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Funding for qualifications

Dudley Local Authority is committed to support the Early Years and Childcare Workforce with raising levels of qualifications and to continue to expand our graduate workforce. We are pleased to provide information, advice and guidance in relation to this.

National and local funding opportunities to support qualifications provided by training providers change regularly. Funding streams, national and local priorities are considered and reviewed continually as some funding criteria can be quite complicated.

If you are currently working, or volunteering on a regular basis, in a registered childcare setting within the Dudley borough, and are interested in undertaking a relevant qualification, you are advised to contact your training provider to discuss funding opportunities with them.

If the training provider cannot support you with finance there are student loans which you may wish to consider; information can be found on the student loans company website.

English and Maths GCSE's

The requirement of GCSE English and Maths for entry to Early Years Educator courses at Level 3 was removed by the Skills Agency from 1st August 2015. You no longer need to have these GCSE's upon enrolment however if you want to be included in the staff ratios in group settings you will still need to attain these at grade C or above.

Colleges and local training providers can advise you on how to access English and maths GCSE's. However you may have to pay for these qualifications yourself.


Apprenticeship placements can attract new talent, re-skill existing staff and tackle skill shortages. Apprenticeships are available to businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in England. Employment is a fundamental part of an apprenticeship. An apprentice must be employed in a job role with a productive purpose.

All apprentices should work for at least 30 hours per week, apart from in exceptional circumstances.

Apprenticeships deliver for businesses and help them grow by:

  • Reducing training and recruitment costs

  • Increasing productivity

  • Developing a skilled, motivated and qualified workforce

  • Improving customer service results

  • Providing financial return on investment

Training apprenticeships can also be more cost effective than hiring skilled staff, leading to lower overall training and recruitment costs.

Current advice and information can be located on the Apprenticeships website.