By Senior Professional Officer Tricia Pritchard
Update: 15 April 2015
Update: 13 January 2015
"A qualification, certificate or diploma from the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) has, since 1945, been recognised and held up as the gold standard for those working in childcare. Those who worked hard and were assessed on academic theory and knowledge of childcare alongside how they applied that knowledge during practice placements in school and nursery are rightly proud of their achievement."
"As someone who did exactly that in the 1970s, I am the holder of an NNEB certificate and badge and still take pride in that achievement, which was the foundation of my future career in education, which began with early years education and childcare.
"The legacy of the NNEB.... is that it still remains the standard against which the childcare profession often compare or view the qualifications that have emerged in the last 20 years... the Nutbrown Review... report notes the lack of trust amongst employers about which qualifications properly equip potential staff to work effectively with young children.
"That lack of trust was more about the confusion caused by the plethora of qualifications…. ... the quality and standard set by the NNEB were matched, if not surpassed, by the many other qualifications... It was not, and is not, a reflection on the calibre of those dedicated and committed people who have chosen to work with young children in childcare and educations since the introduction of different qualifications. It... is... a system issue…
"Going forward, we hope that the Department for Education’s plans for the establishment of a College of Teaching will include early years teachers, and we will be making this point in our submission to the consultation and in conversations with the department." Please see below.
Update: 17 December 2014
Voice is writing to Directors of Children’s Services to confirm that the NNEB remains full and relevant for those who work in early education and childcare.
Update: 3 December 2014
"The NNEB Certificate and Diploma are considered full and relevant at Level 3." (When looking for confirmation of NNEB qualifications, search for ‘National Nursery Examination Board’, not 'CACHE'.)
Update: 24 November 2014
The following is an abstract from a letter received by CACHE from the DfE regarding the NNEB Diploma being incorrectly listed as not full and relevant:
“Thank you for your email of 24 October about the National Nursery Examination Board (NNEB) Diploma being incorrectly listed on our early years qualification finder as not full and relevant.
“We were made aware of the error at the end of October and an amendment was made to the qualifications list to show that the qualification is full and relevant. You should now be able to review the qualification at: www.education.gov.uk/eypqd."
14 November 2014:
We’ve received a number of queries regarding the apparent confusion (amongst employers mostly) about the value of the NNEB qualification. We’ve heard of employers suddenly announcing that the NNEB was no longer a recognised qualification and therefore holders of this qualification could no longer be considered qualified in the job that many had been doing for years. Voice has raised this with CACHE, the awarding body (formerly NNEB). The National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) is the body responsible for defining the ‘full and relevant’ qualifications. The NNEB is not on the list of qualifications considered as meeting the ‘essential criteria’, the minimum requirements for Level 3 work in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and this is where we believe the confusion lies. CACHE will look into this and report back to us. We hope that any confusion can be dispelled.
If you have experienced difficulties of this kind, please let us know below or email us so we can share this with CACHE.