Detailed guide: Early years initial teacher training: 2020 to 2021 funding guidance

Department For Education

October 22
16:14 2019


The Department for Education (DfE) allocates and funds early years initial teacher training (EYITT) places each academic year. EYITT leads to the award of Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS).

We provide training bursaries and training grants to attract high-quality graduates to become early years teachers.

You can only use this funding to offer training programmes that help trainees to meet the teachers standards (early years).

The training grant includes the costs of assessment to meet these standards.

Trainees and potential applicants should visit the Get Into Teaching website and our list of EYITT training providers for more information. Employers should visit EYITT: a guide for employers.

Training routes

We offer funding for 2 out of the 4 EYITT training routes.

Graduate entry route

This is for graduates studying full-time. Training is typically over a 1 year period.

EYITT providers will receive training grant funding of 7,000 to cover course fees.

Trainees with high academic achievement may be eligible to receive a training bursary. This will be paid to you to forward to your trainees.

Graduate employment based route

This is for graduates:

The training is:

  • part-time
  • takes up to 1 year based on a 12 months employment from 1 September to 31 August

14,000 is available for this route, made up of a:

  • 7,000 training grant for providers
  • 7,000 employer incentive for the trainees employer

Employer incentive

The employer incentive is forwarded to the trainees employer. Its a contribution towards costs that employers incur, such as:

  • supply cover
  • salary enhancements
  • employment costs
  • National Insurance
  • additional training costs and other overheads

You cannot use the employer incentive for:

  • sick pay
  • maternity or paternity pay
  • costs not related to training such as buying equipment or internal training
  • costs that have occurred outside of their training period

Undergraduate entry

Funding is not available for this route. Trainees should contact Student Finance England to see if they can receive a tuition fee or maintenance loan.

This route is for undergraduates who want to take a level 6 degree in an early childhood-related subject along with EYTS.

This route is full-time and takes 3 or 4 years.

Assessment only

This is a self-funded route for graduates who:

This could be an early years teacher who:

  • practiced overseas
  • understands the early years foundation stage

Training bursaries

Training bursaries are only available to trainees registered on the graduate entry route. You should use the trainees highest qualification to determine how much theyll get.

Tier 1, 5,000: first-class honours degree, doctoral degree, medical masters (distinction)

Tier 2, 4,000: 2.1 honours degree, masters degree

Tier 3, 2,000: 2.2 honours degree

No bursary: third-class honours degree, third honours degree, ordinary degree, aegrotat, no first degree

Qualifications record keeping

You must keep accurate records of trainees qualifications and how they obtained them, especially for overseas qualifications.

You should record:

  • names of all trainees granted a bursary
  • details of how you assessed the trainees qualifications

We may ask to see these records at any time to ensure the robustness of your processes. You should keep copies of:

  • original trainee documentation or qualification certificates
  • correspondence between you and trainees
  • other documentation relating to the decision-making process, including correspondence with internal colleagues or external organisations, for example, awarding bodies.

If a trainee is ineligible for a bursary but feels that there are extenuating circumstances around their final result, this information must be assessed by the awarding body. The EYITT provider must not use their discretion.


To receive a training bursary, trainees must:

  • meet the entry requirements
  • take a qualifying postgraduate EYITT course
  • hold a UK first degree with at least second-class honours (or equivalent)
  • meet the terms and conditions of the bursary scheme
  • not already hold EYTS or Early Years Professional Status (EYPS)
  • not do any type of paid-teaching work which contributes to their training whilst undertaking an EYITT course, for which the provider received early years funding
  • not be registered on another EYITT course

You must also:

  • notify trainees in writing that theyre eligible
  • ensure that trainees continue to meet the criteria throughout the course

Funding principles

You must use the training grant funding to meet all training costs for each trainee.

You must not:

  • charge any additional fees
  • switch allocated funding to other trainees
  • allocate funding from one route to another

Full-time equivalence (FTE)

We calculate funding using the FTE principle:

FTE equivalence Trainee status
0.5 or less part-time
0.6 or more full-time

Duration of funding

Trainee funding is based on the number of days trainees are on a course. This is usually their course start date to the planned end date. You should include bank holidays and weekdays.

Trainees will continue to receive funding if theyll finish their course in the next academic year.

Trainees do not receive further funding if they withdraw.

Right to work

You must check that all trainees have the right to work or study in the UK for the duration of the training before you grant any bursaries.


You should pay bursaries in 10 monthly instalments.

This table shows you how to calculate trainees monthly bursary instalments.

Bursary award Monthly instalment
5,000 500
4,000 400
2,000 200

Payment eligibility

Trainees will be entitled to receive the first bursary payment if they are actively engaged on the ITT programme on the first day of the month following their start date.

ExampleA trainee commencing their course in September 2020 will be entitled to th

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