Tel: 01481 227500

Childcare & Early Years


Level 2 Health & Social Care
Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education (Early Years Educator) 

Course duration

Level 2 – one year, full time
Level 3 – two years full time




Download course brochure

Purpose of the Course

We offer two qualifications in Childcare & Early Years dependent upon your starting points.  Our Level 2 course is aimed at students who would like to work in any area of health, social care or early years.  Our Level 3 Diploma in Childcare & Education (Early Years Educator) qualification enables you to gain the knowledge and experience to work with children from birth to five years, with knowledge of five to seven year olds.

Course Outline

Level 2 in Health and Social Care 

Core units include:

  • Working in a person-centred way
  • Safeguarding 
  • Principles of working in health, social care and childcare
  • Health and safety in practice

Health and Social Care pathway:

  • Working in adult health and social care environments
  • Working with individuals in adult Health and social care environments 

Early Years pathway:

  • Working in childcare environments
  • Working with children in childcare environments 

The Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) units include:

  • Child development
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Safe environments
  • Child health
  • Play and learning
  • Additional needs
  • Observation and assessment
  • Emergent literacy
  • Emergent mathematics
  • Preparing for school readiness
  • International perspectives
  • Reflective practice
  • Professional partnerships
  • One professional practice unit over two years which links to placements

Each unit has an assignment and most have some assessment related to practical placement. You will also complete a reflective study and one extended essay (externally set, externally marked). Two days a week are spent in real work environment placements so that a range of ages and settings are experienced. Staff arrange the placements for you. 

Entry Criteria

Level 2: four GCSEs at grade D/3 or above, in a range of subjects preferably English language and maths or successful completion of a Level 1 qualification, or relevant experience for mature students.

Level 3: five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in a range of subjects including English language and preferably maths, or a relevant Level 2 qualification at merit or above, or relevant experience for mature students. 

Personal Development & Skills

This course will provide opportunities for you to go beyond purely academic theory, as there is a strong thread of personal and skills development embedded in your course allowing you to become reflective, independent participants, leaving the course with self-awareness and an ability to access and apply the knowledge you have gained in a variety of settings.  In addition, you will participate in enrichment activities such as healthy cooking, basic car maintenance, communication skills and develop a deeper understanding of the society we live in by having the opportunity to explore and discuss current affairs.

Assessment Method

Level 2: externally assessed exams, leaflets, posters, role play, witness testimonies, observations, which will be assessed by your lecturers, internally verified and externally verified by the awarding organisation.   

Level 3: written assignments for each mandatory unit, direct observation in the real work environment, plus 750 placement hours. Some assessments are set and marked by your lecturers, internally verified and then externally verified by the awarding organisation.  

Progression Opportunities

To progress onto the Level 3 Diploma, you will need to have successfully completed your Level 2 programme at merit or distinction, English language at Level 2 and attained overall attendance greater than 88%. There are also opportunities to enter the early years sector, or progress onto an alternative Level 3 programme. On completion of the Level 3 Diploma you will be able to access higher education or enter the workforce as early years educators. Types of work settings include day nurseries, pre-schools and crèches. For students with some years of pre-school experience, work as a learning support assistant is possible.

Additional Learning Support

As part of your learning programme, if you have not yet attained a grade C/4 or equivalent in mathematics and English language, you will be required to study a Functional Skill or GCSE in these subjects.

Some students may require additional support for a number of reasons. At the start of your course you will be asked to complete an initial assessment in order for us to identify any additional needs that you may have. During your course, your personal tutor will be able to guide you on how best to access support.

We can offer the following:

  • Progress Coaches
  • Learner Support assistance (1:1)
  • Learner Support assistance (group)
  • Learner Support assistance (drop-ins)
  • Specialist ESOL teaching
  • Study lab sessions
  • In-class support
  • Special arrangements for exams

Equality & Diversity

We welcome and celebrate the diversity of our student population. We value and recognise differences in race, gender, sexual orientation,  disability, religion or belief and age.  Our aim is to provide a learning environment that is inclusive and we are committed to removing conditions that put anyone at a disadvantage.


Please contact Jodie Enticott –