UPDATED: The new Pearson BTEC Higher National Childcare Qualifications - Advanced Practice in Early Years Education (APEYE) is here!

Fri Dec 18 11:08:00 UTC 2015

Find out more about the new Pearson BTEC Advanced Practice in Early Years Education (APEYE) qualifications. 

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Last year, we informed you that after 1 September 2014 the BTEC Level 5 Higher National Certificate and Diploma in Advanced Practice in Work with Children and Families (APWCF) (specification issue 3) no longer conferred practitioner status on learners wanting to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) in England. 

As a result of this change, we consulted with colleges offering the current qualifications, stakeholders in higher education, and with childcare employers to work on redeveloping the Level 4 Higher National Certificate (HNC) to ensure it represents the highest standards in higher childcare education, and is considered full and relevant so that the holder can count in the level 3 staff: child ratios in an early years care/education settings as outlined in the EYFS Statutory Framework. 

The new HNC:

The Higher National Certificate in Advanced Practice in Early Years Education can be used with students who want to work towards a licence to practice.  NCTL have recognised the assessed practice element within the new HNC, which meets requirements for National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) accreditation. The new qualification has also been developed to address the Early Years Educator (EYE) standards, so that students joining without a level 3 childcare qualification will not be disadvantaged.

The new HND:

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma (HND) in Advanced Practice in Early Years Education will be developed for first teaching September 2016.

What happens when the new qualifications are ready?

Existing centres offering the current Higher National Certificate (which does not confer licence to practice) can opt to transfer students over to the new Certificate (which will confer licence to practice) during the academic year. The new HNC specification is now ready for centres to begin planning for delivery in January. Students can then top-up to the new HND on launch next year.

Key features of the new APEYE suite:

  • Increased synergy between the classroom and placement with more practice-based elements explicitly integrated;
  • Mapped to the EYE criteria, so learners achieve EYE eligibility on completion*, which will support students joining without a level 3 childcare qualification;
  • A Professional and Reflective Evidence Portfolio, enabling learners to gather evidence in a structured and consistent way and linking requirements across units;
  • A greater emphasis on Reflective Practice;
  • Suggestions on mapping evidence requirements across units;
  • Up-to-date policy and practice requirements;
  • Written in consultation with Centres, Employers, Students and Higher Education Institutions;
  • A holistic approach to Advanced Practice in Early Years Education, including a new Holistic Unit; and
  • Clearer grading criteria and requirements.

*students will require Maths and English GCSE at grade C or above to be counted in the Level 3 ratios in early years care/education settings.

The new HND will feature the Education pathway only. The structure has been rationalised based on centre feedback on current pathway uptake.

It is important to note that the APEYE HNs are not being redeveloped using the design principles of the new HN suite - this is an interim development to reinstate the licence to practice status of these HNs.

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