Graduate Practitioner Competencies

Please note that the Graduate Practitioner Competencies can only be embedded in degrees mapped on to ECS QAA Benchmark Statement.

The Rationale for Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies
A real strength of ECS degrees is the variety of study and career pathways.

However, this can present challenges for future employers. Different HEIs use different titles for degrees mapped on to the ECS QAA Benchmark Statement and it is not always clear how the degree maps against sector qualifications.

To proactively address these issues and strengthen degrees with placements, or that are work-based, the ECSDN has collectively developed assessed practice competencies awarded at Level 6, that evidence the students holistic understanding of Early Childhood development and their ability to apply, critically evaluate and communicate theoretical knowledge to practice. These can be embedded in a variety of ways, including:

  • in a specifically designed degree
  • as a pathway option

HEIs can award Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner to students who successfully meet all the competencies

The Early Childhood Graduate Practitioner Competencies aim to:

  1. Remove the confusion in the sector about how ECS Degrees are aligned to practice requirements in the four nations of the UK.
  2. Address the inherent challenges of different types of Early Childhood degrees and study pathways, enabling the wider workforce to be clear about individual early career graduates’ expected level of knowledge, skills and actual experience in practice.
  3. Acknowledge the different pathways that lead learners to undertake the degrees, enhance their practice experience and enhance employability skills.
  4. Ensure that Higher Education academic routes are responsive to the changing needs and training routes in early years practice, education and the wider Children’s Services workforce.
  5. Make a significant contribution to strengthening a graduate-led Early Childhood workforce that is responsive to workforce needs and improves outcomes for children.
  6. Afford students with placement opportunities to critically apply theory to practice in a range of Early Childhood settings and/or schools, social care and health settings. This will enable students to develop graduate skills in the application of the inter-disciplinary Early Childhood knowledge base to reflective practice.
  7. Provide new opportunities for graduates who want to strengthen their practice in Early Childhood and/or progress to post-graduate academic programmes or professional training, including Early Years Teacher (0-5), Teacher (3-11), Social Work and health professions.

More details (ECSDN Members only) can be found here: GPC Toolbox

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