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Childcare Level 3 Apprenticeship at Reading College

Course description

This advanced level course is for those dedicated to a career in childcare. 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.

You will benefit from being taught by an experienced team all of whom have relevant and recent industry experience take part in a continuous development programme where they are regularly in a workplace to keep up their practice.

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 working in a childcare setting 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 practical training in the work placements. 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: 
• promote communication 
• engage in personal development 
• promote equality and inclusion 
• principles for implementing duty of care 
• understand child and young person development
• promote child and young person development 
• understand how to safeguard the well-being of children and young people 
• support children and young people’s health and safety 
• develop positive relationships with children young people and others involved in their care 
• working together for the benefit of children and young people 
• understand how to support positive outcomes for children and young people. 

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. You will cover employment rights and responsibilities. Self-motivation and good organisation skills are essential to make sure you are able to balance work days with the full days in college and still find time to carry out your assignments some of which you will overlap.

Your college day will be full days. Theory lessons are delivered in a practical and fun way and are always relevant. You are invited to refer to and reflect on what you have learned in your work 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.

Entry requirements

You will need to be in work in a relevant childcare setting including roles at Level 3. A Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) check will also be required.


You will be assessed by an assessor in the work placement. Gain experience of the whole daily cycle at the provider from morning drop-off to collection at the end of the day. Assessment is through a mixture of individual written assignments and observations. Your Functional Skills in English and maths are assessed by exam.

Future opportunities

On successful completion you will be qualified to work in any childcare setting including roles where you have sole responsibiltiy for children. Your qualification will meet the entry requirements for relevant higher education courses.

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
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Key information


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    • 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.