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Children’s Play, Learning and Development (Early Years Educator) BTEC National Subsidiary Certificate Level 3 at Boston College

Course description

The BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Children’s Play Learning and Development is for those who wish to gain the knowledge, skills and understanding required to either progress onto further study or to gain employment in the early years sector. 

Course content

You will cover a range of core subjects and personal development subjects including: 

- Child development 
- Play and learning 
- Meeting children's physical development, physical care and health needs 
- Health and safety in early years settings 
- Working with parents and other in early years 
- Supporting children's speech, communication and language 
- Supporting children's personal, social and emotional development 
- Safeguarding in early years 
- Observation, assessment and planning 
- Supporting children's literacy and numeracy development 
- Reflective practice assignment 
- The early years foundation stage 

The course also requires you to undertake 750 hours of work experience. You have to experience a minimum of 3 different placements settings and must spend a minimum of 100 hours in one placement for each other following age bands: 
- Birth up to 1 year 11 months in a nursery or in home-based care 
- 2 years up to 4 years 11 months in a nursery, pre-school or home-based care 
- 5 years up to 7 years 11 months with children who are in a classroom setting 

Up to 150 hours can be undertaken with children with additional needs in a older age group. 

There will be educational visits throughout the year with an end of year trip of learners' choice this will be as part of enterprise activities. The department will support the trip, however a small contribution may be required. 

A number of professional speakers and/or visitors will be incorporated into the course throughout the year. 

As a Boston College learner you will have access to a new library facility and IT equipment. There is a variety of food and drink available on site from the College shop, bistro, coffee shop and canteen. The College provides free parking to learners during term time and there are other recreational facilities available.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs at grades C or above (New GCSE grade - 4 or above), including English and Maths as mandatory (or equivalent). 

Those progressing from Level 2 will require a merit distinction profile. 

If you are unable to meet these entry qualifications an alternative course is Children's Play, Learning and Development BTEC First Certificate.


This course is 50% practical and 50% theory. You will be assessed in a variety of ways such as coursework displays, presentations, group work and exams etc.

Financial information

You may wish to purchase your own books to support your studying, approx £30. 

Learning materials such as pens, folders, memory sticks etc will also need to be provided by yourself, approx £30. 

Bursaries are available to learners that apply and meet the criteria. The Be Brilliant Foundation is also available to help students with additional costs.

Future opportunities

If you successfully complete the certificate you will be able to progress onto the 2nd year Children's Play Learning and Development BTEC National Development. Other progression routes from the certificate are the Advanced Apprenticeship programme or employment as a Nursery Assistant in a supervised capacity. 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 February 2017

Key information