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Level 5 Qualifications in Early Years Education and Childcare

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These intermediate, work-related higher-education qualifications have been designed in conjunction with employers to meet skills shortages at the higher technician and associate professional levels.

A foundation degree is the equivalent of the first two years of an honours degree, and may be studied full or part-time. The course consists of academic study integrated with relevant work-based learning undertaken with an employer. It may be studied as a stand-alone qualification or upon completion you may progress to the final year of an honours degree.

Universities and colleges set their own entry requirements for each course. Typically a candidate would have to have a relevant Level 3 qualification and at least three years experience. Institutions will sometimes offer Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for those who are unsure of the current value of their qualifications.

QUALIFICATIONS

Practitioners who registered for a qualification from 1 September 2014 must hold a qualification that meets the early years educator criteria  to be considered full and relevant and to be counted in the level 3 ratios.

Two Level 5 qualifications appear on the Government’s list of qualifications that have met the early years educator criteria:

DIPLOMA IN LEADERSHIP FOR THE CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S WORKFORCE (EARLY YEARS) offered by City and Guilds

And FdA CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE (EARLY YEARS EDUCATOR) offered by Newcastle College Group

The Government also says that the following early education and childcare qualifications are considered as having met the early years educator criteria and are full and relevant:

  • A Foundation Degree in early years, early childhood studies or childcare with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting.
  • A Diploma of Higher Education in early years, early childhood studies or childcare with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting.
  •  A Higher National Diploma in early years, early childhood studies or childcare with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting.

Montessori International also now provides a foundation degree focusing on Montessori and the EYFS, leading to the Early Childhood Studies degree with Montessori.

Historic qualifications

Practitioners who completed or registered for a qualification before 1 September 2014 must hold a qualification that meets the full and relevant criteria to be counted in the level 3 ratios.

The following level 5 qualifications are considered as such:

  • A Foundation Degree in early years, early childhood studies, childcare or playwork. These are offered by universities and colleges such as Canterbury Christ Church, Bedfordshire and Kingston.
  • A Foundation Degree in Supporting Learning where the practitioner had their practice assessed in the Early Years Foundation Stage in the maintained sector.
  • A Diploma of Higher Education in early years, early childhood studies, childcare or playwork with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting.
  •  A Higher National Diploma in early years, early childhood studies, childcare or playwork with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting.

NQF or QCF?

Early years qualifications had been migrating from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) to the new Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) since 2010.

Now however both are being replaced by RQF, Regulated Qualifications Framework, which is designed to be simpler, and will help people understand 'better how qualifications relate to each other, by setting consistent measures of size (how long, typically, a qualification takes to study and be assessed for) and level of difficulty', according to the Government.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about early years level 5 qualifications, see here

A direct link to Early Years Qualifications List is here.

 

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