Level 3 Extended Diploma

Early Years


Course Content

The aims of the course are for the students to gain experience in a variety of childcare settings and gain knowledge of working with children up to 7 years. From September 2014 the Early Years Educator qualifications will be the only qualifications to confer a licence to practice. This qualification is awarded by CACHE/NCFE.

The course is taught as a package at the Stoney Lane campus, where there is a mixture of students from all age groups. Other 16-18 year old students study Hairdressing, Beauty and Complementary Therapy on site. It is a very different environment to the sixth form site, as it is much smaller and there are also a significant number of students aged 18 or above, studying Early Years and Teaching and Learning Support at degree level. Students on the Early Years Educator course will attend college in a block of two days a week over two years. A further placement two days a week will be arranged in a variety of childcare settings.

In order to aid holistic delivery and assessment the course is structured around four themes. These are: Health and Well-being; Legislation, Frameworks and Professional Practice; Play development and Learning for School Readiness and Professional Development. There are a series of units of study under each theme. For example, under Health and Well-being, units focus on supporting healthy lifestyles, exercise and physical care routines for children, supporting children who are unwell and understanding the needs of mothers and babies.

Entry Requirements

Maths and English GCSE grade 4 and above (or equivalent) are required by the end of the qualification, enabling you to be a licenced practitioner. Those who do not have these on application, will be expected to study towards them alongside the Early Years Educator course.

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

You will be assessed through short answer papers, reflective studies, essays, coursework and you will be observed by a qualified assessor in your work place. There is also a longitudinal study, which assesses the student’s knowledge, understanding and skills of observation, assessment and planning. The study is set by the exam board but is likely to focus on studies/observation of specific children from different age ranges in a real life work environment, over a period of time.

Where Could It Take Me?

This course can lead to a career working with children and entry into the workforce as an Early Years Educator. Students wishing to progress to higher education could continue to the Foundation Degree in Early Years or the BA (Hons) in Early Years (both offered at the college). Applications to join the Teaching and Learning support FdA or the BA (Hons) in Teaching and Learning Support, at the college, would also be considered.

Financial Implications

You will need to pay for a DBS check (£51) and a polo shirt (£18.50 plus postage)