'More Great Childcare': Early Years Teacher to supersede EYPS

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The Government has responded to Cathy Nutbrown's recommendations for raising the professionalism of the workforce by saying it will introduce a new Early Years Teacher role, but without Qualified Teacher Status.

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This will be created by building on the existing Early Years Professional programme, but while the Early Years Teacher role will have equivalence with QTS, it will not have QTS conferred on it. Those who have already achieved EYPS will have equivalence with the new Early Years Teacher.

The first training for Early Years Teachers will begin in September this year, with candidates embarking on a programme which amends the existing EYP standards to more closely match the Teaching Standards for classroom teachers.

Early Years Teachers will have to meet the same entry requirements as primary classroom trainee teachers with at least a C grade in English, maths and science GCSE. From September 2014 they will be required to pass the same skills test as classroom teacher trainees before they start their courses.  

The Government is also raising the quality of Level 3 with the introduction of Early Years Educator qualifications. These will be influenced by the Nursery Nurse Examination Board Diploma, which was discontinued in the 1990s, and which is looked back upon as a solid qualification.

In the spring, the Teaching Agency will consult with employers on a new ‘tougher’ criteria for qualifications, with the aim of publishing these in the summer. Awarding bodies will need to develop higher quality qualifications ready for introduction in September 2014 to comply with the new criteria.

Apprentices will offer a route to becoming an Early Years Educator and the Government will be supporting the need for more trainees to meet the two-year-old offer with a limited number of bursaries to better qualified apprentices. Those who receive bursaries will become the first Early Years Educators.

The Government has given a commitment to work with partners to improve the quality of training in further education colleges and in work placements. Tutors should be qualified to a higher level than the course they are teaching and should have regular CPD.

It is removing constraints on childcare training, so that providers do not have to necessarily use local authority-approved courses, and believes this will create more competition in the market for high quality training and professional development.

The Government says that it is its ‘aspiration’ that over time group childcare will increasingly be delivered by Early Years Teachers and Early Years Educators, and that these titles will achieve widespread recognition by parents and families.

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