NPQ FAQs: Early years and childcare

What do I need before registering for the NPQ for Early Years Leadership?

Before you register, you’ll need to make sure you have done the following:

  • Got a Teacher Reference Number (TRN)
  • Chosen a training provider
  • Know how your NPQ is being paid for

You’ll need to know your Ofsted unique reference number (URN) if you or your employer are registered on the Ofsted Early Years Register, or you are registered through a Childminder Agency.

Do I need a Teacher Reference Number (TRN) even though I’m not a teacher?

Yes. Everyone who registers for an NPQ will need a TRN, even if you’re working in early years, further education or qualified as a teacher outside England.

How do I get a TRN?

You need to apply to the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Email qts.enquiries@education.gov.uk with (all of the following):

  • your full legal name
  • your date of birth
  • a scanned copy or photo of one proof of ID - this can be your passport, driving licence (full or provisional), certificate of residence or birth certificate
  • “Request for a TRN” in the subject line of the email

They aim to respond to your email within 5 working days.

How do I choose a provider?

The NPQ for Early Years Leadership is offered by the following lead training providers:

You should look at their websites to see if they offer courses in your area and how they deliver training. Contact them if you have any questions.

How is my NPQ paid for?

There are a number of ways to pay for an NPQ:

If you do not think you’re eligible for DfE scholarship funding, you should discuss how you’ll pay with your training provider.

Where do I find my Ofsted URN?

You can search the public Ofsted register (opens in a new tab) to find a URN.

If your employer is registered with Ofsted or you're registered with a childminder agency (CMA), you can use their URN.

If you’re a nanny or a childminder you may not be listed on the public Ofsted register. You’ll need to check your email or registration certificate to find your URN.

If you or your employer have not registered with Ofsted then you will not have a URN.

What is a full and relevant qualification?

‘Full and relevant qualifications’ are defined as level 3 qualifications (or higher) that demonstrate depth and level of learning appropriate to specified outcomes of full early years, childcare or playwork qualifications.

The qualification should have valid, reliable assessment and awarding procedures and must include an element of assessed performance evidence.

How do I register for an NPQ?

Visit the Register for an NPQ service. Complete the steps on the service and your chosen provider will get in touch with more details.

I need more support

Contact continuing-professional-development@digital.education.gov.uk with any questions.