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Let EYPs teach in nursery and reception classes

14 Comments 30th October 2014

I am a qualified and experienced Early Years Professional (EYP) having worked 5 years as a Senior Early Years Practitioner in a Children’s Centre and 2 years as a curriculum leader/EYP in a college nursery; and in every early years setting throughout the country (whether it be a nursery, children’s centre or school) staff have to be trained in and follow the statutory curriculum – the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Despite this fact I have looked at applying for many EYFS Managers posts and EYFS teaching posts, and have been told that EYPS will not be accepted as a comparable status to QTS, even though in every case I covered all essential and desirable criteria bar QTS. 

Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) is academically equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) as every candidate must have at least a 2:1 degree and GCSE grades A-C in Maths English and Science to even be accepted onto the course; so why can’t EYP’s teach in primary schools up to Reception aged children. After all EYP’s are trained specifically in the EYFS and QT’s are trained in the National Curriculum – which doesn’t start till after Reception in year one! Not only that,  EYP’s are also trained in the emotional well being of the younger children, and their developmental needs. If we have to institutionalise our children at such a young age, then surely they deserve the better qualified staff to support their development. This is not an attack on teachers, it is an attack on the system, as I am well aware we have some fantastic early years teachers.

So I feel I speak on behalf of every EYP, let us teach in infant/primary schools, and stop the ridiculous red tape and snobbery behind early years teaching, and look at what is best for our children!

Why does this matter?

I'm not the only one who thinks it!

This country places far too much emphasis on academic achievement with our early year’s children. At the end of the day which part of a child’s academic achievement has a direct effect on their life opportunities? GCSE’s! Not the early years. You don’t apply for job when you leave school and say “hey guess what I got all my Early Learning Goals in Reception class, so give me the job!” It’s ridiculous if you think about it.

Yes there is a need for children to gain a good grounding in basic Maths and English, but that doesn’t mean we have to teach it to them earlier. We need to focus on the child’s emotional and social development, and give them the psychological support and tools to deal with life; so when they reach that crucial point when qualifications do matter, they are much better prepared emotionally, and in turn will succeed! Children go through so many transitions at such a young age these days, and with parents having to go back to work straight away, there is little emotional security for them – they only have us the proud Early Years force. So let’s get it right for our children’s sake.

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14 Responses to Let EYPs teach in nursery and reception classes

  1. LadyKy2k says:

    I am a qualified teacher with a B’Ed(HONS)and I am qualified to teach 3 to 11 year olds.

    My course was for 4 years and full time, further more we were not just trained in the National curriculum, we learn about child development from birth to adult etc.

    Whenever, I read anything about EYPS and QTS it is plain to see that there is a clear lack of understanding about what the two roles entail.
    With QTS my skills, knowledge and experience can be easily transferred to the child care sector the same cannot be said for an EYPS, who would not be have the skills required to take on a QTS post in a school.
    As most of the practitioners I know that have EYPS, came through a part time foundation degree route.

    • Honor Melissa Hieatt says:

      I beg to differ I had spent eight years working in Early Years prior to undertaking an 18 month pathway to achieve EYP status.To become an EYP are required to demonstrate extensive work based practice as written evidence across 39 standards which cover child development from birth to 5 years, children’s learning and development across the whole of the EYFS demonstrated through short, medium and long term planning, parent partnership, best practice within special educational needs, diversity and equality, leadership and management and also mentoring and developing CPD for colleagues as well as showing evidence for other management requirements such as disciplinary skills, staff tarining and financial management. I had to know the EYFS statutory and non statutory guidence inside out and back to front and I am now equally confident I could lead and manage a NUrsery or teach in a nursery or reception class in a school. The depth and breadth of the EYPS is such that it is only a qualification suited to graduate level candidates. I am not sure that many NQT’s could walk into a baby room of 3-11 month olds and know exactly what was best practice and the appropriate learning, development, care and welfare requirements for children of that age group? The difference between an EYP and an NQT is that the majority of us are expereinced practitioners who have worked our way up through the NVQ or CACHE training levels or 4 years of an EArly Years degree before undertaking EYPS. Many NQTs have taken the degree and PGCE route and no one suggested that they are not qualifed to teach? I have every confidence that my professional practice and level 6 qualification make me equally capable of teaching a Nursery or Reception class.

  2. Honor Melissa Hieatt says:

    But I am terrible at typing!!!!

  3. justsaying says:

    I am NNEB qualified with over 25 years childcare experience including the EYPS. I would love to teach, as the best motivated training I received on my NNEB was my school placement (perhaps that is because I want to be a teacher.) However I have my feet in both camps of the EYPS/QTS debate, not because I am a chicken but because I believe both roles have valuable attributes and EYPS can offer huge benefits to the Early Year sector in schools, provided they have best practice, experience, passion and not just after the prestige. I believe the division created between can be somewhat snobbish because there has been such a lack of understanding regarding Early Years childcare and education outside of the primary school, as schools provide education and not childcare, but Early Years provision are required to provide learning which is education and are required to be EYFS competent and my goodness many do it right well. Personally, I feel there is no other place for me to take my career other than into a nursery/reception class and will train for this. On the other hand, I hear the teachers cry, I would resent an individual who is not trained up and qualified with relevant childcare quals other than EYPS and placement & 2 years experience getting a leg up, via the back door!! I have trained many ‘no childcare experience’ even before I did the EYPS and have first hand of the bitter and sweet. I am still recovering from some!!!! Measures should be in place to guide ensure any transitions or training for EYPS to QTS or funding given to the Early Years provisions to pay for EYPS/QTS staff and caps on how many to employ based on size etc. Qualifcations and experience should also count and I don’t resent having a teaching mentor for 1 year to achieve a QTS as per GTS/SCITT sheme to achieve QTS whilst working as a teacher or a drop in my salary which is more that an NQT receives to acheive this. I want to teach!. I also applaud Ms Nutbrowne because she had the guts to bring to the fore what was promised at the start with the EYPS. Early Years/Childcare practioners do an incredible job and from the heart and please bring back the ORIGINAL NNEB, Fab ‘old school’ quality rigourous training. Loved it!!!

