Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL)
For leaders qualified to at least Level 3 with full and relevant qualification who are, or aspiring to be, managers of Private, Voluntary and Independent (PVI) nurseries, headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries, or childminders with leadership responsibilities.
Is this programme for me?
About the roles
Managers of PVI nurseries
Where a prospective participant is an 'aspiring manager', to fully benefit from the NPQEYL we would expect that they have opportunity within their role to practise and embed the learning from the course.
We would expect that they are close to applying for leadership/management positions, and/or hold a deputy manager/room leader role in their current setting.
Headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries
Where a prospective participant is an ‘aspiring headteacher’ we would expect that they have opportunity within their role to practice and embed the learning from the course.
We would expect that they are close to applying for leadership/management positions.
Childminders with leadership responsibilities
Means those who employ, or work with, childminder assistants.
We would expect those who are aspiring to hold leadership responsibilities are close to employing an assistant in order to fully benefit from the NPQEYL and practise and embed the learning from the course.
Reception Class Teachers
Reception year forms part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and so there may be some reception class teachers who are interested in taking the NPQEYL.
We would encourage participants to review the NPQEYL content framework and reflect on their own ambitions and aspirations when considering whether the NPQEYL is the right course for them. There may be other NPQs available which are more suitable.
Level 3 qualifications
While not a mandatory requirement, it is envisioned that NPQEYL participants should hold a 'full and relevant' Level 3 qualification (or higher), prior to starting the course. There may be instances where it is appropriate for participants without this to take the NPQ.
The DfE has published a list showing the qualifications which meet the approved 'full and relevant' criteria for early years qualifications. If you are not sure whether you hold a full and relevant Level 3 qualification (or higher), please refer to the early years qualifications achieved in England on the GOV.UK website, where you will be able to check if your qualification is listed.
What will I learn?
- Culture - you will establish and sustain an effective nursery culture by setting the strategic direction within a climate of mutual trust and respect, underpinned by evidence-based practice.
- Child development, curriculum and assessment - you will learn how to establish and support high quality early education in your nursery, underpinned by formative assessment and tailored to children’s needs.
- Additional and special educational needs and disabilities - you will learn how to ensure all children experience success, enabling colleagues to identify and meet individual needs.
- Professional development - you will ensure that colleagues engage in effective and supportive professional development, making use of existing frameworks (including mentoring and coaching) to build upon existing knowledge and skills to improve outcomes for children.
- Organisational management - you will learn how to ensure the protection and safety of children and colleagues through the establishment of effective systems and processes, managing human and financial resources and fulfilling all statutory duties to enable a sustainable and thriving nursery community.
- Implementation - you will learn how to plan, deliver and sustain change successfully within your context by understanding the stages of implementation and aligning it with wider nursery improvement priorities.
- Working in partnership - you will effectively work in partnership with all stakeholders, including parents carers, external agencies and services.
What are the benefits for you?
Our participants have outlined many benefits to studying for an NPQEYL. Overall, they outline how the programme has given them professional confidence, time and space to reflect on themselves about the kind of leader they want to become and increased knowledge in their chosen area of study.
You will be able to:
- Develop the skills, confidence and knowledge to implement new professional development initiatives successfully through a supported implementation project.
- Learn how to promote a culture of a collaborative environment through understanding relational leadership.
- Support staff through coaching and mentoring skills.
- Cultivate leadership skills which are responsive to the needs of children, families and adults you work with in your own unique early year's context.
- Assess your current knowledge on child development and identify areas in which you need to develop your understanding.
- Learn about the skills of being a good early year’s leader and understand how leaders adapt to different situations.
- Access research and materials and have many opportunities to discuss a variety of pedagogical approaches and models with other colleagues.
What are the benefits for your nursery?
We know that all children need early years professionals who are committed to their care and education and are confident learners themselves. Our programme has been developed with early years experts to:
- Create professionally confident early years teachers, practitioners and leaders.
- Grow the next generation of early years leaders with the skills and knowledge to use the evidence-base for the benefit of their children and families.
- Retain the best early years professionals who are excellent, collaborative role models for their nurseries and communities.
- Inspire early years leaders who can harness the power of rich learning environments for all children no matter the current circumstances.
How long will it take?
Eighteen months followed by an eight day open book summative case study task.
Summary of programme and learning hours
- Audit before start of the programme: 1 hour.
- One day induction conference at the beginning of year one: 4 hours.
- Four self-directed learning, learning journal and implementation project: 32 hours.
- Three mentoring check-ins: 3 hours.
- Peer learning group sessions: 3 hours.
- Three face-to-face events: 3 hours.
Are scholorships available for this programme?
Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Early Years leadership is available for those who meet the following criteria:
- Are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school-based nursery for children aged 0-5 years.
- Are, or aspiring to be, a manager of a PVI for children aged 0-5 years.
- Are, or aspiring to be, a childminder with leadership responsibilities.
Teachers and leaders, employed in:
- State-funded schools or state-funded 16-19 organisations in England
This may include nurseries within schools, or local authority nursery schools.
Early Years practitioners and leaders, employed at:
- Childcare providers registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, providing childcare on non-domestic premises
People or organisations providing care for individual children in premises that are not someone’s home. These are usually nurseries, pre-schools, holiday clubs and other group-based settings.
- Childcare providers registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, providing childcare on domestic premises.
Providers where four or more people look after children together in a home that is not the child’s own.
Early Years practitioners and leaders, working as:
- Childminders, registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register
People who look after one or more children who they are not related to, for payment or reward. The care takes place in a home that is not the child’s own.
- Childminders, registered with an Ofsted-registered Childminder Agency, caring for early years children
Childminder Agencies were introduced in September 2014 as an alternative registration option for childminders.
How is it funded?
The programme is fully funded for PVI nurseries, school-based nurseries, and childminders with leadership responsibilities.
What if I move schools?
There is no problem with participants moving schools before starting or during their NPQ programme. Your head teacher must approve your initial application. If you then move schools simply inform your new head teacher and ensure you have also updated your details with your delivery partner (Balcarras Teaching School Hub)
What if my personal circumstances change?
There is a deferral process available for any participants who need to take a break from their NPQ for any reason e.g. illness or pregnancy.
There is currently no penalty in place for participants who feel unable to complete the course at all.
Can I work flexibly?
The course is designed to be extremely flexible. The self study materials can be completed in chunks or bit-by-bit. They are designed to take, on average, an hour a week but you have full flexibility as to when you complete them.
The in-person sessions (induction and consolidation conferences and 4 peer learning groups) are not flexible. We strongly advise that you attend these in person. However, if you are unable to attend then UCL provide catch up materials to allow you to complete these sections of the course flexibly. You will be given all the dates of these events at the start of your course, to enable you to plan ahead.
What if I don't pass the assessment?
Very detailed feedback is give to participants who complete the final summative assessment, whether they pass or fail. Anyone who fails is also given the opportunity to have a dialogue with their assessment moderator. They then have a second attempt at the assessment within the assessment window of the cohort that follows.