Training and professional development

Early years is a dynamic and vitally important sector that needs highly qualified staff to improve outcomes for children

High quality early years provision can have a significant impact on children's development, performance at school and their future life chances. For children to benefit, the early years workforce must be professional, well trained, highly qualified, and dedicated to their role.

The government is committed to raising the proportion of the early years workforce with relevant and appropriate qualifications to work with babies, toddlers and young children, in order to improve outcomes for children. Their aim is to have a graduate led early years workforce. This encompasses the aim to have an early years teacher in every family centre full daycare setting (two in full daycare settings that are located in the 30% most disadvantaged areas).

Training programme

Our training programme offers all childcare and early years staff flexible continuous professional development courses and accredited training. Our training directory is developed annually and includes all mandatory training that is provided to the early years workforce throughout the year. These courses include safeguarding, inclusion, SENCO training, food hygiene, first aid, and health and safety. Training and support in relation to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is also available. 

Find and book a course

Learners can book training courses on the Pod – your Personal Online Development. 

Before booking, you should read one of the guides below.  Choose either the video or manual guide, depending on how you learn best.

Employees – shows learners step by step how to book on a course, cancel a place etc.

Managers – shows managers how to approve or reject their team members booking requests.

We also have frequently asked questions. If you have followed the guidance and frequently asked questions and still have a query relating to Pod, please contact us

Check out our latest childcare training newsletter for a list of available courses.

For more information about training, please email us or call (01226) 775921.

Early years teachers

In response to Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s report, ‘Foundations for Quality’, published in June 2012, the government introduced early years teachers from September 2013.

Early years teachers are specialists in early childhood development and trained to work with babies and young children from birth to five. They are graduate leaders, responsible for organising and leading high quality practice in early years settings. The aim of this initiative was to move away from the idea that teaching pre-school children is somehow less important than teaching school age children.

Early years professionals have had a positive impact on the quality of early education and care for pre-school children. The introduction of early years teachers built on the EYPS programme to raise the status of the early years workforce. The change will give one title of ‘teacher’ across early years and schools. Early years teachers are able to work in all private and voluntary sector settings.

Existing early years professionals are seen as the equivalent of early years teachers. Early years professionals will, therefore, not need to obtain QTS to increase their status, although routes are already available to QTS if they wish to take them. All providers offering the Early Years Teacher Programme will offer the Pathways from September 2013.

Entry requirements:

  • GCSE C or above in English, mathematics and science
  • Competence in written and spoken English
  • The right to work and study in the UK
  • Degree and experience required for the specific pathway

Training providers of relevant childcare qualifications