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EYFS statutory framework
The EYFS statutory framework sets out the requirements for staff to child ratios in EYFS settings and the qualification levels that practitioners must hold. As someone looking to undertake a qualification or as a manager looking to recruit someone with an existing qualification it is very important to make sure that the qualification is ‘full and relevant’ if the individual is to be counted in ratio.
 
Holders of level 2 qualifications that are considered full and relevant can be counted within the ratios at level 2.
Holders of qualifications at level 3 and above, for example, Foundation Degrees and Degrees that are considered full and relevant can be counted within the ratios at level 3.
 
To find out about more about qualification levels and to check if a qualification is considered full and relevant you can go to the Department for Education’s early years qualification list
 
Checking Qualifications
Did you know that you can check most qualifications yourself by using the DfE early years qualifications list? https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eyfs-staffchild-ratios-dfe-approved-qualifications
Choosing a provider
You will find a range of training providers both locally and nationally who can support you in gaining the qualification you want. When choosing a training provider there several things you will need to consider:
• the cost of the qualification – individual training providers charge different rates which reflect the type of service they provide
• How you learn best – there are a range of different learning experiences from regular attendance at a classroom distance learning. Make sure and choose the type that suits you best
• When you want to start your qualification and the time given to complete – you can enrol with some providers at any point during the year (rolling / open enrolment) and set your target completion date with them. Other providers will have a clear start and finish date
• Previous learner feedback – find out from other practitioners their experiences of studying with a training provider you are interested in. For example, ask what level of support was given, the quality of the teaching and how quickly feedback was given on work submitted
Whilst we can advise on qualifications, Suffolk County Council does not have a role in approving or inspecting practitioner qualifications. This is part of Ofsted’s role who inspect early years providers against the EYFS framework. 
Level 3
Anyone looking to undertake a full and relevant level 3 must now complete a qualification that meets the early years educator (EYE) criteria. This will provide you with a ‘licence to practice’ and enable you to be counted in ratios. Once qualified you will have the recognised status of Early Years Educator. Training providers will have different names for these qualifications so you should ensure that it states it meets the EYE criteria.
 
There are two qualification routes
• Full time college study with placements in early years provision
• Practice based – for those currently already working in early years provision

To count in ratios at Level 3, staff holding an EYE qualification must also have achieved a suitable Level 2 qualification in English and Maths
Level 4
The DfE states that the following level 4 qualifications are considered to have met the EYS criteria and can be counted in level 3 ratios

• A Certificate 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 Certificate in early years, early childhood studies or childcare with an element of assessed performance in an early years setting
Currently the only qualifications that meet these requirements are for practitioners who work in Montessori settings.

There are also a range of level 4 qualifications available that form part of a progression route or which practitioners choose to undertake to develop skills and knowledge in a specific area of work.
Level 5 and 6
Undertaking a Diploma of high Education, a Higher National Diploma or foundation degree (e.g. FdA in Early Years Practice) in a relevant field would give you a level 5 qualification.

You may wish to go on to top up to a degree and this would mean studying at level 6 which you will need to undertake the EYITT.

In order to be counted in ratios at level 3 the level 5 and 6 qualifications need to be sector specific and contain an element of assessed performance as defined by the DfE and have achieved GCSEs in maths and English at grade C or above.
Sector specific information can be found in the Subject Benchmark Statement document here: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/subject-benchmark-statements/sbs-early-childhood-studies-14.pdf?sfvrsn=fbe3f781_12
 
Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT)
Fully funded spaces available for Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme
 
Identified in ‘More great childcare’ (DfE 2013) as building on the strengths of the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) programme, the Early Years Initial Teacher Training programme has now replaced Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). Once completed, you will become an Early Years Teacher.
‘Early Years Teachers will be specialists in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five years. They will be graduate leaders responsible for organising and leading high quality practice in Early Years settings.’ (DfE 2013)
 
If you wish to gain Early Years Teacher (EYT) you will need to have a BA / BSc Hons degree first and then go onto study for EYT. You will also need English, Mathematics and Science GCSE.
 
For more information click here