Early Years Initial Teacher Training
Fully funded training to qualify as an Early Years Teacher
Bursaries up to £5,000 and early years employers receive £7,000.
At Worcester you will be taught by a multi-disciplinary team who are all research active with regular publication outputs. The Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYTT) programme works in partnership with employers to develop and enhance student experience.
We provide networking and CPD opportunities available during training and additional opportunities for further study after training with individual training plans and developmental needs supported.
- Aimed at degree holders who wish to become specialists in early childhood and development (0-5 years).
- Work alongside your studies by taking the Graduate Employment Based (GEB) route with additional £7000 funding for employers to support your training.
- Study alongside voluntary placements with the Graduate Entry (GE) route. Trainees on this programme may be eligible to a bursary.
- The opportunity to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Leading Early Years Practice (awarding 60 credits towards Masters level).
- Explore wider pedagogical and practice elements to enhance your prospects in leading the early years profession.
- Receive a personalised support package to support you in your transition from trainee to Newly Qualified Early Years Teacher (NQEYT).
Graduates with specialist early years training make a positive impact on the quality of settings and ultimately improve children’s outcomes. We want to support the sector to grow the graduate early years workforce.
Early Years Workforce Strategy, 2017
Register your interest
Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.
What qualifications will you need?
All entrants need to:
- be resident in England.
- have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examinations in English, mathematics and a science subject. We offer equivalency tests in these subjects, please contact admissionsA@worc.ac.uk for more information.
- hold a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification.
- take part in a rigorous selection process designed to assess suitability to teach in the early years.
- pass the government’s numeracy and literacy Professional Skills Tests prior to entry.
- If you have lived overseas for three months or more in the last five years a Certificate of Good Conduct from the country of residence will be required. Further information and guidance associated with additional costs are available from the Home Office. You will also be subject to the usual prohibition list and criminal record checks.
Professional skills tests
Professional Skills Tests for trainee teachers are intended to ensure all teachers have a good grounding in the use of numeracy and literacy in the wider context of the professional role of the teacher, regardless of their specialism or intended teaching age range. The same expectations have to be met by all candidates, regardless of their previous qualifications.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership will pay for the first tests undertaken in numeracy and literacy. If candidates do not achieve the pass mark at this first attempt and wish to retake the tests there is a charge for additional tests.
Each test may be taken three times, three failures will mean that the candidate is unable to retake the test for two years. Once passed the tests last for three years. Get Into Teaching provide guidance on passing the skills tests.
The University offers support workshops following the offer and acceptance of a place on the programme.
Graduate Employment based route (12 Months)
This route is intended for early years graduates who work within a registered early years setting, have a broad experience of the sector and whose practice reflects most of the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years).
Graduate Entry route (12 Months)
This route is specifically designed for career changers: those people who have a first degree outside of early years, have never been employed within the early years sector and who are ‘new comers’ to the early years workforce.
If you are looking for a career change, or are already working towards your career change into early childhood, then this could be the route for you to become part of the early years workforce.
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What will you study?
Below are the available routes to Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). For more information do contact us.
Graduate Entry route (12 Months)
Your programme will be composed of 120 days placement experience in two early years settings and a KS1 classroom and study under the direction and guidance of University tutors. During this time you will be given the opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate in Early Childhood Studies.
Graduate Employment based route (12 months)
Within this route you have a you work in partnership with staff at the University to develop a personal learning plan to support you in developing your skills and knowledge to give you the opportunity of meeting the requirements of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) required to complete your EYITT programme.
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Following your initial assessment and choice of route you will have an opportunity to develop your understanding and skills relevant to the standards required of an Early Years Teacher, to the point where you are eligible to progress towards achievement.
Our teaching approach includes the following:
- Lectures; seminars; demonstrations; problem-based learning approaches; tutorials; group and individual project work; supervised independent learning; e-learning; practice based learning
- Studying all areas of learning and teaching across the EYFS t meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)
- Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable students to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding
- Participation in high level professional discussion, peer presentations and debate, to encourage trainees to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
- Directed studies, Professional Enquiry Tasks and Problem Solving Tasks provide opportunities to develop approaches that will deepen levels of understanding and professional judgment, development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placement/ employment.
