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Early Years' Educator VRQ Diploma Level 3 at Croydon College

Course description

This Early Years’ Educator course at Croydon College combines practical work experience with the academic study of child development.

You will have the chance to experience a multidisciplinary course and cover a range of topics from international perspectives on child development, child health, safeguarding and preparing children for school learning.

This course encourages the aspiring practitioner to be able to plan and meet the needs of children from a diverse range of backgrounds, by linking theory to practical work experience gained throughout the course.

If you’re offered the opportunity of employment whilst enrolled on this course you may be eligible to transfer onto our Level 3 apprenticeship programme so you can continue learning while you start to earn in your new job role.

Good English and maths skills are essential for success in studying and for future employment prospects and so Croydon College ensures that these skills are developed in all learning opportunities.

It’s also important to have good English and maths qualifications and so all students will study English and maths and work towards an appropriate level and type of qualification including GCSE. This will be part of all 16-18 year old students’ Study Programme alongside their main vocational or academic qualification and will be discussed with students at interview.

Course content

During this course you will have the chance to spend two days per week in work experience in four different childcare settings including a primary school, nursery and a baby placement.

You will be supported by qualified work placement assessors who will help you to progress and develop your practical skills.

You will have the opportunity to carry out a longitudinal study on an area of child development gaining valuable knowledge and skills in the process.

You will also have the opportunity to attend a variety of interesting and relevant seminars, trips, visits and guest speeches to give you a wider understanding of the course.

You will be taught by industry experienced teachers who have a range of childcare based backgrounds and expertise which they will pass on to you to give you a greater understanding of what it is like to work in the childcare sector.

Entry requirements

A minimum of 4 GCSEs grade C or higher, one being English or maths or a related Level 2 vocational course at Merit or higher (if a Pass grade is achieved GCSE grades and/or functional skills results can also be considered).

English and maths assessed at Level 1 or above.

Applicants will need to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check before starting this course.

Students aged 16-18 who do not already have GCSE grade C in either English or Maths will be expected to have achieved these by the end of their course. Students who are 19+ will need to have achieved GCSE grades C in English and Maths prior to starting the course, or their suitable equivalents. Please note that Level 2 functional skills are not considered a suitable equivalent.

To progress to the second year Diploma qualification you will need to successfully complete the first year of this course and demonstrate good attendance and punctuality at the College.


The course is assessed through a mixture of assessment methods:

  • 20% of your course is assessed through externally set pieces of work comprising of 1 exam and 2 extended essays of 5,000 words each.
  • 40% of your work will be assessed on your practical competencies in different childcare settings.
  • 40% of your work will be assessed through tutor marked essays, reports, portfolios, presentations and seminar discussions.

Future opportunities

This course carries EYE status and so confers a licence to practise. This academic pathway also carries 420 UCAS points and so provides an excellent route to studying the following subjects at university:

  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education (QTS)
  • BA (Hons) Education
  • BA (Hons) Social Work

At Croydon College you will benefit from close links with University Centre Croydon providing excellent progression opportunities to the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies, awarded by the University of Sussex.

Students who complete the Level 3 will also be qualified at supervisory level to work in settings including children’s centres and usually obtain employment in the following roles:

  • Family support worker
  • Early years practitioner
  • Nursery supervisor
  • Health visitor
  • Peripatetic work

Students who complete this course and progress to higher education often go on to obtain the following roles:

  • Primary or nursery school teachers
  • Music, play or art therapist
  • Social worker
  • Speech and language therapist
  • Nursery manager

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 07 March 2016
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Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Course Information Centre
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 020 8760 5914
    • Email address:


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    • We are:

      • a 2-minute walk from East Croydon rail station;
      • a 10-minute walk from West Croydon rail station and bus terminus;
      • accessible via over 25 bus routes and 3 tram routes
      • accessible by bicycle via the many cycle routes which also lead into Croydon centre.
      • 19 minutes from Gatwick Airport