New EYE qualifications in England to require GCSE English and maths grade C

14 March 2014

New level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) qualifications in England will require entrants to have GCSE English and maths at grade C or above. 

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The National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) made the following announcement:

'"More great childcare" (January 2013) set out the government's vision and plan of action for high quality early education and childcare. It included the introduction of new level 3 Early Years Educator qualifications from September 2014, and an expectation that all entrants to Early Years Educator training courses will have secured GCSEs in English and mathematics at grade C or above. These reforms will raise the overall quality and literacy and numeracy skills of those entering the workforce.'

'The following changes will apply in relation to entry qualifications:

From 1 August 2014, government funding of Early Years Educator training courses through the Skills Funding Agency will require GCSE English and maths, at grade C or above, on entry. Training providers will be required to confirm learner’s prior achievement of GCSE Grade A*-C in both English/English Language and maths and record this in the Learning Agreement before enrolling learners on to Early Years Educator training.

We intend to amend the Early Years Foundation Stage to make clear that to count in the existing staff to child ratios at level 3, staff holding a new Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved GCSEs in English/English Language and maths, at grade C or above.

Functional Skills will not be accepted as equivalents to GCSEs.

Staff holding existing qualifications will still be able to practise. The new requirements will not be applied retrospectively. This will ensure that practitioners already holding qualifications are not disadvantaged.'

Further information on Early Years Educator.

What does this mean for BTEC centres?

To find out more about how these changes will affect you, contact your local Pearson Curriculum Development Manager or our Subject Advisor, Kate Elsmore ( You'll also find more information in the BTEC Nationals in CPLD from 2014 pages.

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