Regardless of which route you choose, all trainees will go through the same assessment process:
- regular observation of practice by mentor and setting experience tutor (SET)
- Evidence file to demonstrate your experiences of early years practice in relation to the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)
- Professional conversation with SET at the end of the programme.
This process ensures consistency across training providers for candidates and provides an effective way of moderating the results.
Meet the team
Here are a few of the current members of the department who teach on this course:
Samantha is a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies within the Institute of Education. She is a qualified teacher having previously taught in primary schools, working with children in the Foundation Stage, key stage 1 and key stage 2. In addition to primary education, Samantha has worked in a range of early years settings during her training and undergraduate studies at the University of Worcester.
Sue has worked with children and their families or carers in a range of statutory and private organisations in education and social care over the last 25 years.
Over her career Sue's interest in children with autism grew and she worked for 6 years specialising in supporting children with ASD at a nursery assessment unit in Worcester City Centre. Sue’s values and beliefs are grounded in giving children positive experiences, a sense of self-worth and valuing their contribution.
Niki started work as a primary school teacher with a year six class, later moving to year one and becoming responsible for creative play throughout the school. After a maternity break she began working in a pre-school setting and was promoted to manager during which time she wrote articles for “Practical Pre-school” magazine, joined a Local Authority working party to produce the “Nursery Profile/School Transfer Document and ran a course entitled “Creating a Stimulating Learning Environment.”
As her experience grew in early years she undertook more qualifications, completing her masters and EYPS.
Nicola began her career as a teaching in the primary sector. She then went on to train and practice as a solicitor, during this time she became interested in Alternative Dispute Resolution and trained as a Lawyer Mediator working for many years with separating couples.
In 2001 Nicola returned to teaching working mainly in Early Years but also in Key Stage 2, Art and SEN. During this time Nicola drew on her experiences as a mediator and became particularly interested in methods of teaching of social development. This formed the basis of her dissertation during her M.A. studies.
Over the years Karen has had a range of roles within the Centre for Early Childhood including course leadership, Partnership Co-ordinator for the Foundation Degree in Early Years (delivered in collaboration with 8 partner colleges) and leadership role as Principal Lecturer.
Karen’s teaching interests focus on children’s learning and development, communication, language and literacy. Her professional interest in reflective practice continues to inform her teaching, research and publications.
Dr Karen Hanson
Karen completed her doctoral research into supporting students to develop a reflective disposition. This action research study enabled Karen to understand the significance of previous experiences and environmental influences upon undergraduate students.
Karen is particularly interested in the transition periods within different phases of education and understands how important it is to use a variety of perspectives through which to plan appropriate learning environments.
Dr Jackie Musgrave
Jackie is the Course Leader for the BA (Hons) in Early Childhood (Professional Practice), she also has responsibility for coordinating students’ practice-based learning experience as part of her role as the Professional Practice Consultant within the Centre for Early Childhood. Jackie joined the Centre for Early Childhood in April 2012. She is a qualified Registered General Nurse and a qualified as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Where could it take you?
Every child deserves the very best care and education and the first five years of life are critical in children's development. High quality early years provision is important to help children achieve their potential, working in partnership with parents and families. Such a level of provision requires a highly motivated and well-trained workforce who like and want to be with children.
Early Years Teachers will have evidenced that they are innovative, reflective, and practical, with commitment and drive to improve outcomes for all children and raise the quality of early years provision. You will have evidenced that you have leadership skills and personal qualities able to influence changes in practice. You will be able to raise expectations, whilst supporting others to achieve their potential.
Early Years Teacher is a new status and awareness and recognition is still building. In time it is expected that as an Early Years Teacher you will gain the recognition you deserve and have the satisfaction of knowing that others understand your level of knowledge and understanding. You will also significantly enhance your career development prospects as Early Years Teachers may open the door to diverse opportunities for leadership and management in a range of early years settings.
