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The first five years of a child’s life have been recognised as a critical period in a child’s development. In recognition of this, and to improve the quality of early years education, the Government introduced Early Years Initial Teacher Training in 2013. We are proud to offer this post graduate programme that supports trainee teachers in meeting the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) and achieving Early Years Teacher Status.

Our graduate employment based route empowers trainee teachers, through the development of knowledge, understanding and critical reflection, to become change agents who work effectively with setting communities and beyond to enhance children’s daily experiences. Subsequently, trainees enable children to make good progress and improve social and academic outcomes in the short and long term.

We also offer an Assessment Only pathway to Early Years Teacher Status for practitioners with substantial experience across the 0 – 5 age range.

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Course Length:

Full & Part Time

Entry Requirements

All applicants must have a suitable honours degree (2:2 or above).

For more information, please see below. 


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Course content

This one year, fully funded, course is designed for graduate practitioners working in settings and schools that offer the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. Funding is provided by the DfE to both cover your fees and pay £7 000 over the year to your setting to enable them to support you effectively.

The course runs from September to July and you will spend the majority of your time in your own place of work. Over the year you will develop your knowledge and skills in teaching competently and leading practice across the 0 – 5 age range. You will also be required to gain an understanding of the continuum of education.

“Course content is thoughtfully planned and delivered to build confidence as well as teach new knowledge and skills” (Ofsted, 2017).

The programme is taught by experienced and enthusiastic tutors, in partnership with mentors and teachers in local settings and schools who will support you throughout the year.

“Leaders across all phases provide highly responsive support to enable trainees to overcome any barriers that emerge.” (Ofsted, 2017)

To meet EYITT requirements laid out by the DfE you will also spend:

  • 15 days engaged in University based training
  • a minimum of 4 weeks in a contrasting setting
  • 10 days in a school engaging with the educational continuum in key stage 1 and 2

By the end of the course, you will be a reflective, early years teacher equipped to meet the needs of our youngest children; enhance the quality of early years education and continue your professional learning throughout your career.

“Undertaking the EYITT has allowed me to consider my practice and has strengthened my passion for Early Years. I feel more confident as a practitioner and a leader” (Emma, Early Years Teacher 2017)

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have all the facilities you require. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we offer our students.

Our award winning Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus.  It hosts a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors.  Also situated in the LRC is the Support and Information Zone to help with any enquiries, over 80 open access work stations and Costa Coffee.  An equipment loans centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long term loans. Plus, our classroom resources library offers over 20,000 resources for you to borrow while at work and/or on placement.

At the Bognor Regis campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  Our e-learning provision has grown significantly and as largely distance learners this is of critical importance. You will have access to a programme virtual learning environment where the programme coordinator and other tutors will provide access to teaching presentations and wider resources related to general programme information and all training day topics. The LRC has access to an expanding portfolio of online library resources including e-books, journals and videos.

When on campus a range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

Where this can take you

This programme will enable you to achieve Early Years Teacher Status and work in a variety of roles leading practice within the early years sector

“Trainees find that gaining EYTS has a positive impact upon their career, and the large majority have been successful in gaining promotion” (Ofsted, 2017).

Work placements

The EYITT programme is taught in close partnership with a range of schools and settings. During the programme, you will spend most of your time in your own setting. In addition you will spend 10 days in a school setting where you will engage them with the educational continuum of expectations, curricula, and teaching in key stage 1 and 2. A minimum of four weeks (and up to six weeks, dependent on your experience) will be spent in an early years setting that contrasts with your own.

In all placements and your own setting you will be supported by a setting-based mentor and a link tutor from the University. Employment and placement settings provide the opportunity to develop a broader understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in early years education and the wider educational context.

Indicative modules

We will cover key topics in Early Childhood Education and Care such as:

  • Early Years Pedagogy and Approaches
  • Professionalism in the Early Years - the Role of the Early Years Teacher  
  • Understanding and Promoting Quality in the Early Years 
  • Planning a Stimulating Environment for Purposeful Play and Learning (indoors and outdoors)
  • Constructing Childhood, Children’s Rights and the Voice of the Child  
  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
  • Safeguarding
  • Attachment Theory & The Role of The Key Personal 
  • Observation, Planning and Assessment Methods
  • Emotional Literacy & Supporting Transitions
  • Preparing for Phonics in the EYFS
  • Preparing for Early Maths in the EYFS
  • National Curriculum
  •  KS 1 Placement Reflections & Physical Development
  • Professionalism in the Wider Context & Integrated Working
  • Parental Engagement
  • Working with Babies
  • 2 Year Olds and the 2 Year Old Check
  • Leadership in the Early Years
  • Early Communication & Language
  • Promoting Creativity
  • Additional Needs, Special Educational Needs & Disability
  • Quality Interactions – Sustained Shared Thinking
  • Child Development   

Teaching and assessment

In order to gain for the award of Early Years Teacher Status, you must demonstrate how you meet the Teachers’ Standards (Early Years) at three Final Assessment Reviews (FARs) through the year when you will share a portfolio of evidence with the mentor and link tutor. In addition you will complete two essays related to teaching and learning in the early years and your developing practice.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Entry requirements

An honours degree (usually second class or above) or equivalent qualification.

Employment in an eligible early years setting or school which offers the EYFS and fully supports your application.

GCSE passes in English, mathematics and science at grade C / 4 or above. We will consider applicants who are taking the relevant GCSEs whilst applying.

We would normally expect applicants to have taken and passed the full GCSE course, however in some circumstances we do accept equivalent qualifications or equivalency tests. If you are unable to enrol for the full GCSE course, please contact Admissions to discuss which equivalent qualification we may accept.

You will also need to pass Professional Skills Tests in numeracy and literacy.

University Based Training Days

University-based training days provide the time and opportunity to further explore and reflect on knowledge and understanding of a range of fundamental early years topics including: Professionalism in the Early Years; Planning a Stimulating Environment for Purposeful Play and Learning; Diversity, Equality and Inclusion; Safeguarding; Attachment Theory & The Role of The Key Person; Preparing for Phonics in the EYFS; Emotional Literacy, Physical Literacy; Leadership in the Early Years.

Studying alongside other early years trainee teachers allows you to engage in professional debate and discussions and share good practice and arising challenges within a safe environment.

By the end of the year, you will have developed your own early years values and principles you will be able to apply in your setting and articulate to others within your community and beyond.​

Additional Costs

The programme is fully funded by the DfE. £7,000 covers your course fees and a further £7,000 is paid to your workplace so that they can effectively support you.

All of your teaching and assessments are included in the funding, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services while at University.