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BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Children's Play, Learning and Development (Early Years) at Newcastle-under-Lyme College

Course description

This course leads to a widely recognised national qualification, for those who wish to care for children from 0-8 years, and to open a line of progression to higher education such as primary teaching, social work, paediatric nursing and midwifery. This is an advanced level course, which includes at least 750 hours of work experience placements in nurseries, reception and infant classes, and other early year's settings. The aim of the course is to equip you with both knowledge and skills to care for young children in a wide variety of settings (day nurseries, children's centres, reception class, infant class, nursery class, special school, child-minders, and family refuge centres) so the content reflects the breadth of work opportunities.

This two-year Level 3 qualification provides you with 'Early Years Educator' status once a successful pass grade has been achieved. It will give you the underpinning knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to prepare you for employment. The BTEC National Diploma offers a focused qualification for people who wish to follow a programme of study that is directly related to their work experience.

Maths and English
Alongside your course you will study maths and/or English to improve your skills in these vital subjects by attending structured weekly sessions as part of your timetable. Maths and English development is also integrated in practical assignments.

Entry requirements

Usually you’ll need four or more high grades at GCSE in subjects that are relevant to the course you’d like to study (including maths and/or English). Alternatively, you’ll need a Level 2 Diploma with overall Merit in a relevant subject and maths and English at appropriate levels. For those intending to work in an early years setting or teaching careers there is a national requirement to have GCSE maths and English at grade C (5) or above. You will also be required to attend an interview prior to the start of the course.


Your progress is mainly assessed during the course, through your assignments, practical work, project work and responses to case studies. You will also be required to pass an examination to achieve your certificate at the end of your course. In addition to your tutors’ assessment you will develop the ability to carry out your own evaluation of your success. Having provided evidence in these ways to show that you are competent in each unit you gain a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Financial information

Newcastle Maintenance Allowance (NMA): Anyone with a household income under £21,000 can receive £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances.

Future opportunities

Successful students may wish to pursue further study at university level and gain entry into professional sectors such as teaching, social work etc. There are rewarding jobs in both the public and private sector in private nurseries, nursery classes, children’s centres, health centres and private families. There are also posts available in infant and special schools.

Further information

You will have opportunities to develop skills and techniques, personal qualities and attitudes essential for successful performance in working life. As you will be working with children you will need to have a clearance form which is called a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) in order to ensure the safety of the vulnerable children and young adults that you will come into contact with. Please discuss this with your interviewing tutor.

For more information contact Maggie Law, Curriculum Manager in Early Years by emailing or calling 01782254206

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newcastle-under-Lyme College directly.

Last updated date: 28 November 2016
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