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Foundation Pathway: Childcare Level 1

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Key information

Qualification type


Course code


Career Pathway

Early years


Level 1


1 year


Oxford City Centre,
Oxpens Rd,
Oxford, OX1 1SA

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.

You will be introduced to the basics of the health and childcare industry including the necessary employability skills needed to gain employment.

With the Foundation Pathway in Childcare, you will have the chance to complete a vocational qualification in health and childcare, gain practical hands-on experience, and learn in a supported environment at a pace that suits you.

You will take part in practical activities and assessment is continuous, rather than by exam. Our job coaches will support you to complete work experience placements as part of your programme.

We work closely with colleagues from across our colleges to offer you the opportunity to progress into new vocational areas.

We will provide you with the opportunity to develop vital employability and independence skills through our learning companies. These are social enterprises run by staff and students and include on-campus shops and delivery services.

Our partnerships with external organisations and employers are central to giving you the tools you need to have a successful future.

We accept Foundation Studies students who want to start within the academic year. If you would like to find out more or apply to start a Foundation Studies course this year, please click the button below and complete the enquiry form. One of our friendly team will then get back to you.

Enquire now


What I'll learn

This course will give you an introduction to health and childcare and time to think about your future career.

We arrange for support from our college careers advisers who are there to help you choose your next step.


How I'll learn

Learning will take place through a range of classroom based activities, practical hands on learning, research activities, educational visits and work experience.

You will learn in a supported environment at a pace that suits you. You will have the chance to complete a vocational qualification and this will give you practical hands-on experience.

You will take part in interactive and fun activities where assessment is continuous rather than by exam and you will complete a portfolio as evidence of your learning. This is a one year full-time course which you attend three days a week. 

Your tutor will work with you to set individual learning targets each term and you will get feedback on your progress. You will take part in interactive and fun activities where assessment is continuous rather than by exam and you will complete a portfolio as evidence of your learning.


How I'll be assessed

Assessment is continuous rather than by exam and you will complete a portfolio as evidence of your learning. 

You will gain a Vocational Certificate in Learning, Employability and Progression on completion of your studies.

On successful completion of the course, you may move on to a full-time Level 2 course, an apprenticeship or employment.


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 do not need qualifications to join these pathways. However, you will need a successful interview with a member of the teaching team to show your commitment to full time study and your interest in the subject. 

You need a basic level of literacy and numeracy to apply for this course. The commitment to work towards improving English and maths is required for this programme. Both Functional skill and GCSE re-sits are offered. We will also expect a satisfactory school report. 

As part of your interview we will assess your levels of English and maths and advise you of the most appropriate level to study.


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.