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Early years

Arguably one of the most important roles in all of society: the safeguarding and education of future generations. If you're ready for the responsibility, we can help you.

About our childcare programmes

If you want to work in early years, this pathway provides you with a clear route into this rewarding industry.

Our programmes combine theoretical study in college with significant practical experience, preparing you to work competently, safely and effectively with children and their families in a wide range of settings. Students enjoy the ongoing work experience offered throughout our childcare programmes.

You will be expected to attend work experience in a variety of settings for two days per week, building up to 650 hours of experience every year. This is a key feature that future employers will be looking for. During work placements you will gain the confidence to plan and evaluate activities and gain excellent observation skills.

Throughout your programme you will also get opportunities to go on trips, follow projects set by employers and take part in employability events such as mock interviews, job fairs and CV writing sessions.

search our early years programmes

What is a career pathway?

Education takes time and money. By giving you a clear view of what qualifications you need to get the job and the salary that you want, we take the stress out of learning.

Our career pathway maps show you the entry requirements for each qualification and how long they take to achieve. With each new qualification, you have the option to continue studying at the next level or explore your employment options with a guide to the jobs and salaries you can expect at that stage. Each step of the way, our career advisors are there to help you make the right choice for you.

By focusing on your future employability and opportunities, we hope to inspire in you the drive to succeed and make the most of your investment in education. 95% of students that completed a course with us progressed directly into employment or onto higher-level learning such as a higher-level course, apprenticeship or university study.*
*AL destination data for 16-19 year olds

While the right qualifications can get you a job interview, it’s the attributes that we teach alongside your chosen programme that will get you the job. Click here to find out more about our Attributes and Learning Philosophy.


Our aim is to equip you to be successful in the job market,

whether you are heading for a job straight after your time at

college, plan to take a university-level programme first or are

already working in a part-time job.

What could my future job look like?

Here are some examples of roles and their associated tasks:

  • Nursery worker: help children develop and learn through play, monitoring their developmental progress and ensuring their wellbeing, in a range of settings
  • Nanny: help care for a child in their own home, including carrying out some housework tasks and helping the child access after school clubs
  • Teaching assistant: help with academic and administrative tasks at a school or pre-school setting, including working on a one-to-one basis with students
  • Educational psychologist: evaluate a child, usually at home or in an educational setting, to identify any areas where the child would benefit from additional support and work with other specialists to devise a support package

The childcare industry

There are forecast to be nearly 16,000 new job openings each year in the child development and well-being area across England over the next five years.

The demand for childminders and those working in pre-school environments is increasing following the introduction of 30 funded hours per week for three- and four year-olds of working parents in 2017.

Working in childcare involves supervising play and other activities for pre-school age children, as well as assisting teachers and caring for children in day or residential nurseries, children’s homes and private households.

search our early years programmes

Industry partnerships

We work in partnership with employers to develop learning programmes that meet the needs of the industry. For example, The Co-operative Childcare sponsored the childcare suite, helping students gain the skills needed for a successful career in childcare. They have also taken part in masterclasses.

As a childcare student you will take part in work placements, helping you build up to 650 hours of invaluable work experience every year.