Opening doors with Early Years Professional Status - Read Milissa Seiler's Story
Milissa Seiler is an early years professional at the Nagila Pre-school in the London borough of Barnet. Here, she explains how Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) has improved her leadership skills and why other nurseries should consider hiring an early years professional.
"Several years ago, when my son went to nursery, I started volunteering at a setting with children under five. After a few months of working for free and experiencing the magic of working with children, I decided I really wanted to forge a career as an early years worker. It’s amazing how volunteering can lead you to your calling in life!
"My first step was to top up my qualifications. I had completed a Diploma in Pre-School Practice (DPP) so after working in early years for a couple more years, I undertook a NVQ Level 4 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.
"I then read about EYPS, did a bit of my own research about the benefits of the Status – for myself and the children - and enrolled at Middlesex University in 2007."Currently, I am the only early years professional in my setting but since I gained EYPS it has inspired three of my colleagues to do additional training as well. One colleague is starting her Level 4 in February and then plans to do the fifth (Early Childhood Studies Degree to EYPS) pathway to achieve the Status.
"The other two early years workers in my setting are starting their foundation degrees in September and will then enrol on EYPS.
"It’s great that EYPS is so flexible and achievable for everyone. While it can take different lengths of time to achieve EYPS, depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate, there are different pathways available which ensure that all candidates are able to enrol on the most appropriate one for them.
"The best part is that, however a candidate has trained, once they have achieved EYPS, the outcome is always the same – the early years professional is able to lead the learning and development of the under fives and make a real difference to the children in their care.
What sets early years professionals apart?
"As a Nursery Manager, I have a unique perspective on how EYPS is benefiting my setting. Not only do I recognise the value of the Status from my own personal experience but I can also see the benefits from a leadership viewpoint – and of course, I’m thrilled that my colleagues are now on their way to achieving the Status too.
"Personally, EYPS has made me more aware of my capabilities, improved my confidence and helped me achieve things I never thought I could do. For example, I recently presented at a conference and I’ve also taught a module of a professional childcare degree at a local university.
"Both inside and outside of the nursery, I feel like my horizons have really broadened.
"From an employers’ perspective, if you look for employees who have achieved EYPS, then you know they have a proven track record. They can look at the big picture to inspire other people and show leadership in their settings.
"In addition, they are able to reflect on children’s learning, linking back to theory and creating activities that impact on a child’s development.
"I used to think that working in early years wasn’t on par with teaching, but gaining EYPS has shown me how qualified I really am and what a real difference I can make to children’s lives before they start school.
"The early years are really the foundation for a child’s future learning and development and it’s wonderful to be a part of that."
Want to know more?
What is Early Years Professional Status?
It’s a graduate Status, which recognises excellent personal practice and the ability to lead and support the practice of others, when working with children from birth to five years.
Who can train towards Early Years Professional Status?
You don’t necessarily need prior experience of working in early years but you must be a graduate or have a foundation degree. There are different training pathways available depending on your level of qualification and the amount of experience you have.
How long does it take to train?
EYPS training varies, depending on your existing qualifications and experience and can take four, six, or 15 months part-time, or 12 or 24 months full-time. Places on training courses are fully funded for all eligible candidates.
Where can I train?
There are 35 EYPS Training Providers across the country. To find out where your nearest provider is and how to apply for EYPS, visit www.cwdcouncil.org.uk/eyps or call the EYPS telephone hotline on: 0800 011 3612.