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Children's Care, Learning & Development BTEC Level 3 National Diploma at Macclesfield College

Course description

This course provides an excellent and varied programme giving you access to Higher Education or to a wide variety of Child Care careers. You will develop skills, knowledge and understanding in Child Care and apply your learning in a practical and realistic way.

Course content

You will study a total of nineteen units throughout the two years for the BTEC National Diploma Children’s Play, Learning and Development. Twelve core units will provide a general foundation and seven specialist units will introduce you to particular topics in more depth.

Core units will include:

  • Child development*
  • Play and learning
  • Meeting children’s physical development, physical care and health needs
  • Health and safety in early years setting
  • Working with parents and others in the early years
  • Observations, assessment and planning
  • Support children’s literacy and numeracy
  • Reflective practice**
  • The early years foundation stage
  • Research skills**

Specialist units will include:

  • Supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development supporting children’s literacy skills
  • Food and mealtimes in the early years
  • Working with children under 3 years
  • Working with children who have additional needs
  • Promoting children’s development outdoors
  • Supporting children’s imaginative play
  • Career development in early years

(*denotes examined unit, **denotes externally set/internally marked unit)

Work experience placements are an integral part of the course where you will practice caring skills. Support will be provided to find appropriate placements.

Alongside your main programme of study you will also study either GCSE or Functional Skills in English and Maths if you have not achieved a GCSE grade C or above. If you have achieved a grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths, you will engage in extending these skills through a Directed Study Programme.

Entry requirements

For this course you will need to have achieved one of the following:

  • A minimum of 4 GCSEs Grade A*-C, ideally to include English Language 
  • A Level 2 qualification (e.g. BTEC Level 2 Diploma) at Merit grade or above with Functional Skills English at Level 2 or above

You will need to have undertaken at least one week of work experience in a childcare setting. Evidence of this experience must be provided at enrolment in the form of a reference from the setting you attended.
Practical placements are an integral part of the course programme therefore you will need clearance by the Disclosure and Barring Service.

On receipt of your application to study this course you will be invited to attend an admissions interview with a member of the teaching team to discuss the course and its requirements further.


All BTEC National Diploma units are assessed mainly through project and assignment work. There will be examinations that are externally marked for some of the core units. Units not externally marked are graded Pass, Merit or Distinction and then an overall grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction is awarded on completion. 
GCSE and Functional Skills qualifications are assessed through external examination and portfolio work.

Financial information

Possible visits may include Early Years exhibitions, University and UCAS events but could be subject to change. 
You will also need to complete a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check before placements can be secured and this will cost in the region of £45. In addition to this you will be required to purchase polo shirts to wear whilst on your placement and these will cost approximately £13 each.

Future opportunities

On successful achievement of this course you may wish to:

  • Apply to study a Higher Education course such as a Degree in Early Childhood Studies, Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work, or a Bachelor of Education teaching degree
  • Pursue career opportunities as an Early Years Worker, Nanny, Pre-school Leader, Crèche Leader, Special Educational Needs Supporter, Nursery Supervisor, Children’s Resort Representative or working on cruise liners

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 October 2016
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