Level 6 qualification requirements

Early years professional sitting with children

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that, following a public consultation into changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework, it intends to amend the EYFS to make it clear that only those with Qualified Teacher Status, Early Years Teacher Status and Early Years Professional Status can operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios (3.43).

The Department has stated that this is a clarification of existing policy, and not a new policy, and has provided answers to some frequently asked questions on Level 6 qualifications below:

What qualification do I need to operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios?

To operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios you must have been awarded Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

When will this clarification be made in the EYFS? / Why is this change not being introduced in January 2024 with other changes? / Will this add further burden to the sector to manage further changes to the EYFS in the future?

Although the majority of respondents were in favour of this change,  the department is taking some time to consider the routes available to gain early years teacher status and how these requirements can be communicated more clearly to the sector. The Department therefore does not currently intend to update related wording in the EYFS and will keep Level 6 staff:child requirements under review as this work develops.

I have a level 6 degree in Early Childhood Studies that is full and relevant. Can I operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios

No. To operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios you must have been awarded Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Why can鈥檛 I operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios with any early years degree?

To operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios you must have been awarded Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If you鈥檙e a Level 6 graduate and have a degree that is classed as full and relevant to early years, but have not been awarded EYTS, EYPS or QTS, then you can count toward the Level 3 staff ratios.

My setting has been letting me operate in Level 6 staff:child ratios but I don鈥檛 have QTS, EYTS or EYPS. Have the rules changed? What does this mean for me?

The wording will be further clarified to be more easily understood, but the rules have not changed. Practitioners are only able to operate in the Level 6 staff:child ratios if you hold Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS), Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).