Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) Early Years Teacher Status

Postgraduate Certificate

Do you want to be part of a high-quality workforce that is dedicated and passionate about the learning of young children? Do you like working with very young children (ages 0-5 years old), are you passionate about their growing and learning, and do you want to be a part of their amazing educational journey? If so, become an Early Years Teacher (EYT)!

Register your interest to visit one of our Open Days

Campus Riverside Campus, Chester
Course Postgraduate Certificate
Length 3 Months to 1 Year depending on route chosen
Start date October 2016

What is Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS)?

EYTS is the professional status for those who lead practice with children aged from birth to five years. Our EYTS course can be followed either full-time or part-time, providing opportunities for those in employment as well as graduates in a related or unrelated subject to achieve the status with appropriate experience.

EYTS is part of successive Governments’ drives to raise the status and quality of the Early Years workforce, and to improve the early education and care for pre-school children (see www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/subjects-age-groups/early-years). Those awarded EYTS will enter the workforce as lead professionals, or gain promotion to this level if they are already working in the sector.

Why study Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) Early Years Teacher Status at Chester?

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. Early Years Teachers can make a real difference to the lives of babies and young children.

Successful completion of an early years initial teacher training course leads to the award of Early Years Teacher Status. This award is different to the award of QTS and is designed for those who wish to specialise in work with babies and young children from birth to five years. The role Early Years Teachers play will depend on the type of provision they work in, but whatever the setting, they will bring knowledge, skills and experience and contribute to improving outcomes for young children.

Early Years Teachers can work in all private, voluntary and independent (PVI) early years settings which is where the majority of children and early years provision is based. They can also work in free schools, academies and independent schools which can employ teaching staff without the requirement for them to have QTS.

Which route is right for you?

There are three training routes available, and you have the opportunity to choose the best route for your own individual background and needs:

  • Graduate Employment Based Route - this is the best route if you are currently working in an Early Years setting but require further training/experience in order to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).
  • Graduate Entry Route - this is the best route if you already have a degree and wish to pursue a career in Early Years.
  • Assessment Only Route - this is the best route if you already have a degree and also meet the Teacher’s Standards (Early Years) with no need for further training.

Funding and Finance

Funding is currently available to cover the cost of the EYTS training, placements, mentoring and assessment for the Graduate Employment Based and Graduate Entry routes.

Please see the individual route pages for the specific fees for each route.

For further funding guidance, please see: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-initial-teacher-training-funding-guidance

Course Structure:

Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice

Pedagogy and Curriculum in the Early Years: Developing Professional Practice – 20 credits at Master's level

This module will develop your understanding of teaching and learning with young children and curricula for children aged 0-5. It introduces the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) and will provide you with opportunities for critical reflection on practice-related matters in light of experience, government policy, theoretical frameworks, relevant literature and contemporary research.

The Developing Child 0-5 Years – 20 credits at Master's level

This module aims to provide you with 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, as well as the implications for practice.

The Critically Reflective Practitioner – 20 credits at Master's level

During this module, you will familiarise yourself with the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) that you will be assessed against, and the ways in which you will be able and expected to gather the evidence for your assessment. There will be opportunities to discuss issues that professionals face in practice, such as:

  • promoting positive attitudes
  • children's wellbeing
  • working effectively in a team and with parents and carers
  • developing a professional approach
  • continuous professional development of yourself and others.

Emphasis will be on the development of critical reflection in daily practice and practice-based research.

There are opportunities for Accreditation of Prior Learning for part of the Postgraduate Certificate, particularly for those who have already achieved EYPS or EYTS.

Early Years Teacher Status


EYTS trainees must complete a minimum of 120 days of assessed setting-based learning. Full-time trainees will be those with limited experience of working in early years settings, and they will be placed in at least two different settings covering the 0-5 age range. Part-time trainees will be those who are currently working in an early years setting, and will be expected to spend some time in at least one other setting. All trainees will spend at least ten days in a school with Key Stage 1 children. Financial support is provided to the employee’s setting to release part-time students for placements.

Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice

Each of the three 20-credit modules features formative and summative assessment. Forms that assessment takes are varied and include the following:

  • Pedagogy and Curriculum in the Early Years: Developing Professional Practice is assessed through a portfolio of critical reflections of practice.
  • The Developing Child 0-5 Years is assessed through a case study critical analysis.
  • The Critically Reflective Practitioner is assessed through a portfolio of evidence of meeting the EYTS standards and critical reflection on personal development.

There are a number of academic assessment points in the year, normally December, March and July.

Early Years Teacher Status

Preparation for assessment will take place continuously throughout the year and you will be allocated a mentor to support them from either within the setting or a professional mentor appointed by the University. Assessment against the Standards will normally take place in the setting at two points in the year.

The University of Chester awards the PG Cert in EYP and the National College for Teaching and Learning (NCTL) awards EYTS to successful trainees. There are opportunities for reassessment of academic work that does not meet the minimum requirements.

On completion of the course, you may go on to one of the following roles:

  • Lead Practitioner in the Early Years sector
  • Early Years Teacher/Worker in a Children’s Centre
  • Field Officer work for an Early Years organisation
  • Local Authority advisory work
  • Family Support/Engagement Worker
  • Mentor/Assessor/Lecturer in Early Years

You will need a GCSE grade C in English, Mathematics and Science or equivalent, and will have to pass the numeracy and literacy skills tests before taking up their place. There is no cost for the initial skills test.

For more information, go to: http://sta.education.gov.uk/

Additional requirements:

  • You will need to have 360 CAT credits.
  • You will need to provide evidence of experience of working with children (paid or voluntary).
  • You will usually have an Honours degree in a related subject, e.g. Early Childhood Studies, Early Years, BEd, Education Studies, or Childhood and Youth Studies, at 2:2 or above.
  • Applicants with an unrelated Honours degree or postgraduate award will also be considered, if they can demonstrate their interest and/or commitment to working and/or researching in the Early Years sector.
  • All EYTS applicants will be interviewed.
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required.
  • You will need a professional reference that comments on your academic aptitude for Master's-level study, your work ethic and your experience with children.
  • After applying for EYTS, you will be required to pass the Professional Skills Tests for ITT before attending for an interview – see http://sta.education.gov.uk

Route-specific entry requirements:

Each route also has specific entry requirements. Please see the individual route pages for the specific entry requirements: