Early Years

Early Years teaching means that you can work in a variety of settings that accommodate 0 to 5-year olds, typically this means working in pre-school or primary school classes covering the foundation stage. As an Early Years Teacher (EYTS), you are developing the child’s social skills, their ability to communicate, physical coordination skills and mould their behaviour to prepare them for school life. Engaging children through creative play and learning through experience are key to this development stage, as is observing and recording their progress.
Historically, little intervention and guidance was given to Early Years teaching until the 1990s when the wider workforce came more under scrutiny, i.e. nursery settings etc. From this point, it was widely agreed that there was a need to improve skills and qualifications in this sector and training was developed in a variety of forms including the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) which has since been replaced by Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).
As a supply teacher, teaching assistant or nursery nurse in this field, you will need to work as part of a team, have excellent communication skills, and be adaptable. Health and safety awareness and management, as well as safeguarding are key in this education sector. Qualified teachers should have their own resources and ideas ready to adapt to the school’s needs. Although hours are typically between 8.30am and 3.30pm, nursery settings are often open between 7.30am and 6.30pm and therefore involve shift work between these hours.