  4. teacherlady says:

    I have my feet in bothe camps. I am a reception / nursery teacher with 15 years teaching experience. I did a 4 year degree (QTS) which covered 3 to 11 years age range and I then specialised in infants (as it was then called which included nursery and reception.) I also have EYPS. I can say from experience that EYPS is NOTHING like QTS!!! The two should never be compared. The QTS standards are far higher and the training much more in depth. Also I need to point out that teachers in EYFS are also expected to coordinate subjects accross the school thesefore a thourough understanding of national curriculum and learning right through the 3 to 11 age range is required. An EYP would not be equipped for this.

  5. Karen Whitehead says:

    I can see both sides of it, however having been working in the early years for just over 20 years as a nanny, nursery nurse, deputy and manager it frustrates me when teachers with no clue of how the early years learn are employed in some settings.
    I have covered for the teacher on numerous occasions over the past 4 years and have planned for a week of activities as a nursery nurse in a private day nursery and school setting, as well as leading and supporting staff. I have a BA (hons) in early years teaching and EYPS. I have contemplated doing a teaching qualification but in some ways don’t see why I should have too as I have loads of experience and other qualifications. There should be some way to achieve a teaching qualification for those of us who have oodles of experience, knowledge and common sense.

  6. EYPS graduate says:

    I am a nursery nurse with 20 years experience of working in various settings. I have worked as a head of nursery department in a private school, a college day nursery, a children’s centre and now I am working as a TA in a school. I did my full degree in children’s development and learning. I am working in a foundation class with a key stage 2 teacher. She is a wonderful teacher when it comes to maths and phonics. However, I have instigated all the active learning, creative experiences and play based learning that is essential in the EYFS curriculum. Actually we make a great team, except I earn half her salary. On another note, one of the QTS teachers who has a degree in history and a GTP has NEVER heard of Piaget or Vygotsky.

  7. Ruth Hearn says:

    There are many excellent Teachers (QTS) who teach FS classses but there are equally those who havent a clue. There are also many EYPS who would make excellent FS teachers and some that wouldnt. I do feel that all should be given a level playing field from which to prove their worth. I have spent the last 6 years teaching a nursery class in a school and now find myself redundant due to the change in government EY policy as I do not hold QTS. My passion is early years and I have no desire to teach over 5’s so please can someone tell me why I should have to gain it to continue to do my job?

  8. daria says:

    I think EYT’s are more look after children untill they be ready to learn at big school. QTS ‘s are more to teach a subjects. I am not saying EYT’s not teaching I would more say they buil a base for QTS’s , but it is not the same at all.x

  9. Jemma says:

    As a student studying an education and early years degree, I feel that although the QTS is seen as a more in depth course than an EYP, it may be due to the fact that a person with a degree in any subject, provided they meet the requirements, can apply for the QTS. Where as those with a EYP have been training and studying about early years, in many cases, much longer. I’m yet to decide which path to take once my course is completed, but have a greater passion for the early years

  10. julie oneill says:

    whether you have EYPS or QTS either way you have worked extremely hard to achieve these goals.
    I feel we should all be considered for Early Years roles in schools .
    I have a degree in Early years and an EYPS and have now taken on a TA role in a school nursery after many years in PVI settings in management roles, purely to understand and gain knowledge in the school environment with plans to apply for Early Years teacher role within a school.After reading peoples comments have i wasted my time ?
    I have far more knowledge of early than a QTS who has an english degree but we all bring different skill sets which are equally essential when caring for and teaching young children.

  11. Janine Green says:

    I am in the same boat have 14 years expierience, 13 of which were spent in a private day nursery gaining my degree in early years and then my EYPS, now I work as a TA3 in a reception class within a busy eyfs unit, I am desperate to gain my QTS and start my teaching career however I now have two young children of my own so need to stay in work whilst I train and would love to stay at my current setting, I am struggling to find ways of accomplishing this is there anybody out there that has some advice for me, Much appreciated janine

  12. D.Cutler says:

    The dilemma seems to be the consequence of an ill-considered and only partially thought-out government plan.
    Obviously there was and is merit in having expertise in the nursery and reception class years and government funding for EYPS as it then was, showed commitment to this. However, it was only after graduates had enrolled on the course which they thought was vocationally directed at their career interest – the wellbeing and development of children up to sixty months – that it became apparent that they were to rank among the most highly qualified/poorly paid workers in the country. It is not at all unusual for such postgraduate trained staff to be on 15,000 pounds p.a. or less, a number of years into a career. It would not take very much to plug the gap that currently exists between EYT/QTS so that people who know and understand the development of a child to 60 months can play a full role in a school. Clearly they need some grasp of the Year One and Two curriculum but beyond that? It will benefit four year old students much more if their teacher understands how they should have developed in their 48months rather than if they know every detail of the curriculum of an eleven year old.
    This situation needs urgent proper addressing as huge expertise about the age group who could most benefit from insightful development is currently being wasted and the holders of that insight devalued and demoralised.

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