Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

Approved by the Department of Education for the 16-19 2017 Performance Tables
Centres requiring performance points for 2018 must register their learners (from 1 September 2016) on the Department of Education-approved (New) NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator) 601/8438/3

What does the qualification cover?

The Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

Upon achievement of this qualification it is intended that learners will be able to access higher education or enter the workforce as Early Years Educators. This qualification confers the licence to practise as an Early Years Educator.

UCAS Information

UCAS points have been allocated to this qualification.

Who is it suitable for?

This qualification is suitable for a range of learners, either working or wishing to work in early years education and care. It is also suitable for those wishing to progress to higher education.

Entry Requirements

You should be at least 16 years old. We do not set any other entry requirements but colleges or training providers may have their own guidelines.

Early Years Educator: GCSE English and Maths Requirement

All learners who achieve an Early Years Educator qualification will need GCSE English and maths A*-C to count in the ratios at level 3 in childcare settings. While there is no requirement for learners to have achieved GCSE English and maths upon commencement or completion of a standalone Early Years Educator qualification, providers are expected to support learners who need to achieve English and maths GCSEs at grade C or above alongside the qualification in order to gain employment.
For accepted equivalencies for GCSE English and maths, please refer to the Early Years Qualifications List Department of Education website.

Education Funding Agency-funded learners

Learners aged 16-19 (and learners aged 19-24 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities) funded by the Education Funding Agency will not require GCSE English and maths grade A* - C prior to commencing their Early Years Educator qualification. However, the Department for Education expects learners without English and/or maths GCSE at grade C to be offered and encouraged to take up GCSEs as part of their Study Programme. From 2016/17 learners will need to have completed or be studying GCSE English and maths to have their study programme funded.

Self-funded learners

Learners who self-fund their learning will not be required to have achieved GCSE English and maths grade A* - C before commencing their Early Years Educator qualification; however, they will need to have achieved English and maths GCSEs at grade C or above in order to count in the ratios at level 3 in childcare settings.

How is this qualification structured?

We have structured the units around four themes:
• Theme 1: Health and well-being
• Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
• Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness
• Theme 4: Professional development

How is it assessed?

To gain this qualification the learner will need to:

• pass 27 Mandatory units
• pass longitudinal study
• pass 3 externally set and marked assessments

Please note: the assessment opportunities for all externally set and marked assessments for this qualification are limited to one attempt and one further reattempt opportunity (undertaking an alternative assessment).

Do you need to have access to practical placement?

Yes, you will need to have access to a real work environment, as you need to show competence in both knowledge and skills.

How long does it take to complete?

This qualification will take 2 years to complete.

What related qualifications can you progress to?

Learners can progress to the Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner or a Foundation Degree.

Which type of job roles can you apply for on completion?

Upon achievement of this qualification learners will gain their licence to practise and it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators or progress to higher education.

Learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as:

• practitioner in day nurseries
• practitioner in nursery schools
• practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
• pre-school worker