National Professional Qualification for Early Years Leadership


For leaders qualified to at least Level 3 with a full and relevant qualification 1 who are, or are aspiring to be, managers of Private, Voluntary and Independent nurseries, headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries, or childminders with leadership responsibilities.



12 months


1.5 - 2.5 hours per week 


This course is designed for leaders qualified to at least Level 3 with a full and relevant qualification 1 who are, or are aspiring to be, managers of Private, Voluntary and Independent nurseries, headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries, or childminders with leadership responsibilities. 

How to apply for your NPQEYL

To register for a programme:

1. Follow this link which will take you to the DfE registration portal
2. Select Early Years Leadership as your programme
3. Select Education Development Trust (EDT) as your lead provider
4. Have your Teacher Reference Number (TRN) ready for registration

Once your details have been validated by the Department of Education, you will receive an email from EDT asking you to select your preferred delivery partner at which point you need to:

5. Select LLSE as your delivery partner
6. Select your local delivery partner if you know it, or leave blank and LLSE will allocate you to the nearest provider

Once that step is complete, you will receive a further email from EDT with a link to an application form which you will need to complete to proceed. 



NPQs are currently fully funded by the DfE for teachers and leaders working in:

  • Teachers and leaders employed in state-funded schools 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. e.g., nurseries
pre-schools, holiday clubs and other group-based settings)
- 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 (where 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.

In addition to the scholarship funding, this year there will be Targeted Support Funding available for small schools to enable them to support their teachers and leaders to undertake NPQs. State-funded schools and 16 to 19 education settings in England, that have between 1 and 600 pupils on roll, will be paid £200.00 for each teacher or leader they employ who undertakes an NPQ. Eligibility will be based on the roll numbers that were submitted in the January 2022 pupil census and will be updated on GIAS in July 2022. Further information can be found here. 


The course is comprised of four modules. As part of each module, you will undertake some face-to-face training and tutoring (approximately 4 hours), some online training (approximately 5 hours) and carry out some self-study (approximately 11 hours). 

You will be expertly guided through your modules by your facilitators.

The key topics covered in the course are: 

  • Culture
  • Child development, curriculum and assessment 
  • Additional and special educational needs and disabilities
  • Professional development
  • Organisational management
  • Implementation
  • Working in partnership

Throughout the course, there are opportunities for you to complete formative assessment activities which will enable you and your facilitator to reflect on and evaluate the progress you make whilst completing the qualification.  


Formative assessment takes place throughout the programme, helping you to understand the progress you are making, and facilitators to adapt your learning experiences. 
There are two overall criteria to achieving the qualification:

  • Engagement with a minimum of 90% of the course 
  • Successful completion of the summative assessment

Summative assessment takes the form of a 1500-word response to a case study, completed in a single 8-day window at the end of your programme. The assessment will give you the opportunity to demonstrate how you would deploy the knowledge, skills and understanding gained through the NPQ to lead and implement a specific aspect of change. 


LLSE is delivering the NPQEYL in partnership with Education Development Trust.

As with any professional development the more you put into the process of learning the more you will be able to take from it. This qualification requires commitment and time as well as a willingness to try new things, make mistakes and extend your knowledge, skill and understanding. We have designed the course with flexibility in mind and whilst you might complete the online elements of the course on your own and at a time which best suits you and your wellbeing, you will be part of both a local and national cohort of other teachers and leaders studying exactly as you are, we refer to this as your community of practice. You will gain most from the course by seizing each opportunity to engage with your community of practice – an enquiring mind is a must.

We recognise that each school and college, whilst similar to others will operate with its own unique culture, set of strengths and challenges, it is for this reason that we have engaged with practitioners across the country to provide contextualised case study input and allow you to see how the ideas covered in the course work in the real world. This means we welcome collaboration with you as the course participant to create new content for others to learn from, so, as you complete the course, if you think you have a case study within your own school or college, get in touch and let us celebrate what you and your colleagues are achieving.

In short we expect that participants are teachers and leaders who will be able to meet all of the following criteria:

  • Active engagement in every aspect of the programme - face-to-face and online elements 
  • A commitment to accurate, evidence-informed self-evaluation and reflection                       
  • The ability to proactively arrange and participate in coaching sessions                                 
  • A commitment to submit a 1,500-word assessment within 8 calendar days of it being set at the end of the programme   
  • A commitment to thoughtfully engage with evaluations about their entire programme learning experience that will support our continued quality improvement 

The taught elements of your course will take place over a 12-month period. This will be followed by the completion of your summative assessment which must be submitted within an 8-day period following completion of your course. The whole of the assessment process including submission of your summative assessment, marking and moderation will take a total of 3 months. 



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