Qualifications progression

Courses and qualifications for staff in early years, childcare and playwork.

Do you work in Bristol in any of these Early Years and/or childcare settings?

  • Day nursery or pre-school
  • Children’s centre
  • Nursery school, nursery or reception class of a school (including independent schools)
  • Out of school provider of childcare – breakfast, after school or holiday playscheme
  • Childminders

If yes, we may be able to offer help and advice on your professional development opportunities.

What courses are available for early years and playwork practitioners?

Early years training

Level 3 diploma for the early years workforce (Early Years Educator)

This new level 3 qualification was introduced in September 2014 and replaces the level 3 diploma for the children and young people’s workforce and all other early years qualifications.

Anyone with a level 3 qualification already will remain qualified.

What will it cost?

The cost will depend on the training provider, the method of delivery (apprenticeship, classroom based learning or distance learning), and the age of the learner.

It is expected that learners 24 years and above will take advantage of the new 24+ advanced learning loans.  These are similar to a student loan and course fees are borrowed and only paid back when the individual earns more than £21,000 per annum.  Loans can be accessed through training providers approved for public funding.

Level 5 Foundation Degree in Early Years

This 2 year course is offered by the Higher Education (HE) department of the City of Bristol College. You can progress from this onto the 3rd year of an Honours degree.

What will it cost?

Contact Student Finance England for information about funding. Although you will only attend college one day per week during term time this course is considered full time if you are working in an early years setting.

Early Years Teacher Status

Once you have a full degree you can progress to Early Years Initial Teacher Training (EYITT) which leads to Early Years Teacher Status. See Become an Early Years Teacher for more information.

What will it cost?

If you are working in an early years setting you can apply for a fully funded place. Your setting will also receive some funding.

Playwork training for practitioners working in out of school schemes

Level 2 courses in playwork are offered by BAND. Please contact them about availability and course fees.

Are there any bursaries available to help with course fees?

Bristol City Council, Early Years Service is no longer able to offer bursaries for training.

How do you find out if your existing qualification is still full and relevant?

Use the Qualification Finder.