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Key information

Qualification type


Course code


Career Pathway

Early years


Level 3


2 years


Kings Road,
Reading, RG1 4HJ

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

This programme combines theoretical study in college with practical experience.

Prepare to become an Early Years Educator (EYE) for the amazing opportunity to work with children from birth to five years old. On this course, you'll gain knowledge and understanding of the practices that are essential for building foundations for a children’s future.  

Employability skills are embedded throughout the course which will help you to find work in the sector when you leave the college. You are also able to progress into higher education on completion of the level three. 

What I'll learn

The areas you cover on this programme are: 

  • Unit 1: Child development 
  • Unit 2: Children’s health and well-being 
  • Unit 3: Providing safe environments for children 
  • Unit 4: Child health 
  • Unit 5: Play and learning 
  • Unit 6: Understanding children’s additional needs 
  • Unit 7: Observation, assessment and planning 
  • Unit 9: Supporting emergent literacy 
  • Unit 10: Supporting emergent mathematics 
  • Unit 11: Preparing for school readiness 
  • Unit 12: International perspectives 
  • Unit 13: Reflective practice for professional development 
  • Unit 14: Professional partnerships in early years 
  • Unit 16: Professional practice portfolio 


How I'll learn

You learn through practical activities, written work and work placements. The placements, at local Early Years providers, are arranged with the support of the work placement coordinators. 

Employability skills are embedded throughout the course which will help you to secure work in the sector when you leave the college. 

This programme combines theoretical study in college with practical experience. It will prepare you to work competently, safely and effectively with children and their families in a range of settings. 

On this course you gain: 

  • a Level 3 qualification that’s recognised within the sector 
  • an extensive knowledge of Early Years 
  • skills for lifelong learning 


How I'll be assessed

You are observed in placement by a designated assessor. Written assignments are set and marked by your tutor and are grades A*–D.

Competency in work placement and required hours being achieved.

There are two controlled assessments, one set in each academic year. These are set and marked externally by the awarding body CACHE. These are counted towards your final grade. 

Tutorials will support you with meeting the targets and enable you to stay focused. 


On completion of this programme you can enjoy a variety of opportunities that include but are not limited to: 

  • Career opportunities within the Early Year workforce as a lead practitioner, manger, registered manager, special educational needs coordinator and safeguarding officer 
  • Higher education to study a degree in early childhood which is an excellent foundation for a career working with young children in many sectors, including education, health and social care 
  • Foundation degree that will give you theoretical and practical knowledge including children’s rights, child health and wellbeing, family and cultural contexts, and the principles of inclusive practice. It is made up of both taught and work-based elements through which you can apply your knowledge to real work contexts. 


We'd like to thank all the employers who provide invaluable work placements for students on these courses

  • Smart Tots Day Nursery
  • Kings Meadow Primary School
  • The Old Station Nursery Upper Heyford
  • The Horton Day Nursery
  • Rainbows
  • The Close Day Nursery
  • Steeple Aston Pre School
  • Harriers Banbury Academy
  • Little Fishes
  • Stepping Stones Brackley
  • Little Oaks
  • Chipping Warden Primary Academy
  • Chipping Warden Kindergarten
  • Crazy 4 Kid- The Radstone
  • King Sutton Pre-school
  • The Sunshine Centre
  • Dashwood Banbury Academy
  • Busy bees Bicester
  • Hobby Horse Children’s centre
  • Hanwell Fields Community Centre
  • Longfields Primary and Nursery school
  • Longford Park School Nursery
  • Child First
  • Southwold Primary School
  • Gagle Brook Primary School
  • St Edburg’s Primary School
  • Middleton Cheney Pre-School
  • Hill View Primary School
  • East Street Early Years
  • Waynflete Infant School
  • Winchester House School
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
  • Create Childcare
  • Queensway Primary School
  • Bramley wood Day Nursery
  • Foxhill Primary School
  • Holly Spring Primary School
  • Little Acorns Montessori Nursery
  • The College Nursery
  • Binfield Pre School
  • Dingley Unit
  • Garth Under Five Nursery
  • Bure Park Primary School
  • Woodstock C of E Primary School
  • Oxford Nursery Summertown
  • The Old Station Nursery Heyford
  • St Ebbes C of E Primary School
  • Willowcroft Community School
  • Stephen Freeman Community Primary School
  • Toad Hall Day Nursery
  • St Thomas More Primary School
  • Rainbows Nursery Bicester
  • Lady Bird’s Pre School
  • Clifton Hampden Primary School
  • Little Treasures Day Nursery
  • Scamps
  • Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary School
  • Five Acres Primary School
  • Little Pionners Day Nursery JR Hospital/ Blackbird Leys
  • Bletchingdon Parochial Church of England Primary School
  • Kiddies Korner
  • St Nicholas Infants School
  • Farmhouse Nursery
  • Langford Village Community Primary School
  • Wheatley Nursery School
  • Southwold Primary and Nursery School
  • St Thomas Day Nursery
  • Pippin’s Day Nursery
  • North Kidlington Primary School
  • Sunrise Day Nursery
  • Abingdon Kindergarten
  • Kings Meadow Primary School
  • West Kidlington Primary School
  • St Francis C of E Primary School
  • East Oxford Primary School
  • Aureus Primary School
  • North Hinksey C OF E Primary School
  • William Fletcher Primary School
  • John Henry Newman Primary School
  • Quarry Nursery School
  • Horspath Pre-School Nursery
  • Julia Durbin Nursery
  • Wantage Nursery
  • Puddleducks Day Nursery
  • Little Troopers Day Nursery
  • Busy Bees Bicester
  • Small World Nursery
  • Farm View Day Nursery
  • Blagrave Nursery School
  • Mary Seacole Day Nursery
  • Northumberland Day Nursery
  • Whitley Park School
  • Little Ducklings
  • Berkley Gardens Day Nursery
  • Charles Clore Court
  • Highwood Primary School
  • Battle Primary School
  • Purley Pre-School
  • Micklands Pre School
  • The Heights
  • Elms Montessori
  • Springfield Primary and Nursery
  • Loddon Primary School
  • Wigwam Day Nursery
  • Southlake Primary School
  • Orchard Day Nursery
  • Alwyn Infant School
  • Beechwood Primary School
  • St John’s CE Primary School
  • St Mary’s School
  • Calcot Primary and Nursery
  • Park day Nursery
  • Park Lane Infants
  • Stepping Stones Pre School
  • Windmill School
  • All Saints CE Aided Primary School and Nursery
  • Woodley Gardens Nursery
  • Teepee Day Nursery

Entry Requirements

You will need five or more GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including maths and English Language, a full, relevant Level 2 qualification. You will also require an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). You must have a clear DBS with no criminal convictions, reprimands or cautions. 
We would also like you to have completed at least one-week’s work experience in a nursery or school in the foundation/reception classes before the start of your course. 


How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Click on APPLY NOW and follow the steps below:

  • Register for our online service and verify your account
  • Log in to our website and click APPLY NOW on your chosen programme’s page to complete your application

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs). 
Please include full details of your qualifications from your own country, as well as details of any English Language tests you have taken.

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.