This section will keep practitioners updated on changes to Early Years qualifications

Recent Publication: See the recently published Early Years Career Progression Map 

Changes to Level 2 Qualification (Level 2 Practitioner)

Following the introduction of early years teachers (graduate/level 6) and early years educators (level 3) in 2013 and 2014 and subsequent consultation on Level 2 proposed criteria which was pledged in the 2017  DfE Early Years Workforce Strategy, the new criteria for level 2 qualifications have been unveiled.

 The level 2 criteria will be used by awarding organisations to develop new qualifications for delivery from September 2019. The nine areas that candidates have to demonstrated their skills, knowledge and understanding still remain however, each element attached to them have been amended, added to or strengthened. They will enable early years workers and employers to recognise suitable level 2 training and qualifications more easily.

A summary of amendments is as follows:

  • The name of Level 2 ‘Assistant’ has been changed to Level 2 ‘Practitioner’.
  • Additional content has been added to strengthen the safeguarding section:
    • Knowledge of the legal requirements and guidance on safeguarding, security, confidentiality of information and promoting the welfare of children.
    • Types of abuse to ensure coverage.
    • Explanation of own role and responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and security, including child protection, reporting and confidentiality of information.
  • Addition to child development section of:
    • Reference to the ‘Key Person role’
    • ‘How children learn’
  • Addition of oral hygiene and dental care references to health and safety and wellbeing sections.
  • Strengthened communication section to ensure communication with all children and to include children with ‘delayed speech’
  • Reference to ‘curriculum’ changed to ‘statutory guidance’ for clarity/accuracy.
  • Strengthened parent/carer/child involvement in planning/assessment and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) support sections
  • The ‘Health and Safety’ and ‘Health and Welfare’ sections, have been revised to move all health aspects into one section and reduce duplication. Creating a ‘Health and Safety’ and a ‘Wellbeing’ section.

A full comparison showing how the criteria has been revised can be downloaded here: L2 Criteria comparisons

 Click on the links to find out about other proposed qualifications:

  • SEND The Department for Education (DfE) has been working with organisations that specialise in SEND to create a specification for a L3 Early Years Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator.
  • T Levels These are proposed  new 2-year, technical programmes designed with employers to give young people the skills that industry needs. From 2020, they will give students aged 16 to 18 a technical alternative to A levels.
  • Early Years Qualifications  Lists of qualifications that meet the DfE criteria for counting in the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework staff:child ratios.
  • Early Years Childhood Studies Degree Network (ECSDN) The ESDN has launched competencies as an optional route in Early Years Childhood Degree programmes. It is not known how many providers will offer this optional route as the competencies are currently  only available to HE institutions that are  members of ECSDN. You can find out more about ECSDN from their website  and find out more about the competencies by downloading here