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What makes Early Years Initial Teacher Training at Worcester special?

We are offering a one year free Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) programme for degree-holders who wish to become specialists in early childhood development (0-5 years).

The Lighting Up Young Brains research highlights that it’s crucial for every child to have access to the highest-quality childcare settings to support their early development, particularly children who grow up in poverty and who will benefit the most from good-quality childcare.

The report highlights that early years teachers play a critical role in this, and that is why Save the Children Fund’s priority for government is for every nursery in England to be led by an early years teacher by 2020.

Key features

  • Free training (no tuition fees) to qualify as an Early Years Teacher
  • Bursaries of up to £5,000, early years employers receive £7,000
  • 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)
  • Work alongside your studies
Man with children playing together

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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

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 for more information
  • hold a first degree from a UK higher education institution 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.

Entry pathways

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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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

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.

During this programme you will be given the opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate in Leading Early Years Practice.

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 programme you will be given the opportunity to gain a postgraduate certificate in Leading Early Years Practice.

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?


Our teaching approach includes the following:

  • Studying all areas of learning and teaching across the EYFS to meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years)
  • Lectures; seminars; demonstrations; problem-based learning approaches; tutorials, group and individual project work; supervised independent learning; e-learning; practice-based learning
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable students to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability
  • 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 judgement; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements.


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.

Meet the team

Here are a few of the current members of the department who teach on this course:

  • samantha-sutton-tsang

    Sam Sutton-Tsang

    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.


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.


Request or download a prospectus

Request now


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:

  • supply cover whilst your employee attends the university on the GEB programme
  • travel costs for your employee to attend university/placements
  • attendance at short courses your employee selects to fill any gaps in knowledge or skill that have become apparent
  • time spent on personal reading and research necessary to meet the standards
  • visits to, or short placements at other settings where your employee can gain necessary top-up experience
  • time spent by your employee in direct preparation for assessment (writing up their tasks, collection and collation of the evidence file etc.) and/or:
  • salary enhancement for your employee whilst they are on their programme/one-off payment award on achieving Early Years Teacher Status

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:

  • First     £5000
  • 2:1       £4000
  • 2:2       £2000

For more information about funding visit Get Into Teaching.


How do you apply?

To apply please download and submit an application form.

Before completing the application form please read the accompanying guidance notes

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

EYITT Programme Administrator

01905 855533

EYITT Course Leader

Samantha Sutton-Tsang
01905 855398