What qualifications are relevant to work in Early Years? - Harrogate, North Yorkshire | FW Solutions

What qualifications are relevant to work in Early Years?


There are so many ‘childcare’ and ‘early years’ college and short courses that purport to offer a ‘qualification’ we thought we would offer the correct sign posting and information in a blog post.  

Since 2019, to work in a nursery as a level 2 qualified member of staff, you must have a qualification or begin working towards one with Early Years Practitioner in the title. For Level 3 we go back a bit further to 2014. From this point you must have or be working towards a qualification with Early Years Educator in the title. Both qualifications must have an element of assessment of practical skills in an early years setting and not be ‘knowledge only’.  

The following is extracted from the Government website: 

If a person holds a level 2 qualification that meets the level 2 full and relevant criteria, you can count them towards the EYFS staff:child ratios at level 2.  

If a person holds a qualification at level 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 that meets the level 3 full and relevant criteria, you can count them towards the EYFS staff:child ratios at level 3.  Full and relevant qualifications pre-2014 and 2019 can be checked with the Department for Education https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-qualifcations-pre-september-2014-criteria 

Some Degree qualifications do not qualify you to work in an Early Years setting and even after three years of study, require you to complete the Early Years Educator Diploma. You should check the guidance very carefully, or talk to University Admissions when deciding on taking an Early Years Degree https://www.gov.uk/guidance/early-years-qualifications-finder#early-childhood-studies-ecs-and-related-degrees  

If a person holds a qualification at level 4 or 5 (completed as part of a level 6 course), unless the level 4 or level 5 qualification is listed as meeting the full and relevant criteria, they cannot be counted in the EYFS staff:child ratios at level 3. 

Depending on whether the qualification was started before or after 1 September 2014, you may also need suitable level 2 literacy and numeracy qualifications. 

Click here to view the full page: 


FW Solutions offer Level 2 Early Years Practitioner and Level 3 Early Years Educator apprenticeships from 16+ and Level 3 Early Years Educator (Diploma only) funded by Advanced Learner Loans from 19+.  

The new Level 5 Early Years Lead Practitioner Apprenticeship is a 24 month apprenticeship and covers all Early Years Educator criteria for practitioners training in a lead role in their setting that have not already achieved the Early years Educator, or for qualified practitioners developing their leadership skills https://www.instituteforapprenticeships.org/apprenticeship-standards/early-years-lead-practitioner-v1-0  

All apprenticeships include workplace assessment and are full and relevant to be included in ratios.  

Click here to view the full course details on our website. For more information please email r.warden@fwsolutions.net