What does the qualification cover?

The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years. Upon achievement of this qualification it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators. As the leading Awarding Organization in the care sector we have surpassed the minimum requirements set out in the Full and Relevant Criteria to develop a qualification which reflects the priorities of practitioners and employers to meet the needs of young children.

UCAS Information

UCAS points for this qualification are available from 2017. For a full breakdown of points, please click here.

Who is it suitable for?

This qualification is suitable for a range of learners, either working or wishing to work in early years education and care.

What are our entry requirements?

You should be at least 16 years old. We do not set any other entry requirements but colleges or training providers may have their own guidelines.

Other requirements?

Early Years Educator: GCSE English and Maths Requirement
All learners who achieve an Early Years Educator qualification will need GCSE English and maths A*-C to count in the ratios at level 3 in childcare settings. While there is no requirement for learners to have achieved GCSE English and maths upon commencement or completion of a standalone Early Years Educator qualification, providers are expected to support learners who need to achieve English and maths GCSEs at grade C or above alongside the qualification in order to gain employment.

Apprenticeship exit requirement

The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) forms part of the Early Years Pathway of the Advanced Apprenticeship for the Children and Young People’s Workforce. English and maths GCSEs at grade C or above are a completion requirement for childcare apprentices. For accepted equivalencies for GCSE English and maths, please refer to the Department of Education website, Early Years Qualifications List.

Education Funding Agency-funded learners

Learners aged 16-19 (and learners aged 19-24 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities) funded by the Education Funding Agency will not require GCSE English and maths grade A* - C prior to commencing their Early Years Educator qualification. However, the Department for Education expect learners without English and/or maths GCSE at grade C to be offered and encouraged to take up GCSEs as part of their Study Programme. From 2016/17 learners will need to have completed or be studying GCSE English and maths to have their study programme funded.

How is this qualification structured?

We have structured the units around four themes:

• Theme 1: Health and well-being
• Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks 00and professional practice
• Theme 3: Play, development and 00learning for school readiness
• Theme 4: Professional development

Learners must achieve:

• 23 mandatory units
• Guided Learning: 486 (hours)
• Total Qualification Time: 610 (hours)

How is it assessed?

To gain this qualification the learner will need to:
• Pass all units
• Complete longitudinal study
• Show competence in a real work 0environment

Do you need to have access to practical placement?

Placements are required for achievement of this qualification. A minimum of 350 placement hours is required. During placement, learners will need support from a professional within the real work environment who will be required to complete professional development records.

How long does it take to complete?

This qualification will take 1-2 years to complete depending on experience.

What related qualifications can you progress to?

Learners can progress to the Level 4 Certificate for the Early Years Advanced Practitioner or other higher level early years qualifications.

Which type of job roles can you apply for on completion?

Upon achievement of this qualification learners will gain their license to practice and it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators. Learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as:

• Assistant in Children's Centres
• Practitioner in nursery schools
• Practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
• Pre-school worker