Accessibility links

Children & Young People's Workforce CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma at Reading College

Course description

This advanced level course is for those dedicated to a career in childcare who have good GCSE grades or a CACHE Level 2 Certificate. The course gives you a broad and detailed understanding of the principles of child development and allows you to develop the skills and experience needed to become a fully rounded childcare practitioner, prepared for any starting point in the childcare profession including supervisory roles. You benefit from learning in the workplace and in college. This blend of theory and practice along with the development of your English and maths skills contribute greatly to your employability.

Course content

Childcare is a demanding and growing profession in which there are opportunities for skilled people with good qualifications and experience. This course will suit those who have a realistic understanding of what childcare roles involve and are aiming for direct entry to a range of childcare jobs or to progress to a higher education course relating to childcare, child development or similar. Covering both theory and practice you will spend some days in college and some in practical training placements which are organised by the College. We will arrange for you to have a placement with different registered childcare providers (day nurseries or primary schools) to give you experience of a range of different settings and of working with different age groups from birth to five years. The scope of the Diploma is broad. You develop a deep understanding of how children develop, play and learn. You will take responsibility for preparing activities for children and provide a safe and healthy environment. Core mandatory units are promoting communications, engaging in personal development, promoting equality and inclusion, principles for implementing duty of care, understanding child development, understanding how to safeguard the well being of children, health and safety, and working together for the benefit of children. 

As part of the course you will need to demonstrate specific English and maths skills alongside your main subject studies. These functional skills will help you with your coursework and also you for work and life. You will also further develop your personal learning and thinking skills. Self-motivation and good organisation skills are essential to make sure you are able to balance your placement days with the full days in college and still find time to carry out your assignments, some of which will overlap.

Your college day runs from 9am to 5pm. Theory lessons are delivered in a practical and fun way and are always relevant. You are invited to reflect upon what you have learned on the placement days, often buddying up with other students to share and discuss experiences. Learning is through individual pair and group activities. Classes will take place during term-time only. On placement you will gain experience of the whole daily cycle at the provider from morning drop-off to collection at the end of the day. The placements take place throughout the year not just term-time. You will complete diaries to record what you have learned each day and these are signed off by the person in charge. These diaries are then used back in your theory lessons in college. Your placement supervisor will visit you regularly on placement and provide ongoing support, as will the staff employed at the placement provider.

Entry requirements

Five GCSE grades A*-C including English Language or successful completion of CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Childcare or another relevant Level 2 qualification, an interest in children, successful work experience, a satisfactory reference and a Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check.


Assessment is through a mixture of individual and group written assignments and observations. Your functional skills in English and maths are assessed by exam.

Future opportunities

You could progress to employment in a variety of roles with public and childcare providers including roles where you are supervising children alone or higher education courses relevant to childcare.

Further information

The college has excellent links with local employers in the care sector. You will benefit from being taught by an experienced team, all of whom have relevant and recent industry experience and take part in a continuous development programme where they are regularly in a workplace to keep up their practice. On successful completion you will be qualified for employment in any childcare setting including roles where you have sole responsibiltiy for children. An extremely high proportion of students progress into employment. Your qualification will meet the entry requirements for releant higher education courses. This is a portable career and there are opportunities to work as a childcare practitioner for tour companies abroad and on cruise ships.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Reading College directly.

Last updated date: 12 September 2016
Provider logo

Key information


  • More information
    • BY RAIL

      Reading train station is a 20 minute walk from the College.

      Travelling from surrounding areas: there are direct lines from many local stations including: Didcot, Slough, Maidenhead, Wokingham, Basingstoke, Newbury, Pangbourne, Twyford and Earley.

      Travelling from London: there are regular trains from London Paddington to Reading taking 25-30 minutes.

      BY BUS

      There are regular bus services that stop along Kings Road:

      Reading Buses - routes 13, 14, 17
      Please Note: Reading buses require the exact fare.

      Arriva - routes 800, 850
      First Group - route 190
      Thames Travel - routes 126, 127

      In partnership with Reading Buses, students can get a weekly Travelcard at a reduced rate by showing the driver their student ID card.

      The Green Bus will be operating two new bus services from September 2014 for Reading College students.

      Service RC1 and RC2 will run once daily according to an agreed timetable on 175 days of each academic year connecting the college with Slough, Maidenhead and the areas in between.