Early Years Practice with Early Years Teacher Status

Postgraduate Certificate

This initial teacher training (ITT) course provides the opportunity to combine working towards Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) with studying to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice (PG Cert EYP). It also provides an opportunity for those who already have Early Years Professional or Teacher Status to achieve a postgraduate qualification.

The PG Cert EYP and EYTS can be studied together or separately.

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Campus Riverside Campus, Chester
Course Postgraduate Certificate
Length 1 Year full-time (EYTS – Graduate Entry) or part-time (Graduate Employment Based pathways); 3 Months (Assessment only pathway); 6 Weekends during 1 Year (Postgraduate Certificate). EYTS students will be required to complete a total of at least 120 Days of setting-based learning; employment-based students will be required to spend approx. 60 days of this in at least one alternative setting.
Start date September 2015

EYTS is the professional status for those who lead practice with children aged from birth to five years, and is equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status. The 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. 

Funding is available to cover the cost of the EYTS training, placements, mentoring and assessment for both part-time and full-time students. Additionally, bursaries are available for full-time students:

  • £5k with a first class degree
  • £4k with an upper second-class degree
  • 2k with a lower-class degree

Also, early years settings of students studying part-time receive payment to release their member of staff for study days and placement days in other settings.

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.

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.

Description of routes and funding streams (EYTS only)



Graduate employment based

(Chester 2015-16)

Graduate entry (Chester 2015-16)

Assessment only (Chester 2015-16)

Description of typical trainee

a) Graduate working in an early years setting 


b) Graduate newly recruited to an early years setting



Graduate undertaking EY ITT through an academic route.

(Includes the School Direct (Early Years) approach)

Graduate with experience of working with children from birth to five able to demonstrate the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) without further training e.g. overseas EY teachers, those with several year’s experience.

Normal duration

12 months (part time )

12 months (full time )

3 months


National College for Teaching and Leadership

National College for Teaching and Leadership


Post Graduate  Training Grant




Bursary to candidate if degree classification achieved


£9, 000

1st Class Degree       


£4, 000

2:1 Degree 



Incentive for employer (claimed through the University)

£14,000 (£7,000 for EYTS training + (£7,000 to support the training)




Why study the Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice with Early Years Teacher Status at Chester?

This course is aimed at graduates who have a strong desire to work in the Early Years sector and achieve Higher Level credit and recognition for their study and achievement. The PG Cert course offers three Level 7 20-credit modules of study related to child development, working with young children, and reflective practice in the Early Years. EYTS is the highest level of recognition for work with young children aged from birth to five years.

PG Cert EYP will provide the following:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the early years for those with an unrelated degree wishing to work with young children. With approx. two years’ experience working with young children, those with this degree can progress on to EYTS.
  • Opportunity to gain a higher-level qualification for those who already have EYP Status or EYTS
  • A stepping stone to further Level 7 study and Masters study for those interested in researching in and on practice, particularly graduates of related degrees such as Early Childhood Studies, Early Years Education, and BEd/PGCE.

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 University has Government-funded places for EYTS starting in September 2015 for full-time and part-time study. There is also a self-funded ‘assessment only’ option for those with considerable experience or who seek re-assessment. The Faculty of Education and Children’s Services offers those currently working with young children or those seeking to work in this sector, the opportunity to study a Postgraduate Certificate alongside working towards achieving Early Years Teacher Status.

Programme Structure:

Postgraduate Certificate in Early Years Practice

Pedagogy and Curriculum in the Early Years: Developing Professional Practice – 20 credits at Masters 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 Masters 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 Masters 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 Teachers 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. 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 through the Assessment-only route. In some cases this may require additional study, payment and/or placement time.

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

All applicants:

  • 360 CAT credits
  • Applicants need to provide evidence of experience of working with children (paid or voluntary).
  • Applicants will usually have an Honours degree in a related subject, e.g. Early Childhood Studies, Early Years, BEd, Education Studies, 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.
  • Two separate application forms are required: one for EYTS and one for the Postgraduate Certificate in EYP.
  • Please submit your Postgraduate Certificate in EYP application to Postgraduate Admissions, and submit your EYTS application to the Programme Administrator.

Additionally, for EYTS:

  • Must have GCSE English, Maths and Science at grade C or above at the time of application.
  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required.
  • A professional reference that comments on your academic aptitude for Masters-level study, your work ethic and your experience with children.
  • After applying for EYTS, applicants will be required to pass the Professional Skills Tests for ITT before attending for an interview – see http://sta.education.gov.uk

Additionally, for PG Cert EYP:

  • Candidates without a first degree but with exceptional professional experience and evidence of the ability to study at Masters level will also be considered.
  • GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above are desirable.