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Qualification levels in early years and childcare and playwork
There are a range of qualifications and short courses suitable for every stage of your career to support your continued professional development. For a full list of training opportunities, including details of training providers, please visit our training website for early years and childcare practitioners in Devon.
|Level||Description||Name of short course/qualification||Pre-requisites||How and where to access training / funding|
|Introduction||Common Core Induction training provides people with the basic skills and knowledge needed to work with children.||Common Core Induction training.||An interest in joining and working in the early years workforce.||Further details available on the training website.|
|Level 2||For front line practitioners who are working under supervision (e.g Nursery Assistant / Playworker).||
||Previous experience of working with children and young people (can be in a voluntary capacity) is beneficial.||Devon County Council doesn’t provide funding for qualifications therefore learners can select a training provider of their choice. Some training companies are able to offer reduced or fully funded training through contracts with the Skills Funding Agency.|
|Level 3||For practitioners who are working on their own initiative, planning and organising their own work and supervising others. (e.g Nursery Manager, Pre-School Leader or Senior Playworker).||
||Previous experience of working with children and young people (in a paid or voluntary capacity). A Level 2 qualification may be required, although with relevant experience it is possible to start at Level 3. For the Early Years Educator qualifications GCSEs in English and Maths at grade C or above or equivalent are required. For the Transitional Award you will need to hold a relevant Level 3 early years qualification already.||Devon County Council doesn’t provide funding for qualifications therefore learners can select a training provider of their choice. Some training companies are able to offer reduced or fully funded training through contracts with the Skills Funding Agency. 24+ Advanced Learning Loans are available through the Skills Funding Agency|
|Level 4||For experienced practitioners who carry out complex and non-routine tasks, such as a Manager of an Early Years Nursery or out of school setting.||
||A Level 3 qualification. You will be a practising or aspiring Manager.||Devon County Council doesn’t provide funding for qualifications therefore learners can select a training provider of their choice. Some training companies are able to offer reduced or fully funded training through contracts with the Skills Funding Agency.24+ Advanced Learning Loans are available through the Skills Funding Agency.|
|For experienced practitioners who want to further develop their skills and knowledge by undertaking further study.||
||A Level 3 relevant qualification and considerable experience of working with children and young people.||Foundation Degrees are available through local colleges and universities in Devon: Exeter College, Petroc College, South Devon College, Plymouth University, and the University of St Mark and St John. Pen Green may also offer this locally according to demand. Student finance information is available on the Gov.UK website|
|Practitioners who wish to top up their Foundation Degree to a full Degree.Early Years Teacher Status is available for those that lead practice across birth to five years old, to recognise their expertise as a graduate practitioner and professional leader. More information about Early Years Teacher Status can be found on the training pages.||
For people who are currently not working in early years the following options are available:
|Level 5 Foundation Degree is required for the top up. To achieve Early Years Teacher Status you will need to undertake one of four available training pathways (depending on your current qualifications and experience).||The following training providers offer the BA (Hons) top:
The following training providers offer Early Years Teacher Status:
The following training providers offer BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies and PGCE (Early Years):
Level 7 and above
|Further training for practitioners who wish to progress from Degree level.||
||Contact training provider for further details.|
|A range of conferences to update knowledge.||N/A||See individual websites.|
Training for childminders
For more information about the process to become a childminder and the qualifications and training available please see our training for childminders page.