Early Years Educators (Level 3)

The Nutbrown review identified over 400 different childcare qualifications that staff working in childcare settings can currently access, many of which lack rigour and depth, which has led to a decline in confidence in early years qualifications from employers in particular and also potential students.  In More Great Childcare the government outlined its plans to improve the qualifications of staff below graduate level.  All Early Years Educators will be expected to have at least a C grade in GCSE English and Mathematics

The awarding bodies will be expected to have developed high quality qualifications which meet the rigorous criteria published by the National College for Teaching and Leadership in time for the introduction from September 2014.  Training providers will be expected to include a high proportion of practical experience within their courses.

If you hold an existing full and relevant qualification at level 3 you will still be able to practice.

If you are currently studying for an early years qualification or are due to commence a training course in September 2013, the qualification will still be valid.


Early Years Educators – information for parents and carers

What will Early Years Educators be?

Most of the staff working within the early years will be Early Years Educators.  They will be specialists with a level 3 qualification approved by the Teaching Agency.  Level 3 is equivalent to A level standard.

What will Early Years Educators do?

Early Years Educators will care for babies and young children.  As well as helping them to learn, develop, and prepare for school and later life, Early Years Educators will also provide the care, attention and emotional support which these young children need.  They will often act as assistants to Early Years teachers or may deliver teaching, learning and childcare themselves.

How will Early Years educators be trained and qualified?

Only the best qualifications will be approved by the Teaching Agency for Early Years educators.  They will be the modern equivalents of the highly respected Nursery Nurse Diploma (NNEB).  Training courses will be expected to include a large amount of practical experience in good quality workplaces so they will see for themselves what high quality care and education looks like and how children and babies benefit from it.

Before someone can start an Early Years Educators course, they will be expected to have at least a C grade in GCSE English and Mathematics.  The government values apprenticeships as a high quality route and Early Years Educators will be able to take this option too.

Early Years Educator Criteria


The Apprentice Bursary Scheme

This scheme is a transitional measure before the introduction of the new level 3 Early Years Educator qualification in September 2013. 

Apprentice Bursary Scheme for the Early Years Workforce

This scheme aims to secure higher-qualified entrants to the Early Years Workforce with eligible apprentices working in settings delivering early learning places for two-year olds able to apply for a bursary of £1,500 plus £300 towards training.  Apprentices will need to have secured grade C or above in GCSE English and Mathematics.  Interested employers should complete a brief online form.  Applications will be open from September.



Childminder Apprenticeship Posterd

AGE Employer Fact Sheet