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The Department for Education's (DfE's) Early Years Workforce Strategy sets out their plans to help employers attract, retain and develop early years staff. It focuses on five key areas:

  • qualification requirements at levels 2 and 3
  • specialist graduates
  • careers advice
  • quality of training 
  • diversity of the workforce.

Check if your early years and childcare qualification is relevant

The list of all full and relevant early years and childcare qualifications are on GOV.UK.

You must follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework regulations if you:

  • provide childcare
  • want to work in early years
  • want to work in a school

EYFS staff:child ratios

Check the DfE's list of qualifications. It will tell you if your qualification meets the criteria for the EYFS staff:child ratios.

Early years teacher training

The graduate employment-based route for the early years teacher programme and information on Essex teacher training to teach in primary schools can be found on the Essex Primary SCITT website.

Other requirements 

Paediatric first aid

The Register of Regulated Qualifications may help providers to identify paediatric first aid training

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has guidance on selecting a first aid provider.


The Essex Children Safeguarding Board (ESCB) has guidance on the safeguarding training levels.

Health and safety

This Health and safety training: A brief guide by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may be helpful when choosing the right training for your workplace.

Food hygiene

The Food Standards Agency has guidance on food safety and hygiene.

Training is also available from the National Day Nurseries Association and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo)

The SEND Code of Practice 2014 requires all early years settings to have a trained SENCo. For training information please visit our training programme page.

Equality Named Coordinator (ENCo)

All settings in Essex require a trained ENCo to support with meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. For training information please visit our training programme page.