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08 NOV 11

Supporting the Government-commissioned, review of early year's qualifications, led by Professor Cathy Nutbrown, the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) has today confirmed that it is postponing the cut-off date for new learners embarking on early learning and childcare qualifications beyond Spring 2012.

This decision means that all qualifications currently deemed as 'full and relevant' on the Qualifications List for those delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) will continue to be accepted as such, until a clear statement about any future cut-off date is made in the Government's response to the Nutbrown Review.  It is expected that Professor Nutbrown will publish the results of her review in Summer 2012.

CWDC currently determines which qualifications are 'full and relevant' for the purpose of registration and regulation. The Qualifications List for those delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage was developed to deal with legacy qualifications and to encourage practitioners to engage in continuing professional development. The list includes 361 qualifications and identifies which of these are full and relevant.

In recent years, in response to demand from employers and in its sector skills role, CWDC has done a lot of work to rationalise and simplify early learning and childcare qualifications, including launching the new Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce (Early Learning and Childcare pathway) in summer 2010. In order to meet the needs of 16-19 year old learners, CWDC has also supported the development of two Extended Diplomas, which include the Level 3 Diploma at their heart. The first of the Extended Diploma's launched to new learners in September 2011.

CWDC's 2011 position statement 'Early Years Workforce - The Way Forward' , provides further detail on its vision and recommendations for early learning and childcare qualifications.

It has always been CWDC's published intention, that from a specified date, the Level 2 Certificate and Level 3 Diploma would become the only 'full and relevant' qualifications to meet EYFS statutory framework requirements for new learners.

Looking forward
In light of Government reviews, including both the review of EYFS and the Professor Nutbrown Review of Qualifications, CWDC, in discussions with the Department for Education (DfE), has decided to postpone the cut-off date for new learners embarking on early learning and childcare qualifications.

Further information on how the DfE intends to move forward the reforms (begun by CWDC's work), including a clear statement about any future cut-off, will be published after Professor Cathy Nutbrown's independent review of qualifications reports next summer.   In the meantime, CWDC continues to recommend that providers offer and new learners complete the Level 2 Certificate or Level 3 Diploma/Extended Diploma so as to be counted in the qualified ratio of staff delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

Deirdre Quill, Director for Early Years and Sector Leadership at CWDC, said:
CWDC has worked hard to make sure the right qualifications are available to support those working in the early learning and childcare workforce. Our recently published Early Years position statement, informed by the views of the frontline workforce, included several recommendations to reduce the number of qualifications in the sector and to support cost-effective delivery and progression opportunities.

We welcome Professor Nutbrown's review as a timely opportunity enabling the Government to take stock of the work done to date. The review will ensure that training, workforce development and progression pathways remain fit for purpose to meet the needs of the current and future workforce and the babies, toddlers and children they support.

- Ends -

Notes to Editor:

1. The Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) supports local areas to drive sector-led improvements so that millions of people and volunteers who work with children and young people across England are able to do the best job they can.

We want England's children, young people and families' workforce to be respected and valued for the positive difference it makes to children, young people and their families.

We work in partnership with lots of different organisations and support workers and employers who want the lives of all children and young people to be healthy, happy and fulfilling. For more information visit:

2. For media enquiries only, please contact CWDC Early Years Senior Project Manager, Carol Dewhurst on 0113 390 7679 or at 

3. Further information about Professor Nutbrown's review, including how to get involved in the 'call for evidence', can be found at As a first step in her review, Professor Nutbrown would like to hear the views of parents and families, and all those involved in the delivery of early education and childcare. This call to evidence remains open until Friday 23rd December 2011.

4. In 2011, CWDC published a clear position statement, informed by employers, by CWDC's board and members and by the learning from the five years of the Early Years programme.  'Early Years Workforce - The Way Forward' sets out CWDC's vision for the early years workforce and includes key messages and recommendations to DfE, the Teaching Agency and to other sector leaders who will support the Early Education and Childcare workforce in the future. It is available to download at

5. The Qualifications List for Those Delivering EYFS is a searchable tool designed to help those delivering the EYFS to identify which qualifications are full and relevant. It also lists qualifications that, together with accredited additional learning could enable a practitioner's package of learning to be viewed as 'full and relevant'. It is available to access at 

6.  From April 2012, the new Teaching Agency will take responsibility for much of the work of the early years programme and qualifications activity, currently managed by CWDC.  Further information about the Government's reform of its Arms Length Bodies can be found at:

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