Early Years Practice with Early Years Teacher Status - not recruiting for 2014

Postgraduate Certificate

The full-time, one-year Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice with Early Years Teacher Status combines the opportunity to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate and a new professional status.


Become an Early Years Teacher and make a difference to the lives of babies and young children.

Campus Riverside Campus, Chester
Course Postgraduate Certificate
Length 1 Year Full-time

Early Years Teachers will be specialists in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five. They will be graduate leaders responsible for organising and leading high quality practice in early years settings. The Department for Education has published ‘More great childcare’ (January 2013). This sets out the Government’s plans for improving quality in early education and childcare. One of the Government’s key priorities is to raise the status and quality of the workforce. The plan of action to achieve this includes the introduction of Early Years Teachers from September 2013, building on the strengths of the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) programme.

This is an intensive programme of academic study and work-based learning.

Early Years Professionals have had a positive impact on the quality of early education and care for pre-school children. The introduction of Early Years Teachers will build on the EYPS programme to raise the status of the early years workforce. The change will give one title of ‘teacher’ across the early years and schools. Those that successfully complete Early Years Initial Teacher Training and meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) will be Early Years Teachers. They will hold Early Years Teacher Status.

Why complete Early Years Initial Teacher Training at Chester?

This course is aimed at graduates who have a strong desire to work in the Early Years sector and achieve at M level (Level 7). The course offers three 20-credit bearing modules of study related to child development and reflective practice in the Early Years. Early Years Initial Teacher Training is the highest level of qualification to work with young children aged from birth to five years.

It is attractive to graduates of related degrees, such as Early Childhood Studies, Early Years Education, BEd/PGCE because it provides an appropriate progression route that, with further study, can lead to a Masters degree.

This Postgraduate Certificate course, however, is innovative in that it also provides an opportunity for graduates from other discipline areas to move into this area of work.


The Government wants to attract and retain the best people to work with young children. Early Years Teachers will create, inspire and lead the best practice with young children. Research evidence shows that graduate leaders raise the quality of early years provision by improving their own day-to-day practice and by leading the practice of others. The government have funded places for September 2013 available now.

 The Faculty of Education and Children's Services offers interested trainees a Full pathway option as a Postgraduate Certificate course.

Programme Structure:

ED7701 Professional Practice: a pedagogy and curriculum for the early years [20 credits, M level]

This module introduces the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) and approaches to providing evidence for meeting them. In conjunction with placement experience it seeks to provide opportunities for critical reflection on practice -related matters in light of key documentation including government policy, theoretical frameworks, relevant literature and contemporary research.

ED7710 The Developing Child 0-5 Years [20 credits, M level]

This module aims to provide opportunities for critical analysis of key aspects of developmental theory and the impact on practice in the Early Years. It investigates the main theoretical perspectives in young children's learning and schematic behaviour of young children the implications for practice.

ED7704 The 21st Century Child [20 credits, M level]

This module examines key contemporary issues facing young children in the 21st century.

The aim of this module is to stimulate debate and promote critical thinking through identification and analysis of key contemporary issues for young children.  The module will provide students with the flexibility to analyse and examine in depth contemporary issues of interest and relevance to them. 

Each of the three 20 credit modules features formative and summative assessment. Assessment instruments are varied:

  • ED7701 is assessed through a Portfolio of critical reflections of practice
  • ED7710 is assessed through a case study critical analysis
  • ED7704 is assessed through an essay

There are three separate academic assessment points in the year, normally December, March and April and one Early Years Teacher Status assessment which takes place in the setting normally in June.

The University of Chester awards the Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice and theTeaching Agency awards Early Years Teacher Status to successful trainees. There are opportunities for reassessment of academic work that does not meet the minimum requirements. If Early Years Teacher Status is not achieved in the first instance there are opportunities for trainees to be assessed again at a later date. In some cases this may require additional placement time.

  • Work in the Daycare sector and Children's Centre provision as an Early Years Teacher
  • Field Officer work for Early Years organisations
  • Local Authority advisory work
  • Family Support Worker
  • Lecturer

Honours Degree

e.g. Early Childhood Studies, Early Years, BEd, Educational Studies.

Trainees with an unrelated Honours degree or postgraduate award will also be considered. All trainees are interviewed.

In addition:

  • All trainees must have GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent) in English Language, Maths and Science
  • CRB clearance

Applicants must also have some experience of working with children in a paid or voluntary capacity.