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Early years teachers

What is Early Years Initial Teacher Training?

The first five years of life are critical in children's development. There is clear evidence that high quality education and childcare during these years has a powerful impact on children as they prepare for later life. The Government is committed to raising the quality of early years provision by encouraging graduate leadership. To support this development and to give every child the best possible start in life, the Government has reviewed the training for professionals working with this age group. Building on the strengths of the Early Years Professional Status programme, the Department for Education (DfE) is working with accredited ITT providers to deliver the Early Years Initial Teacher Training.

Early Years ITT is the only teacher training focused on the birth to five age range. To be awarded Early Years Teacher Status, trainees must meet the Teachers' Standards (Early Years) which have been designed specifically for high quality work with this age group. This makes Early Years Teachers ideally placed to fulfil the needs of employers for high quality education and care of babies and young children.

Further information about EYITT can be found on the Department for Education website.

What is an Early Years Teacher (EYT)?

  • EYTs are specialists in early childhood development trained to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) for children from birth to the age of five.
  • EYTs make the education and care of babies and young children their first concern. They are accountable for achieving the highest possible standards in their professional practice and conduct.
  • EYTs work towards Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) which reflects the specialist role they have in working with babies and children from birth to five years old.

What routes to Early Years Teacher Status are available at Middlesex University?

1. Assessment Only route - three months (self-funded) Graduates applying for this route will have substantial experience of working with children from birth to five years and be able to demonstrate the Teachers' Standards (Early Years) across the full birth to five age range without further training or placement experience. The assessment only route is a self-funded route.

2. Graduate Employment Based route - twelve months, part-time (DfE funded) Graduates applying for this route will be employed in an early years setting either:

  • as a graduate practitioner who requires training and further experience to demonstrate the Teachers' Standards (Early Years)  OR
  • newly recruited to an early years setting in order to undertake early years ITT through an employment based route.

Funding will cover the training course fees and a financial incentive to employers which could include cover or salary enhancement.

3. Graduate Entry Route - twelve months, full-time (DfE funded) Graduates applying for this route do not need to have previous experience of practice with young children. Funding will cover the training course fees. Government bursaries are available for applicants with high achievement in their first degree.

4. Practitioners holding a Foundation Degree or equivalent level 5 qualification Foundation Degree practitioners are now required to top up to degree level in order to access either the Assessment Only Route or the Graduate Employment Based Route. The BA Hons top up to Early Childhood Studies provides a graduate level qualification required to access employment based EYITT routes.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) are the same as those for primary ITT.

All applicants must:

  • have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examinations in English, mathematics and a science subject

Assessment only, Graduate Employment Based Route and Graduate Entry Mainstream Route applicants must:

  • hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification. (A first degree comprises 300 higher education (HE) credit points of which 60 must be at a level 6 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework. Applicants with a foundation degree will need to supplement this qualification with at least 60 credits at level 6 in order to attain an equivalent qualification)

All entrants, as part of the provider's selection procedures, will take part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess their suitability to teach.


At the interview stage, your suitability for teaching will be judged, including your subject knowledge for teaching and potential to demonstrate proficiency with fundamental English and mathematics. If any shortfall is identified, you may be required to complete some additional work before starting the programme. During the programme, your subject knowledge and fundamental English and mathematics will be developed and assessed to ensure you reach the required level.

Enquiries and applications

To apply, please click on the relevant pathway link above follow the links to apply. If you would like any further information, please contact the Early Years Teacher Programme office at:

Early Years Teacher Programme
Middlesex University
Room FG17
Fenella Building
The Burroughs

Tel: 020 8411 6914
Email: eyteacheradmin@mdx.ac.uk

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