International Early Years Qualifications

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Pollock17
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:55 am

International Early Years Qualifications

Post by Pollock17 »

Hey there,

Sorry I know these qualification questions are a bit redundant at this point, but I'm having trouble finding ones specific to Early Years.

So I'm in a bit of a fix trying to sort out my next step for becoming qualified for International Preschool/Kinder positions. Specifically which type of qualification is the best next step. (I have a CBEST, TEFL, and Bachelors in a non-educational field, I've been in education for about 6 years in a variety of positions from subbing in the states to ESL centers, private schools, and curriculum design etc....all of this combined has easily got me work in private schools and low tier IS's, but I know these won't cut it long term or outside of SE Asia.

I'm willing to spend the extra coin and time, if it's the best outcome long term, as I'm confident early years education is my passion. But am just a bit lost as to which route is the best investment.

I’m a US citizen working abroad in a low tier international school in Vietnam (In the Kindergarten)- and would like to gain further qualification, to be able to possibly move up to a top tier international school and to be a competitive candidate outside of SE Asia (Europe, Middle East, etc…I'd like to have options honestly, but have little interest returning to the US). I would also like to eventually get a specialized masters for early years (Some type of focus like Reggio Emilia).

So my question is, as I'm interested in traveling and teaching in IS's long term- should I go ahead and commit to the early years PGCE/QTS now, then think about a masters further down the line? or because I'm confident I would like to stick to early years- do you think a PGCEi or Masters alone (or those two combined) would be sufficient? As with the PGCEi or a Masters I would be able to work and study simultaneously, but a PGCE would require relocation to the UK, and using much of my savings, etc....

Would the PGCEi/Masters route be enough to get me in the door of top tier International Schools? I'm aware this would not be sufficient for any type of primary or secondary position, but I've encountered schools here in Vietnam, that have made it seem like IS kindergartens would prefer specialized experience/masters to their specific pedagogy, even over a standard credential. But surely outside of Vietnam this would simply supplement official qualification?

If I'm completely off base with this please let me know haha, should I be looking more at something like a teach now option?
PsyGuy
Posts: 10424
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

If youre going to do a Masters relativly soon, than doing a PGCE is likely going to be a waste unless you go back to the same Uni and they let you apply the PGCE credits towards the Masters. Also understand doing a PGCE and QTS is a huge time and resource commitment. Induction is now a two year program if you want full QTS (as what were NQTs are now called ECTs).

A PGCEi is not a credential, its a working qualification for some (mostly) lower tier ISs, youre already there, and a PGCEi would be a very high risk pathway of trying to break into upper tier ISs. The same is true of a Masters, its not a credential (except in regions where it is). There is a larger portion of ISs that will accept a Masters in edu as a working qualification (compared to those that will accept a PGCEi).

In addition, the TRA is producing an iQTS, its in the pilot phase, but no one really knows what it will allow those with it to do. Its likely to boost the reportable number of credentialed ITs that ISs report. The big deciding factor is going to be if those with iQTS can apply for QTS as OTTs, thats really up to Parliament to decide. Even if it does though those ITs that obtain QTS by mutual recognition as OTTs will become ECT and have to complete the new 2 year induction period to gain full QTS. Regardless of what happens its likely to create another 'sub-class' of ITs, either those who have something less than QTS (in the case of those with iQTS not being able to obtain QTS) or another category of those considered ECTs (in the case that those with iQTS can obtain QTS as OTTs).

A PGCEi and/or Masters isnt likely to get you into a first tier IS. Those ISs tend to be US or UK embassy or close to it or foundation classical IBWSs. At that tier a lot of applicants have Masters degrees and full credentials. At that level ISs gets hundreds of applicants, including a lot of IT couples, and they can be selective, not having a credential is reason enough to bin your application. Why have to explain or admit their child's EC IT isnt credentialed/certified.

You might want to look at the MA Provisional (Entry grade credential). It would require you to travel to the US to take at least some of the exams (there are three). You would also have to complete some type of seminar or course in teaching students with disabilities (UoP has such a course, you would have to be admitted to their M.Ed program, drop your first term courses and then register in the next term for the students with disabilities course. The course would be USD$240, plus the application fee of USD$60 for a total of USD$300.) You would also have the three exams cost and travel costs. The MA Provisional credential though is a regular credential and would have an effective lifetime validity period. Its also potentially probable you could standardize it immediately by applying for a WA Residence credential (Professional grade), which is also an effective lifetime credential, and after that possibly apply for QTS as an OTT.
Pollock17
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2021 10:55 am

Re: International Early Years Qualifications

Post by Pollock17 »

Thanks so much for your reply, it makes sense and has given me a lot to think about.

With the pandemic I haven't been home in years, so perhaps popping in for this program wouldn't be terrible timing. I'll do some more research into it. Thanks so much!
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