New 'early years practitioner' badge for level 2 courses

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The job title ‘early years practitioner’ will be used to show which level 2 qualifications count in ratios, Nursery World has learned.

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New qualifications will be badged ‘early years practitioner’ to show that they are based on the Level 2 criteria which came out in July.

A DfE spokesman said, ‘If the qualification meets the level 2 criteria, awarding organisations have the choice to use ‘early years practitioner’. In the same way if a Level 3 qualification meets the Early Years Educator criteria they can use the term Early Years Educator [in the title of the qualification].’

Any qualification which meets full and relevant criteria will be on the DfE’s early years qualifications list.

The term Early Years Educator was adopted for level 3 qualifications to show which courses new candidates should take to be counted in ratio. A qualifications review by Cathy Nutbrown found nearly 450 qualifications at different levels resulting confusion for candidates about which were full and relevant courses.

Awarding bodies are expected to use the new title. Cache/NCFE’s new level 2 course will be titled the ‘The level 2 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner.’

CACHE’s childcare subject specialist Janet King said ‘We will be looking at our full level 2 Early Years offer in due course to ensure that our qualifications remain fit for purpose and reflective of the needs of the sector.’

Awarding body Pearson said it was reviewing its BTEC Level 2 Technical Children's Play, Learning and Development (Early Years Assistant) to meet the level 2 Early Years Practitioner criteria, which will then be submitted for DfE approval so it can be listed on the early years qualification list. A spokeswoman said she was not yet in a position to confirm the final title of the qualification.

A City and Guilds spokeswoman said ‘At the moment we haven’t made a decision on the name for this qualification.’

Ms King added, ‘When people say ‘what do you do?’ you want to be able to say who you are. I think a title is very important in terms of position, status and value for the workforce.’

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