Progression routes for Early years Educators and Teaching Assistaant

Elmhouse Training advice is that if you had not at least three years working experience in an early year setting as a practitioner this should be your focus once completed. Once qualified below are some of the roles and progression routes you can gain.

Progression routes for Early years Educators

Job roles for Early years Educators

  • Early years educator
  • Lead Practitioner/Room Leader
  • Early Years Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher

Job roles of teaching assistants

  • Teaching Assistant
  • Higher Level Teaching Assistant
  • Mentor
  • Support Assistant
  • SEN Support

There are many other routes you can take such as below.

SEN Specialist

SEN Specialist

Social Care/Worker

Social Care/Worker

Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs) do all the things that regular teaching assistants do but they have an increased level of responsibility. For example HLTAs teach classes on their own, cover planned absences and allow teachers time to plan and mark.

Many HLTAs have a role to play outside the classroom, as well: they may manage other classroom-based staff, develop a specialist curriculum area within the school and often liaise with parents and carers on sensitive issues for particular pupils.

What skills and experience do I need?

  • Demonstrate that you meet the 33 HLTA professional standards
  • Have English and maths skills at Level 2 or equivalent
  • Know how to use ICT to support your work
    be trained in relevant learning strategies, e.g. literacy
  • Have specialist skills/ training in a curriculum area, e.g. sign language
Elmhouse Training Courses Progression

Entry requirements

To become an HLTA you need to already be working as a teaching assistant and have support from your head teacher. Schools and local authorities no longer receive government funding to train HLTAs, so you must discuss funding with your school. It is also up to headteachers to approach relevant training providers and organise assessment. For more information, see the HLTA National Assessment Partnership website.

Although not necessary to achieve HTLA status, there is a level 4 certificate for HLTAs. While this qualification has been designed specifically for HLTAs, it is important to note that it is not a requirement for HLTA recognition in schools. It will however, provide successful learners with a nationally-recognised level 4 qualification.

Some higher level teaching assistants go on to train as teachers. As an experienced teaching assistant, you may be able to study for a foundation degree to get started. These are available at colleges and universities, and have various titles such as ‘Teaching and Learning Support’. You can find a list of courses by searching under ‘Teaching Assistant Studies’ in the subject group section of the UCAS foundation degree website: UCAS foundation degree course search

Primary school teacher

Degree Name: Primary Education QTS many universities offer this qualification

Entry Requirements: Click Here to Learn More

Course information
The course is designed to include and at least 24 weeks’ school placement* experience.Completing this teacher training degree will give you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You will focus on the subject of your choice, giving you the tools to teach in an area you are passionate about, and enjoy. 

Early years Teacher



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Early years initial teacher training (ITT): accredited providers

Early years initial teacher training (ITT): accredited providers

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Early years educator

Foundation degree in Early Years

The School of Education has offered the Foundation Degree in Early Years since 2002.

Since then several hundred practitioners working with young children aged 0-7 have achieved their Foundation Degree successfully. Many of them have gone on to study for their BA (Honours) Education Studies (Early Years) and are now working in leadership roles in the Early Years sector.


The Foundation Degree in Early Years

  • Prepares students to work in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
  • Recognises students’ pre-existing knowledge and experience gained in their work with young children.
  • Offers students the chance to develop their practice.
  • Offers employers the opportunity to encourage change and development of the setting through high quality professional development.
  • Has a track record of developing students’ confidence and leadership.

There are currently greater expectations of childcare and education than ever before, as understanding grows of how early interventions in children’s lives can make a tremendous difference to their future learning, development and well-being. Evidence suggests it is graduate practitioners in Early Years settings who create this difference.

This Foundation Degree can form part of the journey towards graduate status while giving you the theoretical knowledge linked to practical experience to meet the high expectations of today’s Early Years practitioners.

In addition, you may be able to go onto the final year of a BA(Hons) Early Childhood Education degree or a BA(Hons) Education Studies degree.

Lead Practitioner/Room Leader

Elmhouse Training offer this

CACHE Level 4 Certificate For The Early Years Advanced Practitioner

Option 1

NCFE CACHE Level 4 Certificate For The Early Years Advanced Practitioner

Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner

Option 2

Level 5 Diploma for the Early Years Senior Practitioner