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Article 21/02/2024

EDT to help more individuals upskill to enter England’s early years sector through new Skills Bootcamps in Early Years

We are proud to announce that EDT has partnered with the UK’s Department for Education (DfE) to deliver new Skills Bootcamps in Early Years across England. The bootcamps are short, flexible courses in early years education, incorporating learning, work experience, and essential skills development opportunities.

The DfE has developed Skills Bootcamps to bridge the gap between skills and employment in the UK, focusing on growing sectors or those with a shortage of skilled workers, including the early years sector.

Think tank Nesta estimates 27,500 early years professionals are required to meet the expected rise in demand for places. To address this, the new Skills Bootcamps in Early Years will provide short, remote-learning courses to adults aged 19 or over who are currently out of work, looking to upskill, or get into the early years sector for the first time. The courses are free* and last up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build experience and sector-specific skills.   

Participants will receive accredited training with sector professionals alongside work experience in a local childcare environment. Upon completion, participants’ learning could be further boosted through an accelerated apprenticeship with a relevant provider. This can cut 16 weeks from a standard apprenticeship route, helping to make apprenticeships more efficient for apprentices, employers and providers. 

The Skills Bootcamps in Early Years will enable EDT to support early years practitioners throughout their entire career, running alongside our existing Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP) and NPQ for Early Years Leadership (NPQEYL). 


“Skills Bootcamps form part of the government’s commitment to help adults learn the necessary knowledge and skills for jobs in expanding sectors. This programme is a perfect fit for EDT, with our deep experience of providing training and professional development programmes in the early years. 

“Working in the early years sector is hugely rewarding. We’re delighted to be able to offer the Skills Bootcamps in Early Years and we look forward to providing the training to bring scores of new people into the sector with the skills and enthusiasm to succeed.” 

Kiri Baxter, Deputy Director for Skills at EDT 


*Skills Bootcamps are free to those out of work. Eligibility criteria applies.


To find out more, get in touch with us at or visit the Skills Bootcamps in Early Years programme page. 

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