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  • Become a specialist in early childhood development and have a lasting, positive influence on children’s wellbeing
  • Gain Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) at a time when demand for high-calibre early years professionals has never been stronger
  • Prepare for a rewarding career in nurseries, pre-schools, children’s centres and a whole range of other settings
  • Apply theory to practice on challenging and exciting placements
  • Choose a study pathway to suit your needs: we offer both full and part-time routes to achieve EYTS
  • Learn from a dynamic teaching team with an excellent reputation for the quality of their training and the impact of their research
  • Our PG Certificate in Early Years with Early Years Teacher Status is a fully funded programme with the opportunity to access bursary support on a full-time pathway.

The Government has launched a national drive to raise the status and quality of the early years workforce. By achieving Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) with us, you will have the knowledge, skills and experience to make the most of the career opportunities ahead.

What is an early years teacher?

Early years teachers specialise in the education and care of babies and children up to the age of five. They work in a wide range of organisations helping give young children a firm foundation for future success at school and in life.

Our course provides the training and assessment to help you to achieve the highest possible standards in your professional practice and conduct. You will be supported to meet all aspects of the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) in practice so that you gain EYTS.

Please note that EYTS is for those who wish to specialise in working with children up to five years old. It is different from Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for working with older children. For more information about the role of Early Years Teachers, visit the National Careers Service. 

Flexible pathways to success

We offer both full-time and part-time pathways to achieving EYTS and will support you in choosing the right route when you apply:

  • Graduate Entry (GE): (12 months full-time)

You will study through reflective teaching modules, academic modules and placements within the sector

  • Graduate - Employment Based (GEB): (12 months part-time)

You will be working already or you will be a newly recruited graduate in an early years setting who requires training and further experience to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). You will study reflective teaching modules alongside academic modules and your working practice.

Rewarding practical experience

This course has practical experience at its heart, so there is ample opportunity to build your skills in working with children. We have strong links with nurseries, children’s centres and other early years employers across the region.  

You will complete assessed teaching placements in early years settings and benefit from additional enhanced placements to challenge your thinking and broaden your experience. Throughout your placements, you will be supported by a placement/setting mentor and a University of Derby assessment mentor.

If you are on the full-time GE pathway, you will spend at least 120 days on placement. If you are following the employment-based part-time route, practical experience is integral to your training programme and you will be assessed in your workplace as well as a placement setting designed to meet your unique training needs. Whichever pathway you choose, you must also complete a minimum of two weeks on placement at a school, working with Key Stage 1.

A seal of approval for quality

Ofsted has awarded us an overall ‘good’ rating for Early Years Initial Teacher Training and has ranked the quality of our leadership and management as ‘outstanding’. Their report said: “University leaders are in the forefront of raising the quality of early years provision and the status of early years teaching through dynamic partnerships with local, regional and national groups.”

Our students were praised for demonstrating high levels of professional and personal conduct. Inspectors also highlighted how our training delivers a strong understanding of child development, helping students to forge positive relationships with children and to plan exciting and engaging activities that promote good progress.

Inspirational teaching and support

We have a rich heritage in teacher training dating back over 165 years. You will be taught by a highly competent, enthusiastic and proactive team of tutors, whose work is influencing early years research and policy nationally.

We are highly ambitious for every student. We pride ourselves on offering an inspiring learning experience where you are challenged to excel while gaining expert support and guidance.

Take your skills to the next level

When you complete this course, you will have earned 60 credits towards a masters qualification. It means you can progress directly to stage two of a masters degree and accelerate your career development.

We also offer lively and informative sessions to help you explore new directions in your early years practice. Our students have harnessed these to develop additional professional skills in areas ranging from Makaton to safeguarding.

How you will learn

You will attend face-to-face sessions, to learn more about Early Years Initial Teacher Training and prepare for assessment against the Standards.

Workshops will be held at the university covering more in depth reflection on the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years). You will contribute to discussions around your own practice and how you meet the different standards.

Depending on your pathway, you'll also attend bespoke teaching sessions to develop and promote your understanding of early years practice.

Midway through the course you will undertake a 'development and progress review' to determine your progress to date. You'll produce an action plan to support your progress towards achieving a successful assessment outcome.

How you're assessed

You will be assessed throughout the course using a variety of methods, including:

  • observations of practice
  • environment tours
  • a portfolio of evidence
  • written essays
  • a viva voce

Visit the Early Years with Early Years Teacher Status (0-5) (PGCert) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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