Funding guidance for early years initial teacher training (EYITT) providers for 2020 to 2021.


The Department for Education (DfE) allocates and funds early years initial teacher training (EYITT) places each academic year. EYITT leads to the award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

We provide training bursaries and training grants to attract high-quality graduates to become early years teachers.

You can only use this funding to offer training programmes that help trainees to meet the teachers’ standards (early years).

The training grant includes the costs of assessment to meet these standards.

Trainees and potential applicants should visit the Get Into Teaching website and our list of EYITT training providers for more information. Employers should visit EYITT: a guide for employers.

Training routes

We offer funding for 2 out of the 4 EYITT training routes.

Graduate entry route

This is for graduates studying full-time. Training is typically over a 1 year period.

EYITT providers will receive training grant funding of £7,000 to cover course fees.

Trainees with high academic achievement may be eligible to receive a training bursary. This will be paid to you to forward to your trainees.

Graduate employment based route

This is for graduates:

The training is:

  • part-time
  • takes up to 1 year – based on a 12 months’ employment from 1 September to 31 August

£14,000 is available for this route, made up of a:

  • £7,000 training grant for providers
  • £7,000 employer incentive for the trainee’s employer

Employer incentive

The employer incentive is forwarded to the trainee’s employer. It’s a contribution towards costs that employers incur, such as:

  • supply cover
  • salary enhancements
  • employment costs
  • National Insurance
  • additional training costs and other overheads

You cannot use the employer incentive for:

  • sick pay
  • maternity or paternity pay
  • costs not related to training such as buying equipment or internal training
  • costs that have occurred outside of their training period

Undergraduate entry

Funding is not available for this route. Trainees should contact Student Finance England to see if they can receive a tuition fee or maintenance loan.

This route is for undergraduates who want to take a level 6 degree in an early childhood-related subject along with EYTS.

This route is full-time and takes 3 or 4 years.

Assessment only

This is a self-funded route for graduates who:

This could be an early years teacher who:

  • practiced overseas
  • understands the early years foundation stage

Training bursaries

Training bursaries are only available to trainees registered on the graduate entry route. You should use the trainee’s highest qualification to determine how much they’ll get.

Tier 1, £5,000: first-class honours degree, doctoral degree, medical masters (distinction)

Tier 2, £4,000: 2.1 honours degree, master’s degree

Tier 3, £2,000: 2.2 honour’s degree

No bursary: third-class honours degree, third honours degree, ordinary degree, aegrotat, no first degree

Qualifications record keeping

You must keep accurate records of trainees’ qualifications and how they obtained them, especially for overseas qualifications.

You should record:

  • names of all trainees granted a bursary
  • details of how you assessed the trainees’ qualifications

We may ask to see these records at any time to ensure the robustness of your processes. You should keep copies of:

  • original trainee documentation or qualification certificates
  • correspondence between you and trainees
  • other documentation relating to the decision-making process, including correspondence with internal colleagues or external organisations, for example, awarding bodies.

If a trainee is ineligible for a bursary but feels that there are extenuating circumstances around their final result, this information must be assessed by the awarding body. The EYITT provider must not use their discretion.


To receive a training bursary, trainees must:

  • meet the entry requirements
  • take a qualifying postgraduate EYITT course
  • hold a UK first degree with at least second-class honours (or equivalent)
  • meet the terms and conditions of the bursary scheme
  • not already hold EYTS or Early Years Professional Status (EYPS)
  • not do any type of paid-teaching work which contributes to their training whilst undertaking an EYITT course, for which the provider received early years funding
  • not be registered on another EYITT course

You must also:

  • notify trainees in writing that they’re eligible
  • ensure that trainees continue to meet the criteria throughout the course

Funding principles

You must use the training grant funding to meet all training costs for each trainee.

You must not:

  • charge any additional fees
  • switch allocated funding to other trainees
  • allocate funding from one route to another

Full-time equivalence (FTE)

We calculate funding using the FTE principle:

FTE equivalenceTrainee status
0.5 or lesspart-time
0.6 or morefull-time

Duration of funding

Trainee funding is based on the number of days trainees are on a course. This is usually their course start date to the planned end date. You should include bank holidays and weekdays.

Trainees will continue to receive funding if they’ll finish their course in the next academic year.

Trainees do not receive further funding if they withdraw.

Right to work

You must check that all trainees have the right to work or study in the UK for the duration of the training before you grant any bursaries.


You should pay bursaries in 10 monthly instalments.

This table shows you how to calculate trainees’ monthly bursary instalments.

Bursary awardMonthly instalment

Payment eligibility

Trainees will be entitled to receive the first bursary payment if they are actively engaged on the ITT programme on the first day of the month following their start date.

ExampleA trainee commencing their course in September 2020 will be entitled to their first payment if they are on the programme on 1 October. They’ll be entitled to the second payment if they are on the programme on 1 November respectively. This is regardless of the provider’s individual payment date.

Payments for part-time or modular courses

Trainees on part-time or modular courses may agree a flexible monthly payment plan, which covers the duration of the part-time programme in order to avoid financial hardship for the trainee. However, you must make sure that the bursary payments reflect the proportion of the course that the trainee has completed at any point.

