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Certificate in Early Years Education and Care - Level 2Apply Now »

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Level: 2

Location: Ilkeston

Years: 1

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This qualification equips you with the skills and knowledge to work under supervision with children and their families in settings such as nurseries, children’s centres or pre-schools. You will study at the College as well as having a practical placement working with children. 

Entry requirements

You need five GCSEs at grade 3 (D) or above, including a grade 3 (D) in Maths and English.

You will also need to provide evidence of good attendance, punctuality, self-motivation and a positive attitude to study.

You must be willing to provide evidence for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which will have to be self-funded.  You also need to provide two professional references.

Course Content

You will study at College for three days a week and will spend the other two days on work placement within an Early Years setting. At College, you will cover units centred on four key themes:
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Professional development
During your work placement, you will be required to carry out activities and tasks which include child observations, activity plans and reflective diaries.
To support your main programme of study, help your future progression and enhance your life skills, you will also study and develop your maths and English skills.

How will I be assessed?

Assessments are set by the awarding body, NCFE CACHE, and will include assignments, presentations, displays, group work, planning activities and care routines for children.
You will also be assessed in your work placement, to show you have the practical skills required.
Functional Skills and GCSEs will be assessed by portfolio and online assessment.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will need to wear flat shoes and smart trousers to your placement, along with a work placement top that you can buy from the College.

You also need pens, paper and ring folders, and to pay for your DBS check.

From time to time there may also be educational visits which require you to make a payment.

What can I do after this course?

Further study
There is the opportunity to progress to the Level 3 Technical Certificate/Diploma in Early Years Educator course, which gives you licence to practise unsupervised. This is if you successfully:
  • Complete your work to a high standard and develop across the year
  • Achieve GCSE English and Maths at grade C (or Functional Skills Level 2)
  • Achieve good attendance both at the College and on your placement
  • Receive good placement reports


You can also progress straight into employment under supervision in Early Years settings, or to an Early Years apprenticeship.

Did you find the course information on this page useful?


This course is run at the Ilkeston Campus

About Ilkeston »

James Bates

James Bates

Foundation degree “great stop gap” for prospective teacher James

Former DCG student James Bates plans to train as a primary school teacher once he has finished his top up degree at the University of Derby.
James, who is 23 and from Belper, progressed to a degree in Early Childhood Studies after getting a distinction in his foundation course in Children and Young People’s Services at the Roundhouse.
James said  taking the three-year foundation course had been a “great stop gap” between school and university.
He added: “A lot of what I learned at Derby College keeps cropping up on my degree course.
“If I’d gone to university straight from school, I think I would have struggled with the academic writing. I know I would have found that side so much harder.”
James did an apprenticeship in school sports before College, and because his foundation course was part-time, carried on working at a local primary school three days a week. He was also able to work for the Rural Derbyshire School Sport Partnership which promotes sports in schools across the Dales and Hope Valley.
James is continuing to work as a Teaching Assistant and for the partnership while studying for his degree. As part of his College studies, James wrote an essay on the impact of Covid-19 on the role of  teaching assistants.

A lot of what I learned at Derby College keeps cropping up on my degree course.

If I’d gone to university straight from school, I think I would have struggled with the academic writing. I know I would have found that side so much harder.



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