NPQ for Early Years Leadership

We've designed this new, fully funded, NPQ to help you develop your knowledge and understanding of what high-quality, early years education and care looks like. A child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. It is therefore a priority to help early years leaders to continuously develop their knowledge and skills throughout their careers so every child gets the best start in life.

On this programme, 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.


Who is this programme for?

The new qualification is for those looking to progress their career into early years leadership or headteachers or leaders who wish to deepen and broaden their expertise in nursery provision.

The DFE guidance on participant suitability advises the following :

There are some participants for whom the department believes the NPQEYL is likely to be more beneficial than for others. The main target audiences for the NPQEYL are participants qualified to at least Level 3 with a full and relevant qualification1 who are, or are aspiring to be: 

• Managers of Private, Voluntary and Independent nurseries

• Headteachers of school-based or maintained nurseries

• Childminders with leadership responsibilities   

Reception year forms part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and so there may be some reception class teachers who are interested in taking the NPQEYL. We would encourage participants to review the NPQEYL content framework and reflect on their own ambitions and aspirations when considering whether the NPQEYL is the right course for them. There may be other NPQs available which are more suitable.


What you'll learn

The key elements of the programme are:
  • Culture
  • Child Development, Curriculum and Assessment
  • Additional and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities
  • Professional Development
  • Organisational Management
  • Implementation
  • Working in Partnership
The material is delivered through a blended programme which includes nine online learning courses via Steplab, Two live conferences (each lasting six hours), Seven two-hour online clinics (facilitated sessions), Nine one-hour community sessions and a two-hour assessment clinic.


This programme is 18 months long and will commence in October 23.

Click here for the programme flyer

Programme Schedule for Autumn 2023

Programme Schedule for October 2022 for current participants

Programme Schedule for February 2023 for current participants

Programme Schedule for February 2024



You can now apply to join this NPQ in your local area. Click on the register your interest button below, select the right qualification for you and then we will ensure Ambition Institute send you full application details including how to register for funding with the DFE.