Services for Young Children

Early Years Professional Status (EYPS)

The Government aims to have an EYP in every children’s centre by 2010 and in every full daycare setting by 2015. An EYP will have the same status within early years as qualified teachers. There is a funding package attached which can be found in the prospectus at There is also an EYPS helpline for those working in early years: 0845 045 0048.

The Universities of Portsmouth, Reading and Winchester are able to offer pathways to achieving Early Years Professional Status (EYPS). If you are already a graduate (level 6) or in the process of achieving a Foundation Degree (level 5) you might want to consider developing your expertise and career opportunities further by becoming an EYP.

There are a range of pathways to achieving EYPS, from a four-month part time course for those who can already demonstrate that they meet many of the Standards for EYPS to a full time course lasting 12 months. If you have experienced difficulties getting on to an EYPS pathway, please do not feel disheartened.

Hampshire County Council and Southampton City Council have worked with the University of Winchester to develop a list of key areas to focus on that will help you strengthen your position when it comes to the next enrolments in January/September:

For further information on various pathways available and on the funding support package please contact:


Contact: David Alexander
Phone: 01962 827467

EYPS flyer - Winchester


Contact: Sarah Barton
Phone: 023 9284 5041


Contact: David Kempton
Phone: 0118 378 2610


Contact: Denise Williams
Phone: 01243 816290

In order to offer extra support to all those working within the EYPS we have arranged free full membership of the Early Years Professional Status forum. All EYPs and candidates are entitled to an account by registering at

If you are aware of colleagues that have achieved the status recently or are on the pathways, please encourage them to get in contact with or call 01962 813892.


Early Years Professional Status FAQs

What is an EYP?

Early Years Professionals (EYPs) work in a wide range of roles in group settings such as nurseries and children's centres and as home based child carers. They lead practice, support other practitioners and are central to helping children develop from birth until the age of five, a crucial time in a child's life.

An EYP will lead practice across the Early Years Foundation stage, support other members of your team, model quality practice, change and reflect on areas in the setting improving outcomes for children.

What are the entry requirements?

In order to achieve EYPS you will have a full Level 6 degree qualification and GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent).

Depending on your previous experience, you will be eligible for either:

  • the four-month part-time validation programme
  • the six-month part-time short extended professional development (EPD) pathway
  • the twelve-month full-time training pathway

If you have an Early Years Foundation Degree (Level 5) or an equivalent qualification, you will be eligible for the part-time long pathway, which lasts 15 months and be able to top up to a full Level 6 degree during the programme. The full degree will be completed before entry to the final assessment process for EYPS.

What is the assessment process?

Training to become an Early Years Professional (EYP) is open to candidates with different backgrounds and qualifications. Regardless of which pathway you choose, all candidates will go through the same final assessment process:

  • gateway review –  formative assessment based on a review of your skills including a role play exercise, written exercise, personal interview and group presentation/discussion
  • five written assessment tasks based on your experience of early years practice totalling around 8000 words
  • a one-day assessment visit in your early years setting, including a tour of the setting, a review of documentary evidence and interviews with you and some of your colleagues

Across the final assessment process, candidates have to show evidence that they meet all 39 Standards (see below). They have to show sufficient evidence of practice in each of the three age groups of Babies, Toddlers and Pre-school children. They also have to demonstrate a balance of Leading and Supporting others and Personal Practice in each group of Standards.

What standards do I need to meet?

Candidates must show evidence that they meet all of the 39 National Standards which are organised into six groups as follows:

  • knowledge and understanding
  • effective practice
  • relationship with children
  • communication and working in partnership with families and carers
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • professional development

Is there any funding available to support the pathways?

Yes, all EYPS pathways are fully funded through the University directly from the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Please check with your chosen University.

I am a Childminder, can I apply  to become an EYP?

Yes, the route is open to all childminders with the required qualifications and experience. If you are a support childminder leading professional support sessions then you will be able use this evidence to support the standards. Childminders, as for other candidates, must be able to show evidence of leading and supporting others.

Do I have to have a degree in Early Childhood Studies to become an Early Years Professional (EYP)?

To be awarded EYPS, all candidates will need to hold a full Level 6 degree at the end of their training. Candidates with relevant degrees and sufficient experience, such as a degree in Early Childhood Studies, will probably be able to access the shorter pathways.

Those holding an Early Years Foundation Degree or a non-relevant degree (and require further training) will be able to join longer pathways.

I am a very experienced practitioner at Level 3 – why do I need a degree to be awarded EYPS?

Evidence from the Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE)* study shows that improving the quality of the early years experience is directly related to better outcomes for children. Key factors contributing to the quality of this experience are well-qualified leaders, trained teachers working alongside and supporting less qualified staff and staff with a good understanding of child development and learning.

A Level 3 practitioner who has undertaken graduate level study cited the following as the difference graduate level thinking makes to a leadership role in particular:

  • the quality of leadership has been enhanced due to the deeper understanding and embracing of the knowledge and theories that underpin our work
  • a deeper thinking has been stimulated through the graduate level discussions
  • the ability to be a reflective practitioner and encourage this in others has increased, and
  • the ability to contribute to continuing professional development for staff at Level 3 has been enhanced

*The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) Project: Findings from the Pre-School Period, Sammons, Sylva, Melhuish and Blatchford 2003.

I have gained the status, how will my role change?

Once you have achieved the EYP status you will then have the opportunity to access a further tier of professional training once a term. You will also form part of a network, have access to national forum sites, reflective opportunities and work alongside other professionals within Children’s centres.

You will be the lead in implementing the EYFS, modelling quality practice, offering support and mentoring to others within your setting, providing a vision, commitment and drive for the early years sector.


Hampshire, supported by the Children's Workforce Development Council, has formed a Solent Regional Professional Network for Early Years Professionals across the county.

The network currently works in partnership with Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, to provide opportunities for sharing good practice across the borders.

The network consists of professional development days which offer opportunities for further reflective practice. To date, the development days have included 'Communicating Friendly Spaces indoors and outdoors' led by Elizabeth Jarman, and focus on boys, superhero and gun play led by Penny Holland. For details of future days please check posts on the EYPS forum.

EYPS Forum

We have recently subscribed to the Early Years Professional Status Forum, which is accessed through the Early Years Foundation Stage Forum website. The EYPS forum offers:

  • national community and support network for EYPs and candidates
  • a growing series of interesting articles, developing in accordance with the area of most interest in forum conversations
  • your own local voice, for meeting up online with other EYPs in Hampshire

In order to access the forum please contact  on 01962 813888 (email: and we will provide you with the LA registration password.

If you have recently achieved your EYP status, please let us know so that we can keep you up to date with developments and send newsletters. We need your details in order to keep you notified!