New entry requirements for Level 3 EYE qualifications

28 February 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 below announcement was made by the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL):

"...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 practice. 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, discuss your options and the new Level 3 BTEC Early Years Educator qualifications, you can:

  • contact your local Pearson Curriculum Development Manager or our Subject Advisor, Kate Elsmore, on 0844 463 2815 or email
  • attend and talk directly to BTEC experts at one of the FREE Early Years Educator qualification launch events we are running this March/April.


Read FAQs about the changes to entry requirements and how to transfer learners to the 2014 specification for Level 3 Early Years Educator Qualifications (England only) below.

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