Early Years Teachers (England)

Early years teachers play an essential role in children’s development between birth and the age of 5, delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage (in England) and providing high-quality early education.

Research demonstrates that the quality of early education and childcare provision is higher when practice is led by specially trained early years graduate teachers.

How do you become an Early Years Teacher?

Training Routes

All the training routes lead to early years teacher status (EYTS).

  • Graduate entry – usually a year of full-time study, with a £7000 grant to cover course fees as well as bursaries of up to £9000 for graduates with a first class degree, £4000 for graduates with 2:1 degrees and £2000 for graduates with a 2:2.
  • School Direct (Early Years) graduate entry – this route lets you train within a group of schools or nurseries with the expectation of employment once you achieve early years teacher status.
  • graduate employment-based – a one-year part-time route for graduates working in an early years setting who need further training to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). Funding of £14,000 is available, this covers course fees of up to £7000. The remaining £7000 is a contribution to the costs incurred by your employer, for example supply cover or salary enhancement.
  • undergraduate – a full-time three to four year route leading to EYTS. This route is for for people studying for an early childhood-related degree subject. Tuition fee loans are available from Student Finance England.
  • Assessment Only – this self-funded route takes three months and is ideal for graduates with experience of working with children from birth to 5 and who meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) with no need for further training, for example an early years teacher from overseas.

How to apply

The Get into Teaching page has full detail of how to apply for a relevant training course, and gives further information about training providers and available funding.