Early years teachers

The government wants to move decisively away from the idea that teaching young children is somehow less important or inferior to teaching school age children. As part of this, the Department for Education will build on the achievements of the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) programme by introducing early years teachers to lead further improvements in quality. Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) commenced from September 2013.

Early years teachers will be specialists in early childhood development, trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five years old. They will be graduate leaders responsible for organising and leading high quality practice in early years settings. To ensure that the training and assessment of early years teachers is appropriate for trainees a set of teachers’ standards (early years) are being developed. These will build on the EYPS standards and operate in parallel with the current teachers’ standards. Those who successfully meet the teachers’ standards (early years) will be awarded early years teacher status.

The government’s vision is to increase the status of the profession so that many more graduates consider a career as an early years teacher. The change will give one title of ‘teacher’ across early years and schools which can be easily recognised by parents and colleagues in other agencies working with children. Anyone who previously achieved EYPS will be classed as an early years teacher.

There is more information about early years teachers on the Department for Education’s website.