10,000 and counting?

In mid-August the government announced that the numbers of Early Years Professionals in England had reached the 10,000 mark.

One in four early years settings now has the expertise of an EYP to call upon. Nafeesah Rafiq from Leicester, who studied at the University of Northampton and works at Bright Bees Day Nursery, had the honour of bringing up the milestone, describing achieving the qualification as a “challenging and rewarding experience” and one that she “would definitely recommend to other graduates”.

On the back of the announcement, both the minister for children and families, Sarah Teather MP, and interim head of the recently-formed Teaching Agency, Lin Hinnigan, highlighted the value to children and the early years sector of the EYPS programme, praising the positive impact it has had on the lives of under-fives and their families. But despite the positive news the future of the qualification remains in doubt in the wake of Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s recommendation to government that elements of the EYPS be taken and integrated into a new specialist route to Qualified Teaching Status for early years. As things stand, it may be more pertinent to ask ‘if’ the sector will reach its next significant EYPS milestone than ‘when’ it will.