EYPs – what’s next for Continued Professional Development?

CPD Beyond the EYP: What are the Options?

I achieved my EYP status in 2008 and since then the nature of my work has changed completely. I am now much more focused on training and coaching other practitioners and so recently I was prompted to think about the next steps in my continued professional development. From talking with other EYPs and from discussions at our Cheshire EYP network, it seems I’m not the only one doing so.

Most people fall into one of two camps: those who have an interest in broadening and deepening their knowledge and those who now find their new job roles as EYPs are calling for new skills.

New Skills for a New Role

Depending on their role and the size and organisation of their setting, EYPs may need a variety of new skills.

Leadership and management. These courses are particularly relevant for EYPs who have taken on management responsibilities within their setting as part of the EYP role.

Train the trainer and Presentation skills. Many EYPs are now finding that they are taking a training and development role for their staff, having never been taught to train adults. In house training can be a particularly valuable and cost effective tool for raising the standard of practice within a setting.

Recruitment and selection. Some EYPS will already be familiar with recruitment of other staff, but others, particularly those who have been employed for the first time as an EYP, may find this a particularly daunting part of the job.

Innovation, change, creativity and reflective practice. This is a core set of skills for the EYP who is a leading change agent in their setting. Reflective practice is a good place to start innovation and change. It is also vital that new ideas and practice needs to be coupled with sustainability.

Mentoring and coaching skills. The best settings will always be encouraging practitioners with their own CPD. By involving the EYP as mentor and/or coach within the setting there are mutual benefits. It’s great CPD for the EYP and the practitioners being mentored will benefit.

Assessing, mentoring and moderating. Some Universities approach their EYPs to come back and assess on the EYP course. This has the benefit of the assessor having firsthand experience of the amount of time and work which goes into achieving the Status.

Broadening and Deepening Your Knowledge

Some EYPs may want to become an expert on specific subjects such as schemas or see a future career as trainers, lecturers or researchers. For them, more advanced qualifications, such as the DTLLS, may be appropriate.

Masters degree. Some EYPs find that they have developed specific interests and would like to pursue these in more depth. The setting will benefit from having a highly knowledgeable practitioner who can lead practice in that area.

Research. Research studies are invaluable to moving our knowledge forward about children’s learning and development. Universities and institutes such as the Max Planck institute may have research opportunities for EYPs to investigate an area of interest or particular relevance to their work.

How to Decide What to do Next

But how do you decide your CPD route?

First you have to consider the needs of your current role. Are there any skills gaps, what are you being expected to do? If you find that your role has changed, but you have received no training, then the skills route would be most suitable.

Next you need should consider how your future career may develop and how your CPD could lay the foundations for this. Would you like to move into a management role or possibly become a mentor and coach for other EYPs? This may need a combination of skills updating as well as some more academic qualifications.

Finally you should have an interest in the subject area. We all know that children learn best when they are doing something they are interested in and in my experience, it’s even more true of adults.


There have been a number of updates to the Standards, requirements and Government policy.  The Early Years Professional Status has been replaced with a new Status – Early Years Teacher Status – which still has 8 Standards, but you now have to hold GCSE maths, English and science to do the course.

In addition, you have to pass the professional skills tests. You can find out more information from the Government website here

* Image courtesy of Lumax Art


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  • Jess Dec 30,2016 at 12:44 am

    I have recently just completed my BA aim Early Years Practice and work as a EYP in a nursery setting. I am looking at possible progression routes and sadly everything is leading me away from early years. I studied hard received a first and really I am not better off than before I completed. I just have even more work to do for a really low wage. It’s a shame coz I’m so passionate about child development and nurturing our younger generation. But the benefits are not available and people need to be able to afford to live and support families of their own. It’s a shame.

  • Sarah Collins Nov 2,2014 at 9:35 pm

    This is really interesting – I’m about to go back to Early Years as a Senior Practitioner after nearly 7 years of being a stay at home mum (eek!) My last position was as a Development Officer in a Local Authority.
    I have a degree (in Education, not Early Years) and my Diploma in Pre-School Practice and I’m thinking “What next?”. Do I go for EYT status or an MA? Which one would help my career more (at the grand old age of 38!) but equally, which one would interest me more? Decisions, decisions….

    • Kathy Nov 4,2014 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      Best of luck in your new role – how exciting!

      Currently (November 2014) the EYT Status is funded by the government, whereas, generally, the MA course isn’t.
      I loved both qualifications, but they do fulfil different needs, so it can be very difficult to choose.
      I can thoroughly recommend the MA at the University of Sheffield 🙂

      Best regards


  • Clare Bailey May 1,2012 at 4:07 pm

    The point about going with your interests is so true – Luckily I have always been interested in education so keeping up-to-date with current thinking is a pleasure rather than a chore. As a result my CPD is mainly ‘informal’ ie reading, sharing best practice and online modes of information. I would love to do a higher degree but I find time and money an issue; I work 2 jobs (Mon-Fri) and have just started a new business which takes up Saturdays and some evenings. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to change my work pattern and I’m really enjoying my new business so I’m not sure what the answer is.

    • Kathy May 9,2012 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Clare,
      Great to hear your viewpoint.
      Informal is great – far better than doing a course, then never reading anything ever again because you have the qualification!
      Not sure if you need an answer. If you are enjoying your work and still keeping up to date that’s fantastic.
      Keep an eye open for future opportunities, you never know when funding may be made available, and keep in contact with networks and others.
      Best regards


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