For this reason, existing EYPs will not be eligible for a conversion certificate which they can show to employers.
This clarification from the National College comes in the wake of EYPs contacting their training providers to request a conversion certificate. It has now confirmed that these requests will be declined.
According to the National College’s official line – ‘The practice of issuing a certificate with a different status to which the candidate is not entitled would be misleading. Any candidate applying for a job on the strength of this additional, incorrect certificate and a status to which they are not entitled could be construed as presenting a fraudulent qualification or status, and any job offer could be withdrawn’.
At Best Practice Network, which is a provider of the new Early Years Teacher programme, Maureen Lee, director of early years, said there seems to be some confusion surrounding the issue.
‘We offered to provide equivalence confirmation in response to requests from EYPs who said they wanted a piece of paper to demonstrate equivalence to employers. However, a statement of equivalence does not mean that this is a conversion or replacement certificate,’ she said.
‘The DfE has confirmed that qualified EYPs can refer to themselves as Early Years Teachers. In our Network newsletter in July we asked EYPs who gained their status through Best Practice Network if they would like to received a personalised confirmation from us that EYPS is equivalent to Early Years Teacher status. They could register their interest by the beginning of September. Not all EYPs decided to request this explanation of equivalence – many have said they are very proud of their EYPS in its own right.’
Katheryn Davies, EYP and owner of Worth Pre-school in Poynton, Cheshire, said she is waiting to hear back from her training provider about written confirmation of equivalency.
‘When I first heard about Early Years Teacher I thought that Early Years Professionals would be re-named. I didn’t realise that the Early Years Teacher programme includes developing knowledge of Key Stage 1 and has a different set of standards.’
She added, ‘Ideally it would good to see EYPs being able to top-up to Early Years Teacher through a short pathway. But at the end of the day it seems as if EYPs are still the poor relation, although EYPs themselves are very proud of their status and of their specialised knowledge.’
At Chichester University, Early Years Teacher programme co-ordinator Nikki Fairchild believes that existing EYPs should focus on their strengths.
‘When discussing their role with employers Early Years Professionals need to be mindful that it’s what they do to support children and families that counts and that their graduate status and experience is responsible for this and not the title they use,’ she said.