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Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) - Level 3


This course seeks to develop skills and knowledge for a wide range of careers that involve the care and education of young children, including nursery nurses, early years workers and teaching assistants, and provides fully-qualified status within the sector.

As part of the course, you will undertake training placements each week in childcare and education settings.

This course is equivalent to three A Levels (420 UCAS points available).

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Entry requirements

  • Five GCSEs with at least 4 points (grade C) including English language and maths OR
  • A Level 2 Certificate in an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care with appropriate English and maths qualifications.
  • You will be required to undertake a DBS check that the college will fund prior to any placement. Any reprimands, cautions, warnings, convictions or ASBOs may affect your chances of securing a work placement

You will need to attend an interview with the tutor before being accepted on to the course. You will also need to supply at least one written reference from a teacher or employer (in some cases two) and your current school or college report with an indication of your attendance pattern.

Start dates and fees

Start DateDurationCodeAnnual Fee (Age)Actions
16-18over 19
Sep 20171 yr(s)4597A1227FREEFREE* to £2882.00Apply online
Sep 20181 yr(s)4597A1238FREEFREE* to £2882.00Apply online

* If you are aged 19-23 and studying your first Level 3 course then that course may be free. Please contact us for more details. If you are aged 19 or over and either studying a second Level 3 course or qualifying Level 4, 5 or 6 course you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs.

How long is the course?

Two years (year one will support the achievement of the Certificate in Childcare and Education).


How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through observation within the workplace, reports, written assignments and externally-assessed tasks.

What does the course lead to?

Upon successful completion of the course, you could opt to study further professional qualifications in early years or primary teacher training, nursing or social work, as the course has a UCAS accreditation of up to 420 points.

You will also be able to apply to study the Foundation Degree in Children's and Young People's Services (available at the college), with progression to BA (Hons) Education Studies, or gain employment in a childcare setting (as a nursery nurse, teaching assistant or early years worker).

What will I study?

This course will cover many areas inclluding child development, children's health and wellbeing, understanding children's additional needs and reflective practice for professional development.

Study programmes

It is an entry requirement for some courses to have gained GCSEs A*-C in English and maths (see entry requirements). If the entry requirements to a course do not require A*-C in these subjects, and you haven’t already gained GCSEs A*-C in English and maths before joining us, you will continue to study English and maths as part of your programme and take appropriate qualifications in these subjects with the aim of achieving A* to C grade. In addition, to help you gain essential skills for employment, every student aged under 19 and studying a full-time course at college will take part in our study programmes alongside their main subject qualification. Find out more.

What can I go on to study?

How do I apply?

Apply online


Next steps

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Why choose West Notts?

Best college for A Levels value added* in the East Midlands

£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

In the top 10% of all providers nationally for apprenticeships

Second for vocational value added* in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

90% of students move into a positive destination

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
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