Why choose this subject?

This is an exciting subject area looking at three different mandatory units and one optional unit. It is for students who are interested in learning about the early years sector as part of a balanced study programme. The course will support you to look at different aspects of child development, play and learning as well as essential skills and competencies required to work in the area of early years education.

Students will have the opportunity to plan and prepare and attend different vocational settings as part of their developing knowledge and experience of working in the early years sector. Students completing their Level 3 studies have continued onto university to study children’s nursing, radiography and teaching plus many more

How will this subject be delivered?

There are three mandatory units:
• Unit 1: Children’s Development
• Unit 2: Development of Children’s Communication, Literacy and Numeracy Skills
• Unit 3: Play and Learning.

Optional units
An optional unit will be selected from those listed below and will include:
• Unit 5: Keeping Children Safe
• Unit 6: Children’s Physical Development, Care and Health Needs
• Unit 8: Working with Parents and Others in Early Years Education
• Unit 11: The Early Years Foundation Stage

How is it assessed?

There are a number of different types of assessment throughout the course:
• Examinations – all learners take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a written outcome
• Set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task.

Some external assessments include a period of preparation using set information There are four units in total over the course of two years, of which three are mandatory (two of these are externally assessed) and one optional unit. Assignment content (50%); External assessment (50%).

Subject specific entry requirements

Students should have a minimum of five GCSEs at grades 4-9 including maths and English.


The qualification supports access to a range of higher education courses possibly, but not exclusively, in Early Years Education, if taken alongside further Level 3 qualifications. The qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education institutions as contributing to meeting admission requirements to many relevant courses. It may lead to careers such as teaching, foundation stage teaching, social work, nursing, physiotherapy, midwifery, probation work, to name but a few.

Additional costs relating to this course

• DBS checks essential for work placement (administration costs paid by the school).
• Stationery.
• Occasionally students may also be required to contribute towards the cost of a trip.