Early years teachers inspire and encourage learning and provide children with the best possible educational start
Early Years Workforce Strategy, 2017
"My EYT is passionate, caring, reflective and a strong leader of practice but the rest of my staff team also display these qualities so why employ an Early Years Teacher (EYT)?
"The benefit to my business of employing an EYT is that I know she has demonstrated her beliefs and practices to experienced mentors and assessors, encouraging critical self-scrutiny and deep personal reflection. This ‘laying bare’ of her practice has given her a professionalism, confidence and self-belief in her knowledge, skills and abilities and she has developed a deeper understanding of what she does and why she does it.
"I employ an EYT in my setting because she shares my ethos of care and she can explain her reasoning and passion to others, including Ofsted. The child’s best interests are central to everything we all do but, as an active researcher, she offers a hands on leadership to my team, not only by demonstrating exemplary practice but because her motivation and enthusiasm is infectious and we have developed a reinvigorated community of learning and development for our children (and adults) as a result of employing her.
"Early Years learning and development strategies are in a state of constant change but employing an Early Years Teacher has offered a professionalism, confidence and enthusiasm to my team that I was finding difficult to instil by myself."
Nursery Manager, Little Growbags
“I started the EYITT study as I wanted to gain a qualification to increase my knowledge in leadership in Early Years. I was passionate to learn more about how to implement and lead change in the Early Years Profession. I was discussing further study options on a childminder forum and heard great feedback from previous EYITT and the benefits of the course to childminders. The opportunity of a funded position available was a bonus to my financial situation too.
“At the start of the course I was a qualified 'Outstanding' Ofsted registered Childminder. Then due to an unexpected house move and relocating, my EYITT mentor head hunted me for a position at her nursery as an Early Years Teacher.
“The journey to complete the EYITT study was in all honesty a rollercoaster of a ride. But one looking back now, you would want to never end. There was a few tears at the start and a few 'How am I going to juggle all this?' moments but the support I received from the University of Worcester, my mentor and the parents I childminded for was incredible. I was able to complete all three masters modules alongside the EYITT training and gained a greater depth of knowledge that I now use in everyday practice. Whilst on the course, you get to make some great long lasting supportive relationships with other EYITT students. Even now, qualifying we are all still in touch supporting each other and sharing good practice.
“The mentoring opportunity the university provides was a great experience. The university was able to support me by finding a mentor who had not only completed the course themselves but who also worked with early years children every day. This allowed for 'real' conversations/emails and understanding when I was facing practical challenges.
“Overall I had a great experience at the University of Worcester and came away achieving more than I thought I would. I am especially enjoying my new role as an Early Years Teacher based in a day nursery.”
Natalie Rainbird-Hitchins, Early Years Teacher
"Early Years settings need Early Years Teachers! In order for children to achieve excellent outcomes, they need excellent staff to support them to reach these.
"Our setting has had the benefit of having EYT students on placement and then the privilege of employing one of them afterwards. The knowledge and skills that an EYT brings with them is invaluable. It has a huge impact on the provision for the children and also the professional development of the rest of the staff team.
"I would encourage anyone with a passion for Early Years to undertake this excellent training at the University of Worcester."
Nursery Manager Duckling Day Nursery
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How much will it cost?
Funding - Graduate Employment based route
The National College for Teaching and Leadership fund the course fees.
Employers* will receive £7,000 to help them support their employee whilst they are on the EYITT programme. Suitable events which this sum might cover are as follows:
For more information about funding visit Get Into Teaching.
*Please note that sole traders and business partners are not eligible for an employer incentive, they are classed as self-employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). If the early years business is a limited company the owners and those working for the company are not classed as self-employed and can be eligible for an employer incentive
Funding - Graduate Entry Route
The National College for Teaching and Leadership funds the course fees.
A bursary is available to trainees with the following degree classifications:
For more information about funding visit Get Into Teaching.