A child’s experiences between birth and age five significantly impact their future life chances. Therefore, it is a priority to help early years leaders continuously develop their knowledge and skills throughout their careers, so every child gets the best start in life.
The Department of Education's (DfE’s) March 2022 White paper emphasised this, stating: “we will make sure every child starts schools with a firm foundation of literacy and numeracy through a new National Professional Qualification for Early Years Leaders, and up to £180m investment in the early years’ workforce, including literacy and numeracy training for early years practitioners.”
The NPQ for Early Years Leadership is a new addition to the DfE's existing programmes to support this goal.
It is the latest of the newly reformed leadership programmes providing research-based and evidence-led training. Various expert groups were involved in the consultation process to inform the development of this framework, and the Education Endowment Foundation has ensured that the best available evidence has been used.
The framework sets out that Early Years leaders should:
"Have expertise across a number of areas related to their role….they must understand the relationship between the different areas….and how to set an ambitious vision for their nursery….and how to establish the unique culture and conditions which can shape the experiences of children and be a deciding factor in practitioners, teachers and leaders remaining in the profession."
This NPQ is for anyone looking to progress their career in early years leadership or headteachers or leaders who wish to deepen and broaden their expertise in the early years:
The key sections of the qualification are as follows:
This National Professional Qualification will be a highly practical blended programme. It will allow you to reflect on best practice and to hear from excellent leaders delivering in these areas both locally and nationally.
The qualification will include self-directed study, webinars and face-to-face sessions. It will be assessed through a short case study at the end of the programme.