*NEW* National Professional Qualification in Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL)

We are pleased to announce that we are partnering with education charity Ambition Institute to deliver the NPQ in Early Years Leadership. In 18 months, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of what high-quality, early years education and care looks like.

With no project work and minimal time out of your school setting, the NPQEYL is designed to fit around your busy timetable. 


To apply, you need to be an early years practitioner who is qualified to at least level three, with a full and relevant early years or teaching qualification.

You will be, or aspiring to be:

  • A manager of a private, voluntary or independent early years setting
  • A headteacher of a school-based or maintained early years setting
  • An early years foundation stage leader in a state funded school (roles could include early years/KS1 phase leader, assistant or deputy headteacher, or class teachers aspiring to leadership)
  • A childminder with leadership responsibilities


DfE-funded scholarships are available for all state schools.

The NPQEYL is also funded for early years settings registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register. This includes:

  • private, voluntary or independent nurseries
  • childminders

From September 2022, eligible organisations now include:

  • Independent special schools
  • Virtual schools (Local Authority run organisations that support the education of children in care)
  • Hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations
  • Young offender institutions


What you’ll learn

This programme develops your leadership skills and knowledge and covers the content listed in the Department for Education’s NPQ Early Years Leadership Framework. 

You will learn how to:

  • Set a strategic direction for your early years setting and apply ambitious standards for all children
  • Champion evidence-based practice
  • Plan and deliver care and a high-quality curriculum to support children’s development
  • Establish communication, language and literacy approaches to support children’s learning
  • Make sure all children experience success
  • Identify children who need support and make appropriate referrals
  • Create an environment for all children and colleagues where everyone feels welcome and safe.

How you’ll learn
The content is delivered through blended learning. This includes real-time, interactive online sessions, face-to-face conferences and self-guided modules you can fit around your timetable. You will put what you learn into practice in your school and can track your progress and get feedback as you go.

Note: programme content is subject to change.


The assessment window starts at the end of the 18-month programme. During this time, you will be given an eight-day window to sit an ‘open book’ style assessment in which you respond to a short case study.

There are two assessment windows every year, and you can sit the assessment two times, if you need to.

You need to complete the course to qualify for the NPQ accreditation.

We will offer a live clinic in advance of the assessment window to support you.