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Five facts about pre-schools and playgroups:

  • Pre-schools and playgroups provide sessional daycare for    children aged between two and five

  • Most are organised by community or voluntary groups,     providing a number of morning and afternoon sessions each week, usually term-time only

  • Some are open all day so that working parents can use them

  • Many ask parents to help on a rota basis.

  • Pre-school work often offers staff the flexibility to fit hours in around other commitments

Meeting EYFS Requirements

Qualified staff will be expected to meet EYFS ratio requirements, these are:

Working with 0 - 2 year olds - 1 staff member to 3 children

Working with 2 - 3 year olds - 1 staff member to 4 children

Working with 3 - 5 year olds - 1 staff member to 8 children

If you have a Level 6 qualification such as; Early Years Teacher, EYPS, or QTS you can work on a ratio of 1 staff member to 13 children


Pre-schools and playgroups offer less hours than full daycare providers. They offer flexible, term-time only childcare for up to six hours a day for children usually aged between two and five. Some pre-schools and playgroups offer morning or afternoon sessions. They employ men and women of all ages and from all kinds of backgrounds. You’d be working as part of a team, planning and providing stimulating educational and fun activities for the young children in your care. Most pre-schools and playgroups are based within community facilities, centres or church halls.

You would also work closely with parents and carers, discussing and sorting out any issues relating to their child and making sure he or she has the best possible care and activities in an encouraging and safe environment.

For more information on working in a pre-school/playgroup contact Sandwell Children’s Information Service on 0121 569 4914.


Level 2

From 1 September 2014, all level 2 early education and childcare qualifications that have been approved by Ofqual and are listed on the Register of Regulated Qualifications will also be considered full and relevant for the purposes of regulation and registration as outlined in the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.

Practitioners who hold qualifications that are either on the Early Years Qualifications List or the Register of Regulated Qualifications can be counted in the level 2 ratios. If you hold a level 3 early years educator qualification but do not have a GCSE in English and maths at Grade C or above, you can be counted within the level 2 ratios.

If you hold a level 3 early years educator qualification and wish to be counted within the level 3 ratios you will need to hold GCSEs in English and maths at Grade C or above.

Level 3

Practitioners, who start a qualification from 1 September 2014 must hold a qualification that meets the early years educator criteria to be considered full and relevant and to be counted in the level 3 ratios. The linked PDF file provides a list of those qualifications that so far have met early years educator criteria. Download the PDF file.

To count in the ratios at level 3, staff holding an early years educator qualification must also have achieved at least functional skills at Level 2, for English and Maths and are no longer required to have GCSE grade 3 or above.

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