The National Professional Qualification for Early Years Leadership is for Early Years practitioners, teachers and leaders in Private, Voluntary and independent nurseries, school based nurseries or childminders, who are qualified to at least Level 3 with full and relevant qualifications.

What will I learn?

  • To develop expertise that is flexible and allows participants to respond to the challenges they will encounter in a range of contexts.
  • It will develop expertise that can be applied to both identifying and addressing persistent and common challenges in nursery leadership
  • To ensure that every child gets the best start in life

The NPQ EYL aims to support EY leaders to develop expertise in leading high quality education and care, as well as effective staff and organisational management, through essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful leadership of a high quality nursery.

Cost of the programme

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Early Years Leadership is available for those who meet the following criteria:

  • Are, or are aspiring to be, a headteacher or head of school with responsibility for leading a school-based nursery for children aged 0-5
  • Are, or aspiring to be, a manager of a PVI for children aged 0-5 years.
  • Are, or aspiring to be, a childminder with leadership responsibilities

Summary of the Programme and NPQ Learning Hours

Session Type NPQ training (55 hours):

Every Term (3 Terms)

Total Hours (3 Terms)

Audit before start of programme


One day induction conference at the beginning of year 1


Self-directed learning / Learning journal


Face to Face Events

3 x 5 hour


Peer learning group and live sessions


Mentoring check in  sessions

Termly one-hour meeting


Total hours



A unique part of the UCL offer is the implementation project. Each participant will demonstrate how their learning is being implemented in practice through action research or a project that is supported by a facilitated peer learning group to ensure the programme has an impact on an individual’s leadership and the children in their nursery.  Once completed, the programme will be assessed through a case study based approach to be completed in an 8 day window.