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Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Childcare & Education

This course is part of a two year programme, whereby you complete the Certificate in year 1 and progress to the Diploma in year 2. The Certificate prepares you for the Diploma.

The Level 3 Diploma enables learners to gain the knowledge and experience which will allow them to work with children from birth to 5 years. Upon achievement of the Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education it is intended that learners will be able to access higher education or enter the workforce as Early Years Educators.

Course Content

Topics Covered

Over two years, you will complete 15 units on the theory behind topics in child development from conception to seven years in areas such as:

  • Children's health and well-being
  • Providing safe environments for children
  • Child health
  • Play and learning
  • Understanding children's additional needs
  • Observation, assessment and planning
  • Professional Practice Portfolio 1
  • Supporting emergent literacy
  • Supporting emergent mathematics
  • Preparing for school readiness
  • International perspectives
  • Reflective practice for professional development
  • Professional partnerships in early years
  • Professional Practice Portfolio 2

Exams / Assessment
To achieve the Diploma you must complete 15 units as well as two externally set and marked assignments (a reflective study and an extended essay). Your competence in the work place will also form part of your assessment on the course.

Work Experience
You will spend 2 days a week in placement and 3 block weeks, for a total of 750 hours by the end of your second year. Placement in a variety of early year's settings is required to achieve this qualification.

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs grade 9-4, including Maths and English.


After completing the Diploma, you will be able to work with children unsupervised in numerous settings. You could work in the following roles: special educational needs support worker, practitioner in day nurseries, practitioner in nursery schools, practitioner in reception classes in primary schools, pre-school worker, home-based childcare or nanny.