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Early years

Prepare for a career in the rewarding early years industry with our focused programmes.

More than two thirds of families in the UK use an Early Years provider and the sector employs and estimated 319,000 practitioners.

The first three years of life are a critical period for children’s brain development. Therefore, early years practitioners have arguably the most important, challenging, and rewarding job in society: supporting a child emotionally and helping them build strong foundations for life-long learning.

You can have an amazing career on this pathway at Activate Learning, progressing into the workforce, studying at a higher level at university or working within the National Health Service.


During your Early Years pathway, you will be learning through practical placements, projects, and gaining knowledge to enable children to grow and develop with first-hand experience, enabling you to witness their journey.


We offer Early Years programmes from Level 1 (equivalent to GCSEs grades 3–1 or D–F) to the Level 3 Diploma (equivalent to A Levels and a license to practice).  


Our facilities mirror those that you will find in the workplace. You will learn in a realistic nursery environment where students can develop practical skills and techniques.

The suite boasts a story time area and a play and discovery space, so that you'll get the opportunity to practice your skills in a realistic working environment. This means you will be more confident when you progress to employment.

Please note: Facilities may differ across our campuses. Please contact us for details.

Career pathways 

A career pathway is a plan, with clear, practical steps you can take to achieve the career of your dreams. This will help equip you with the skills, attributes and knowledge that future employers require, giving you a greater chance of success. 

Our career pathway maps will show you the best routes through college, higher education, employment, and into the most popular industry sectors. 

Find out more about Career Pathways

Industry partnerships

We work in partnership with employers to develop learning programmes that meet the needs of the industry. They work closely with the college to provide placement opportunities for learners. Visiting speakers have taken part in masterclasses to tell students about their experience in the industry and career opportunities.

As an Early Years student you will take part in work placements throughout the duration of your course.