This qualification is recognised throughout the UK by both employers and universities as a high level qualification.
When undertaken as a two-year programme of study with the Year Two Advanced Diploma, it is widely accepted for entry to universities and for employment as a fully licensed practitioner.
As well as classroom-based learning, a large part of your studies will be spent on a work placement where you will develop your practical skills.
You must have attained five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English Language and Maths (grade 4 or above).
You will study at College for three days a week and will spend the other two days on placement within an Early Years setting. At College, you will cover units centred on four key themes:
Each unit is assessed separately through a variety of methods including portfolios, assignments, presentations, displays and a controlled assessment (a piece of work completed under exam conditions over a period of time).
Your practical skills will also be assessed in your work placement.
You need flat shoes and smart trousers and you should purchase a placement top from College.
You should also have an A4 ring folder, pens and paper. In addition, you will need to pay for your DBS check.
From time to time there may also be educational visits, which would incur a (subsidised) cost.
Derby College Early Years higher education student Melissa Smedley would like to train as a play therapist once she’s graduated.
Melissa, who is completing her foundation degree in Children and Young People's Services, has been studying at the college since she was 16.
A natural with young children, she cared for her little brother who has special needs from the age of 13 and has always wanted to go into childcare.
And, getting an A grade in Child Development while still in year 10 at school, convinced Melissa she was making the right choice.
She said: “I’m the sort of person who needs to know what I’m aiming for. I couldn’t do years of study just for the sake of it.
“I was quite a nervous, anxious person but going to college has done so much for my confidence. My lecturer Mandy at Ilkeston was the one who started me off by encouraging me, and the lecturers I have now have also given me some support. I was feeling a bit nervous about moving from Ilkeston to a different campus when I started my foundation degree but my lecturer Amber met me at The Roundhouse and helped me find my way around.”
Melissa – who has been accepted on to the top up degree course at Derby University – currently balances studying with working at Busy Bees nursery in Wollaton. She’s been there for three years and was recently promoted to senior room manager, looking after babies aged from three months to one year.
Reflecting on the HE course content, she added: “What we learn is all relatable and, when you’re interested in what you’re learning, it keeps you occupied and motivated. My big interest is in forest school and outdoor play. I can’t believe I’ve been with Derby College since I was 16! I’ve come so far with college. I’m the first person in my family to get this far – to degree level – in my education.”
I was quite a nervous, anxious person but going to college has done so much for my confidence. My lecturer Mandy at Ilkeston was the one who started me off by encouraging me, and the lecturers I have now have also given me some support. I was feeling a bit nervous about moving from Ilkeston to a different campus when I started my foundation degree but my lecturer Amber met me at The Roundhouse and helped me find my way around.