As part-time courses will span more than one academic year, you may award the bursary beyond the academic year 2020 to 2021. You are reminded that any bursary payments made after 31 July of the academic year will be included as expenditure for the following academic year, for example 2021 to 2022.

Withdrawals and deferrals

If a trainee withdraws or defers, you must stop any further payments and update your records immediately on the trainee teacher portal.

You can keep some funding if a trainee withdraws or defers. The amount retained should be proportional to how long the trainee attended the course before leaving. Graduate employment based EYITT providers can keep 1/12th of the total training grant and employer incentive funding for each month or part month the trainee remained in training.

ExampleIf a trainee is employed from September and leaves in March, you can retain 7 months’ of funding and 5 months’ will be recovered for April to August.

Eligible trainees who withdraw or defer from a course will be entitled to payment for each month up to, and including, the month in which they formally withdraw.

ExampleIf a trainee starts their programme in September 2020 and withdraws or defers in January 2021, they’ll be entitled to 4 payments in total as they were active on the course on:

  • 1 October 2020
  • 1 November 2020
  • 1 December 2020
  • 1 January 2021.

The amount of the training grant that you can keep will be calculated using the same principle.

ExampleYou would be able to retain 1/10th of the training grant funding for every bursary payment that the trainee is entitled to.

In the event that a trainee is absent through sickness, you may only make one further payment following the first day of absence. After this, the absence should be treated as a period of deferral and payments must stop with immediate effect.


We’ll recover any overpayments made to you after the trainee has withdrawn or deferred and will not reimburse you for any payments made to trainees in error.

We expect you to recover any bursary overpayments from trainees.

Returning trainees

Returning trainees who defer and then re-join their original course, or take any advanced standing or credit to a new EYITT course, will only be eligible to receive the remaining EYITT funding (training grant or bursary) up to the value which was available in the year that they started their original course. A bespoke payment schedule may be agreed for the remaining amount between you and the trainee.

Where the length of the course is increased, the bursary and training grant instalments can be amended to reflect the longer timeframe. The total amounts, however, are fixed and cannot be increased.

If a trainee leaves one EYITT course and joins a new one with no transfer of standing or credit from their previous course, this is viewed as a separate route to EYTS. They’ll be entitled to receive a new bursary and training grant, subject to the eligibility criteria and rates set in this guidance.

If the trainee has received their full bursary or training grant entitlement during a previous EYITT programme, this may impact their eligibility to receive further EYITT funding while completing a new programme. Please contact the Funding Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further advice.

How you’ll receive your funding

You’ll be sent a remittance advice from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when you’ve been paid.

You can use the Database for Trainee Teachers and Providers to review your payment profile.

You’ll be paid in:

  • 11 monthly BACS instalments from September to July
  • 7 working days from the 1st day of the month

You’ll be paid different amounts until we have collected all your data, as set out in this table.

September 2020 to November 2020provisional rate
December 2020 to July 2021actual rate

We’ll recover any overpayments by sending you an invoice or deducting any future payments.

Data management

Grant funding agreement terms and conditions are included in the grant offer letter we send to you.

You must share data about trainee applications, recruitment and employment outcomes with us if we request it.

We may contact you or visit your premises if we need to clarify any potential discrepancies, especially in relation to unclassified degrees.

Recruitment data

You should use the data collection portal to submit your recruitment data.

You must share your monthly recruitment data with us every month. We may withhold funding if you do not do this.

Trainee data

Submit your EYITT trainee data using the portal.

This is a condition of your funding. We’ll use this data to calculate how much funding you’ll get.

You must register all trainees with us by October 2020 and complete a validation declaration.

You must also submit the:

  • names of all your EYITT trainees
  • training courses you provide
  • outcomes of the training

You must update records on the Database of Trainee Teachers and Providers (DTTP) if a trainee:

  • withdraws
  • changes their status
  • defers

Financial monitoring

You must only use your funding as set out in this guidance.

If you do not comply with the terms and conditions, we may withdraw your accreditation and funding.

You must hold full records of all payments made to employers of trainees who get the employer incentive. This information can be audited by us at any time.

Types of company

The trainee must be an employee of the early years business. Sole traders and business partners are not eligible for an employer incentive as they’re classed as self-employed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

If the early years business is a limited company, the owners and those working for the company are not classed as self-employed and can be eligible for an employer incentive.

Annex G – independent audit

You’ll be asked to complete an Annex G in accordance with published guidance, containing income, expenditure and trainee data. This has to be independently audited and countersigned by the accounting officer and chair of governors or an appropriate board.

More information about Annex G will be available after the academic year. Before this, we’ll request an interim return so we know what likely expenditure will be.

We’ll use the Annex G process to reconcile your funding with your declared expenditure.

This also takes in to account the effect of trainees who have withdrawn or deferred so we can recover any funding you did not spend.


We may withdraw accreditation if you do not fully comply with funding guidance. This includes:

  • data collection
  • monitoring and assurance requirements
Published 22 October 2019 Contents