Early Years graduates celebrate their achievements


Today, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) celebrated the achievements of its first cohort of BA Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Practitioner Status) students as they graduated from their innovative three-year degree course.

Early Years / Blynyddoedd Cynnar

The students are also the first cohort to graduate from the three-year course with the new Early Years Practitioner Status award which is recognised on the list of qualifications to work in the Early Years sector by Social Care Wales.

This degree has a significant vocational element so that lectures are underpinned by practical hands-on learning. Those graduating this week will therefore have a degree recognised by Social Care Wales to work in early years’ education and care settings in Wales.

During their study, students explore all aspects of young children’s wellbeing, development, rights and inclusion. There is an emphasis on holistic learning and thus these students will also be well placed to support and lead the upcoming changes to the education curriculum in Wales. Such a degree will continue to reinforce the value and importance of having highly skilled practitioners across the early years care and education sector in Wales.

The Early Years team also deliver a flexible learning evening programme supporting those already working in the early years sector, including top up programmes, HE Certifcates, HE Diplomas and degrees which are delivered so studens can stay in employment and study.

Rachel Iles, one of those graduating today said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the Early Years degree at UWTSD. The lecturers are fantastically supportive and the content of lectures are interesting, engaging and inspiring, offering a refreshing balance between academic and hands on learning. I cannot recommend this degree enough and I am so pleased that I chose this program.”

Another of those celebrating today is Michael Mears who also had an extremely positive and rewarding experience studying at UWTSD.  “The lecturers made all the difference, they gave me a fulfilling learning experience and from the first moment that I met them at an open day, they made me feel like I would be a real asset to the programme and that they were truly invested in my future but valued my past experiences.  As a novice in the Early Years sector upon joining the university, I now feel that I have the knowledge to match my passion for working with children.”

Early Years / Blynyddoedd Cynnar

Rhian Butcher is one of the individuals who took advantage of the evening and flexible learning group. She said, “I would like to state how fantastic and supportive all tutors have been throughout each and every module this year.  The flexibility of learning has been extremely beneficial, with myself and many others having busy home lives, children and jobs. The ease of access to documentation via UWTSD online, the local library and open-door policy of tutors, enabled all of us to have the tools necessary to complete the course. I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to complete the top up year. It has pathed a way for me to be accepted for my PGCE with yourselves, which I didn’t think would be a possibility at this point in my life.”

Gwyneth Davies Programme Director for the BA (Hons) Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status is delighted to see these hard-working graduates celebrating their success with their loved ones today.  “We are very pleased to see our first cohort of students on the three-year BA Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status programme graduating.  This innovative programme provides our graduates not only with a high quality Early Years degree, but also with an Early Years Practitioner Status (EYPS) that enables them to work in Early Years settings.  The programme is on Social Care Wales’ list of required qualifications for working within the Early Years sector so graduates are able to move directly into employment. 

“The graduates have met the requirements of the National Occupational Standards and the 700 hours of placement experience needed to complete the EYPS element of the programme,” adds Gwyneth. “This ensures that they have practical experience of working in a variety of Early Years settings, as well as having a comprehensive understanding of relevant theory, legislation and knowledge needed to support excellent practice.”

Alison Rees-Edwards, Director of the Early Years Education and Care: Early Years Practitioner Status Placement Experience says that students’ employability is a fundamental part of the degree programme. “We recognise that to be included in Social Care Wales’ list of required qualifications to work within the early years’/childcare sector, students need opportunities to gain valuable vocational experiences which can enable them to achieve Early Years Practitioner Status. It is most encouraging to see how students on this programme grow in confidence both in lectures and during their placement experiences. Employability skills, acquired alongside their academic qualification, helps ensure that they would make an excellent asset to any early years’ setting.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Early Years degree programmes offered at UWTSD, please contact g.tinney@uwtsd.ac.uk or 01267 676605

Further Information


For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies, Principal Communications and PR Officer on 01267 676908 / 07449 998476 sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk