Teaching and learning

Government-funded professional development programme for the Early Years

Want free Early Years CPD? We’ve got all the information you need on the EYPDP course, funded by the DfE
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January 30, 2024
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In a rush? Here's the quick run-down.

  • Want to improve your practice, engage in continuous professional development, and network with other Early years educators? Read on.
  • Education Development Trust is delivering a DfE-funded course of professional development to level 3 qualified educators in England and you can apply now to take advantage of it.
  • Find out more about the course content and how it’s delivered, as well as how to apply, below.

If you’re an Early Years educator, the chances are you have a passion for teaching and learning. The trouble is, it’s not always easy to upskill. Between the cost of courses and finding cover, continuing your professional development can feel like an uphill battle. But luckily, that’s where Education Development Trust comes in.

Funded by the DfE, Education Development Trust is delivering an in-depth training programme for 10,000 Early Years educators. The Early Years Professional Development Programme (or EYPDP) covers communication and language, early mathematics, personal, social, and emotional development, as well as action planning, to ensure that all that learning is embedded in practice.

So what are you waiting for? I chatted to Cathryn Edney  of Education Development Trust to find out everything you need to know. 

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Why should I apply for the EYPDP course?


Aside from the fact that it’s free-to-access, you can also apply for funding via your Local Authority to cover the cost of educators’ time to take part in the course. More importantly, the course itself is a fantastic way to boost practice in your setting. 


The benefits of completing the course include:

  • Learning how you can better engage with parents and carers to support the home learning environment.
  • Improving your skills in supporting speech, language, and communication development, including identifying and supporting children who may be at risk of additional needs or delays.
  • Bye bye maths anxiety! The course covers the theory of child development regarding maths and how you can best support children’s early mathematical learning
  • Improved knowledge of how to support children’s self-confidence and self-awareness, manage feelings and behaviours

The content of the modules is created by sector experts you can trust, such as Speech and Language UK, The Anna Freud Centre, as well as Dr Sue Gifford and Dr Catherine Gripton. The programme is also endorsed by Jan Dubiel.

Support and achievement

The course has its own support team, who you can reach at eypdpsupport@edt.org, and 90% of learners currently on the course say they would recommend it. To top it off, you’ll receive an OCN London-endorsed CPD certificate on the completion of the programme.

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Who can access the funded EYPDP course?

The Department for Education is funding the course for:

  • Pre-reception Early Years educators from schools and private, voluntary, and independent settings (PVI)
  • Childminders

In addition to this, educators applying for the course must:

  • Be currently working directly with 2-4 year children (e.g. a supernumerary manager who does not work directly with the children would not be eligible)
  • Be qualified to at least level 3
  • Not have completed a previous iteration of the Early Years Professional Development Programme delivered by Education Development Trust.

Each Local Authority has a specific number of training places available, and there are circumstances that mean some settings are given priority. However, there is no limit to how many educators from your setting can attend the course - you might just need to juggle your rota a bit!

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How will I learn on the EYPDP course?

The course programme should take around 60 hours to complete over 8 months, delivered through a combination of online eLearning and weekly webinars. The webinars are facilitated by a programme trainer and include break-out rooms for you to discuss your thoughts and network with fellow learners from other settings.

To make it even easier to take part, the training programme has webinars at a variety of times available (including morning, afternoon and twilight), so you can find and book the ones that best fit your schedule. Learners will access the e-learning platform and webinars via their own, personal platform log-in.

How do I apply for a place on the EYPDP course?

You can sign up here or, if you’d like more information, visit earlyyearspdp.com, watch this video overview, or email EYPDPsupport@edt.org. But hurry! The course starts in April and places are offered on a first come, first served basis.

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Please note: here at Famly we love sharing creative activities for you to try with the children at your setting, but you know them best. Take the time to consider adaptions you might need to make so these activities are accessible and developmentally appropriate for the children you work with. Just as you ordinarily would, conduct risk assessments for your children and your setting before undertaking new activities, and ensure you and your staff are following your own health and safety guidelines.

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