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Welcome childcare and early years education applicants!

You have made a great decision choosing West Notts!

A quick message from the Head of Department, Leigh Jarvis


FAQs - childcare and education courses

The following information will hopefully give you a little bit more of an insight into what it will be like to be a student with us.

  • Where will I study?

    Our childcare and education courses are based at the Derby Road site and have a dedicated area with rooms for study and presentations. The college bus runs from 13 different routes into the Derby Road site.

  • What is it like?

    College is an adult professional environment and we expect our students to behave in the way that they would in a job with an employer. Attendance and punctuality are very important too. In childcare and education this is particularly important due to the industry that you are going into. The team are very supportive but have very exacting standards in terms of behaviour and conduct, this is because at the end of a level 3 programme you will have a formal licence to practice and can progress to a fully qualified position as an Early Years worker or a Teaching Assistant in a school environment.

  • What will I study?

    The courses are largely classroom based but with lots of practical and creative activities built into it. You will study a range of topics from childhood development, through to safeguarding and health and safety. The team are all very experienced childcare and teaching practitioners and will bring a wealth of experience to support your studies’. Many of the assignments and tasks within childcare are very visual and creative, however the higher the level the more written assignment and theory work will be built into the programme.

  • What about English and maths?

    If you start at college and you haven’t yet achieved your English and Maths GCSEs at grade 4 or above, then you will continue to study these for three hours each week per subject. At the end of your first year you will take a resit GCSE exam. It is important you attend your English and Maths lessons alongside your chosen course.

    Take a look at our fact sheets to find out why English and maths is important within this industry.

    View English and maths fact sheets

  • What will I have to wear?

    In college childcare students can wear whatever they want to as long as it is not offensive. Please be aware that as you will be attending a work placement, to gain the important skils and knowledge to work with children, there are some dress and health and safety codes, that you will need to follow. It is an expectation that you do not use hair colours that do not match a natural shade.

    Students on work placement will be expected to a polo shirt with the college logo and smart black trousers with flat shoes. Long nails are not allowed when students go out on placement, this is an industry expectation and is to support the safety of children that you will be working with.

  • Will I have to do a work placement?

    Work placement is embedded at all levels of childcare and is a mandatory element of the course at level 2 and above. Level 1 students will be given the opportunity for placement. At level 2 and 3 you will be expected to complete a placement two days each week. The childcare team work placement assessors who will allocate a work placeemnt to you and will work with you and employers to assess performance. You will undertake a range of placements in a range of settings.

    All of our students will be engaged with our learning companies which are in-house opportunities to gain real world experience. This year students are developing story sacks for local schools and sure start centres.


  • Applicant activities

    Before you start at West Notts, here are a few activites to get involved in.

    Be inspired by our current students

    These photos show a Level 3 group of Childcare students engaging in play activities that would be typically found in a nursery setting. The activities supported the students with the knowledge and understanding of different play activities that support young children’s learning and development.

    Image of two young girls smiling towards the camera

    Watch - What our students say

    Beth and Caitlyn praise the support they get from tutors on their childcare course, both in their studies and on work placement. They’ve loved hearing from guest speakers who have visited to share their industry knowledge with students.

    View the video on YouTube

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    Read letters from our current students

    Our students wanted to share their experiences of college with you. We hope their letters help answer some of your questions and put you at ease.

    Read Alana's letter

    Read Courtney's letter

    Read Ellie's letter

    Read Phoebe's letter

  • Ask your tutor

    Anything playing on your mind about your college course? Then send your questions to our college tutors using our simple online form.

    Ask a question

Why choose West Notts?

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100% A Level pass rate in 2020.

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction.**Learner Exit Survey 2019/20

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area.

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We have four campuses each boasting a number of state-of-the-art facilities.

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