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Childcare (Level 3)

This Level 3 study programme will prepare you for becoming an Early Years Educator, enabling you to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 0-7 years. This qualification will prepare you for working unsupervised or in a supervisory capacity with children and their families in a variety of early year’s settings within the childcare sector. The study programme will also award you a maximum of 420 UCAS points to enable you to progress on to higher education. The learning experience will be reflective of the current structure and expectations of the childcare sector and you will have the opportunity to put theory into practice by preparing and carrying out relevant activities in quality childcare placements covering ages 0-5 years.

Entry requirements

To begin this study programme you will need...

Duration: 2 years 
  • 4 GCSEs grades 9–4 including English & maths  (and preferably science) OR 
  • Childcare at Level 2 
Entry will also be subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You will also need to demonstrate an ability to work in an early year’s placement.

Course content

During this study programme you will learn about child development, child observation, safeguarding, theories and philosophical approaches to how children play and learning for school readiness.

Theme 1: Health and Wellbeing
Theme 2: Legislation, Frameworks and Professional Practice
Theme 3: Play, Development and Learning for School Readiness
Theme 4: Professional Development
  • Subject units:
    • Child Development from Conception to Seven Years
    • Children’s Health and Wellbeing
    • Providing Safe Environments for Children
    • Child Health
    • Play and Learning
    • Understanding Children’s Additional Needs
    • Observation, Assessment and Planning
    • Professional Practice Portfolio 
    • Supporting Emergent Literacy
    • Supporting Emergent Mathematics
    • Preparing for School Readiness
    • International Perspectives
    • Reflective Practice for Professional Development
    • Professional Partnerships in Early Years
  • English and maths:
    If you don't already have GCSE English and maths grade A*-C, we will work with you to help you develop your maths and English skills. 
  • Work experience: 
    During the programme you will spend two days per week in a childcare placement.
  • Personal development skills, study skills and employability skills 
  • Additional vocational learning and qualifications: 
    You will take part in various team building activities and have an opportunity to take part in educational trips and fundraising activities for a trip to Africa.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed through a variety of methods throughout the study programme, including assignments, direct observation and two externally marked assignments.


Early Years Practitioner NCFE/CACHE Level 3  Technical Diploma

You can also gain up to 168 UCAS points.

Further study and career options

On successful completion of this study programme you can progress on to higher education or work in a supervisory role in the early years sector.

Additional information

You will be required to pay £36 for required clothing, £20 for books and £54 for any trips/visits.

Funding information

All full-time Level 1 and Level 2 courses are now FREE for everyone, whatever their age. If you are looking to study a Level 3 qualification, courses are still free if you’re under 19 or 19-23 and studying your first full Level 3 qualification. If you’re over 23 or studying a second Level 3 qualification, you will need to pay a fee. Find out more on our financial support page at

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Find out more at You can also pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable.

Course Information & How to Apply

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 13/09/2021 Launch our fee calculatorFree if 16-18yrs. Are you 19+?
Launch our fee calculator
Cauldwell Street BBK104

Apply Online

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Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.