 'teacher' across educational settings, which would be easily recognised by parents and colleagues in other agencies. Individuals with EYTS and EYPS have the same status within an early years setting.


Routes into early years teaching

The postgraduate routes are similar to those for primary teaching routes and so include university-led PGCE (usually listed as the 'graduate entry route'), school-led School Direct and SCITT routes. All of which focus on providing training in placement combined with academic study, while you work towards gaining your early years teacher status.


For graduates who are already working as an unqualified teacher within an early years setting there are also university-led PGCE's called the 'graduate employment route', where you will study whilst you work and assessments in practice will happen in your usual place of work.


Entry requirements will be similar to those for Primary teaching and applicants, a degree in any discipline and GCSEs (or standard equivalents - these do not include the level2 awards in adult numeracy and literacy) in maths, English and a science subject. Some training providers ask for higher GCSE grades, so read the course prospectus carefully. If you don't have the required GCSEs, check whether the teacher training provider will view your qualifications as equivalent. Some may accept equivalency tests. Alternatively, study and take the GCSE examination. Further education (FE) colleges/adult education centres and distance learning institutions often run one-year GCSE evening or day classes.

Applicants need to have successfully passed the Professional Skills Tests prior to commencing their course.

Applying/searching for courses

Some providers manage their applications via UCAS will accept direct applicatios; so check prospectuses and school websites for details of how to apply. The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) has a list of current providers on its website which acts as a useful starting point for finding training places in your local area. Their website is included on our Suggested Links on this page.


Courses leading to the Early Years Teacher Status are currently funded by the National College of Teaching and Leadership. There are also bursaries available and these are in line with those for Primary teacher trainees.

Last modified: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 14:09