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Technical Certificate in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) – Level 3

This qualification is recognised throughout the UK by both employers and universities as a high level qualification.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Childcare
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: The Roundhouse
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 1
Interview Required?: Y
The Roundhouse

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Course Information for Students

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 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.

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:

  • 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.

This course will be delivered on-site.

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.

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.

Further study

The course forms the first year of a two-year programme of study. After completion of the Certificate, you will need to enrol on the second year (Diploma) part in order to gain a licence to practise in an Early Years setting, or to progress to university.

Once you have completed both years and gained both the Certificate and Diploma, you can progress to degree-level programmes in subjects such as Primary School Teaching and Children’s Nursing. The course also provides a route to the Foundation Degree in Children’s and Young People’s Services which is delivered at Derby College in partnership with the University of Derby. The Foundation Degree gives you the opportunity to specialise in a Teaching Assistant or Early Years pathway. You could also consider the Foundation Degree in SEND.


After completing this Certificate in Year One and then gaining the Diploma in Year Two, you will be fully qualified to work with children in Childcare and Early Years settings in roles such as:

  • Early Years/Foundation Stage Practitioner
  • Special Educational Needs Support Worker
  • Nanny/Home-based Child Carer
  • Children’s Centre Practitioner

For more information contact Derby College on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...





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Course Information Last Updated On: September 28, 2023 10:31 am