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Early years educator (level 3): qualifications criteria

The assessment criteria and minimum qualification content requirements for level 3 early years educators.


Early years educator (Level 3): qualifications criteria

Ref: NCTL-00107-2013PDF, 222KB, 10 pages


The early years foundation stage sets the standards that all early years providers must meet to ensure that children learn and develop well and are kept healthy and safe. It promotes teaching and learning to ensure children have the skills they need to start school and gives them a broad range of knowledge.

These criteria set out the minimum requirements for what a level 3 early years educator should know, understand and be able to do, to be considered qualified to support young children from birth to 5 years old in the early years foundation stage. They took effect from 1 September 2014.

There are also criteria for level 2 early years practitioner qualifications which will be implemented from September 2019.

Published 11 July 2013
Last updated 1 August 2018 + show all updates

  1. Updated information in the details section.
  2. Added a link to the early year practitioner level 2 criteria.
  3. First published.

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