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Principles in Childcare and Education (PCE)


This a 10-week induction programme prior to attending the or Level 3 programme of study to prepare you for working within a childcare setting/school and to assess the most appropriate progression route. Course attendance is on a Wednesday evening 6pm-8.45pm.

You will attend college at the Derby Road site to receive underpinning knowledge relating to a variety or units to prepare you for study and working with children.

This course is designed to recognise and develop the skills of those who work or volunteer with children and young people within an educational or childcare setting and to identify if they would like to continue with a career in childcare.

You may be employed or volunteering as a classroom assistant, special educational needs assistant or subject specialist teaching assistant/childcare practitioner.

You must be working or be able to volunteer for a minimum of 6 hours a week in the school or childcare setting.

Entry requirements

You must be aged 19 years or over and able to study at a Level 3.

You will need to show competency in literacy and numeracy at Level 1 or above.

You will need to undertake an interview, have two satisfactory references and complete a satisfactory DBS check to ensure your suitability for working with children.

Start dates and fees

Please ask at your interview or contact the person whose details are shown below for an explanation of payment methods and information about individual costs.

Start DateDay/TimeWksDurationCodeAnnual Fee (Age)
16-18over 19
TBC - 20:00
101 yr(s)1193E104FREE£60.00
TBC - 20:00
101 yr(s)1193E102FREE£60.00

How long is the course?

This induction programme is for 10 weeks. 


How will I be assessed?

The PCE course consists of units which are a mixture of reflection on your work in the childcare setting/school and also written work within set booklets. You will also be observed in the school/childcare setting by a named assessor.

There are no exams.

What does the course lead to?

This course leads to the Level 3 programme in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (Teaching Assistant).

What will I study?

Best practice requirements around supporting children and young people's learning in an educational establishment/childcare setting, including:

  • Introduction to work based placement
  • Introduction to study
  • The importance of play
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Principles of childcare and education
  • Introduction to child development

What can I go on to study?

If appropriate you may progress onto the Level 3 programme for Teaching Assistant.

How do I apply?

   Download an application form

Contact us on 0808 100 3626 or email


Next steps

Enrol on this course

For more information, please contact us on 0808 100 3626 or email

Attend an open evening

View our upcoming open evenings

Call our enquiries line free on

0808 100 3626
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Why choose West Notts?

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98.8% A Level pass rate in 2019

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Best A Level provider in Mansfield and Ashfield for student progress*

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction**

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

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£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
**Learner Exit Survey 2017/18
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