NPQ in Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL)

A qualification dedicated to the unique challenge of Early Years.

Who is it for?

For all leaders in early years settings, qualified to at least Level 3 who are, or are aspiring to be, managers of Private, Voluntary and Independent nurseries, headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries, or childminders with leadership responsibilities.

This Leadership NPQ has an evidence-informed curriculum design, connecting you to the latest research and best practice. Our research-rich course covers all of the core content in the government’s Framework for this qualification. It will help you to:

  • Develop a culture that supports sustainable improvements over time, responding to evidence on child development and effective early years practice
  • Support the delivery of a strong curriculum that responds to the demands of the Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Understand the evidence on SEND in the early years and make appropriate provision to support babies and young children to access support where needed
  • Support the development of all staff within an early years setting
  • Focus on the underpinning operational fundamentals of a successful early years setting, including leading on pedagogy, managing the nursery, managing the team, understanding safeguarding requirements and financial and business needs

What will I learn?

Lead successful improvement and change in your Early Years setting.


Benefits for you

    • Develop knowledge and understanding of how to apply the evidence on the effective running of an early years setting, responding to the needs of children, parents, staff, and wider operating demands, and helping you progress in your career
    • A blended learning experience which fits around your role where you learn and discuss key content online, delivered in a way that suits the busy working lives of early years practitioners
    • Local virtual and face to face sessions that focus on real problem-solving, creating understanding, connecting with your peers and gaining depth of knowledge
    • Ongoing preparation to give you confidence to pass the final assessment
    • Facilitation and support from serving early years and school leaders, and delivery at local venues

Benefits for your school / organisation

    • A skilful and research-informed leader who can lead a cohesive, impact-focused leadership team, with better connections across the early years sector
    • Practical capability to get on with the job of developing others with the skills to lead with people and teams, creating change and impact
    • A professionally aware and informed leader who can make evidence-based decisions and approach leading teacher development in an effective and efficient manner
    • The ability to review and evaluate practice in order to bring about change and get the best outcomes for young people and staff within the organisation

    How will I be assessed?

    At the end of the programme, you will complete a 1500-word case study assessment to demonstrate your understanding of real leadership and change.


    Our programmes are led by a team of expert facilitators from different settings and phases who will support you throughout the programme.

    Further information

    Start your NPQ journey by completing the application form provided below.

    What next?

    Funding for autumn 2024 will target those teachers and leaders who work in the most challenging schools or educational settings, serving more disadvantaged communities.

    Scholarship funding to cover the full NPQ course cost will be available to teachers and leaders from:

    • the 50% of schools with the highest proportion of students who attract pupil premium funding
    • highly disadvantaged early years settings
    • 16 to 19 educational settings identified as having high disadvantage

    Please see the government website here for more information and guidance on funding for NPQ courses.

    The course fee is £1,149 for non-funded applicants.

    Download the NPQEYL Curriculum