Early years initial teacher training (EYITT) provides specialist training covering the education and care of children from birth to the age of five and is distinct from primary education. Training is delivered by accredited ITT providers.
Successful EYITT trainees are awarded Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS). They are not eligible for the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and are therefore not qualified to lead classes in a maintained nursery or school, unless they also hold QTS. Early years teachers can lead teaching in all other early years settings in the private, voluntary and independent (PVI) sector.
There are several routes leading to the award of EYTS. Trainees can undertake an undergraduate course, which allows them to earn a degree in an early childhood related subject and EYTS, normally over a three year period full-time. Postgraduate EYITT courses can be undertaken through the graduate entry route (full time study, which includes the early years School Direct route) or the graduate employment based route (a one-year part-time route for graduates working in an early years setting). Postgraduate EYITT normally runs for one year full-time.
 Providers graded by the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) as ‘requires improvement’, or a lower quality, cannot provide EYITT.
 ‘Maintained’ refers to schools or nurseries where funding and oversight is provided through the local authority.
 Trainees with EYTS can work as level 3 support workers in a maintained nursery or school. They can work as unqualified teachers in maintained schools or academies but this status is dependent on the school.
 Trainees can also undertake an assessment only route to earn EYTS. This is designed for graduates with experience of working with children from birth to five, who are able to demonstrate the Teacher’s Standards (Early Years) without further training; for example, overseas trained early years teachers. The EYITT assessment only route is not included in this publication.