You will be required to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of early years education and care, including that you can support and promote children's early education and development, plan and provide effective care, teaching and learning that enables children to progress and prepares them for school, make accurate and productive use of assessment, develop effective and informed practice, safeguard and promote the health, safety and welfare of children, work in partnership with the key person, colleagues, parents and/or carers or other professionals. Entry requirements ( correct at time of publishing April 2014): From 1 August 2014 government funding of early years educator training courses through the Skills Funding Agency will require GCSE English and mathematics, grade A*-C, on entry. Functional skills will not be accepted as equivalent to GCSEs. Training providers will be required to confirm learners' prior achievement of this and record it in the learning agreement before enrolling learners onto an Early Years Educator programme. Education Funding Agency-funded learners Learners aged 16-19 funded by the Education Funding Agency will not require GCSE English and mathematics grade A*-C prior to commencing their Early Years Educator qualifications. However the expectation is that they should be offered or encouraged to take up GCSEs as part of their study programme. From 2016/17 learners will need to have completed or be studying GCSE English and mathematics for their study programme to be funded. Self-funded learners Self funding learners will not be required to have achieved GCSE English and mathematics grade A*-C before commencing their Early Years Educator qualification. However, if learners who complete the Early Years Educator qualification do not achieve a minimum of grade C English and mathematics at GCSE they will not be able to be counted towards a nursery's ratios at Level 3.