The Early Years Quality Standards (EYQS) scheme represents a prestigious recognition that acknowledges and celebrates Early Years schools and settings which demonstrate outstanding commitment to excellence and quality. The scheme is designed to recognise those who consistently strive for the highest standards of early years practice driving a culture of excellence and improving outcomes for all.

Delivered by highly experienced EYQS mentors, the scheme is a practical and participatory approach that emphasises problem solving, collaboration and positive change.


How do the Early Years Quality Standards work?

The EYQS is organised into a 2-year cycle. Early Years schools and settings may choose to complete year 1 EYQS as a standalone award or complete both years of the award to achieve EYQS Premium. The award is valid for a period of five years from the date of completion.

EYQS modules can be completed and added to the award for up to 5 years.

EYQS award logo

Year one: EYQS

The first year supports reflection on your statutory and core provision through a series of self-evaluative modules. Two statutory and two core modules are completed before selecting from a range of subject specific modules. 





EYQS award premium logo

Year two: EYQS Premium

The second year allows Early Years schools and settings to deepen their knowledge, understanding and practice by focusing on one area of provision where they determine the widest gaps are. This may have been highlighted during the year 1 process or may be identified from your cohort information. 

This will take the form of a project which includes the whole team and will incorporate an audit from the HFL Early Years Team. The audit will be specific to the chosen area for development (for example, environment – ECERS, physical development – MOVERS). Following the audit your team will undertake research as part of the project, using the results of your chosen audit scale alongside this research to improve outcomes. 


What are the benefits of the scheme?

The scheme is a highly effective way for you and your team to reflect on the current quality of your early years provision and supports you to realise the vision you have for your school or setting.

The process also offers the opportunity to work alongside your mentor to ensure your team receive recognition and insightful feedback that will inform the settings plans for the future.


early years practitioner with children outside

Experience the Early Years Quality Standards for yourself!

The 2024/25 EYQS scheme launches in June 2024. If you would like to take part, please book a place on our free online briefing in June via the HFL Education Hub.

If you would like to take part, please contact us at to express an interest and receive further details on how to take part.


The EYQS provided the opportunity to highlight what worked well using the ECERS scale, identifying and acknowledging how we work as a special school.

Sharmilara Jarartnam, Early Years Leader, Meadow Wood school and Breakspeare School, Sunflower Federation

Through the EYQS process there was no question left unanswered and the next steps were easy for us to see and put a plan in place to develop. We have seen teamwork shine and are proud in achieving new targets.

Vanda Florin, Manager, Tots and Scholars Day Nursery

Contact our Early Years team today to find out how we can help you.