Overview top

If you study this course you will undertake work placements in at least three settings. During the placements you are required to complete a Professional Practice Portfolio to gather evidence of your competence in an early years setting. This has been developed in consultation with employers to ensure that you develop the key basic skills, such as setting up and maintaining resource areas, which are vital to you becoming an effective early years educator. This qualification provides you with a solid understanding of the key areas of children's play, learning and development which is judged essential by the sector. An understanding of child development for the 0 to 7 age group and the links to theories of how children learn and develop is essential. A knowledge of child protection and your role within this and the need for observations to inform practitioners of children's development and the importance of inclusive practice in supporting all children.

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.

Study Programme

Changes to the way the Government funds courses for students aged 16 and over means that instead of a single course, students are required to complete a full time study programme (whether they come to college or stay on at school). This means all 16 to 19 year-olds will be offered high quality study programmes aimed at giving them the best opportunity to move into higher education or secure skilled employment.

All students who are able will take a substantial qualification recognised by employers as being of real benefit to them in securing work or a university place. Where appropriate, students will also take part in work experience. Students who aren't able to study a qualification will take a programme of work experience focusing on developing their employability skills, along with work to develop numeracy, literacy and other core education skills. If you decide to continue your studies at South Tyneside College, your study programme will look like a CACHE Level 3 Early Years Educator. This will include: preparation for the world of work leading to work placement and enterprise; enrichment activities such as visits, sports activities and enterprise; continuing of English and maths to at least GCSE level for those who need to do so.

Entry Requirements top

Year 1 Certificate in Childcare and Education - 4 GCSE grades A*-C (9-4). You must have GCSE grade A*-C (9-4) or a functional skill level 2 qualification in English and/or maths. Due to employment regulations in the sector if you do not have GCSE A*-C (9-4) in both English and maths then during the course of study you will also need to achieve this in the subject not already held. Entry criteria for each individual applicant will be considered where English and maths grades fall short of the employer requirements and an appropriate course of study suggested.

Year 2 Diploma in Childcare and Education - 4 GCSE grades A*-C (9-4). You must have GCSE grade A*-C (9-4) or a functional skill level 2 qualification in English and/or maths and a continued commitment and adequate progress made in the achievement of English or maths during the study on the year 1 certificate, where this has not been previously achieved.

If you are considering the course as a route into primary education please be aware that progression to university would require a GCSE in science at grade C (4) or above.

You will also need an interview with Early Years staff and a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Assessment top

One externally marked assessment for both certificate and diploma and an internally assessed portfolio.

Professional Opportunities top

On successful completion learners can progress to university via UCAS, other higher education courses such as: Foundation Degree in Education and Care; Support Teaching and Learning (STL), or into employment. Employment as an Early Years Practitioner is possible on achieving the Level 3 Diploma.

This would allow you to work with children from birth to five years. There is also potential employment within social work or health visitor teams to compliment the work of these professionals.