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BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Learning, Play and Development at North Hertfordshire College

Course description

Our childcare courses include lots of opportunities for you to get hands-on experience of the world of work, including:

  • Work placements with businesses like Busy Bees, Kinders Mill Day Nursery, Strathmore School, St Andrews and Weston Way Nursery and Keech Hospice Care
  • Attending work placement two days a week with children aged 0-8 (level 2 and 3 childcare students)
  • Engagement with guest speakers from businesses like Busy Bees, TUI Group, Ofsted, parents and home based practitioners
  • Enrichment activities such as outdoor classrooms, visits to Nursery World Exhibition, the UCAS convention and museums linking to child development.

These courses are assessed through assignments, projects, placements and an exam.

We offer a range of full-time courses, at different levels, to help you progress into the career you want.  Our courses cover all aspects of childcare and playwork and offer you both direct access employment as well as progression to higher education.

  • Childcare in nursery settings: nursery assistants work with babies and young children from birth up to the age of five.  You’ll learn how to plan and supervise play and learning activities like arts and crafts, music and cooking, as well as how to develop the children’s numeracy and literacy skills.  You’ll also learn how to feed and change children as well as monitor and record their progress to feed back to parents and carers.
  • Home-based childcare: these courses are suitable if you’re considering childminding.  A childminder works with children for more than two hours a day in their own home, performing a very similar role to a nursery assistant.  Childminding is not an easy ‘stay-at-home’ job, as you’ll be regularly monitored by Ofsted and your local authority to ensure you’re working to legal regulations.  You’ll develop business skills such as marketing, budget management, writing policies and risk assessments in order to run and promote a childminding business.
  • Early years education: these courses will prepare you for roles such as teaching assistants, nursery nurses or support teachers to aid children with learning activities in the classroom.  You’ll learn about child development, safeguarding and the role of play in education.  Teaching assistants often work with children who have learning needs and your role is to ensure that they can access and enjoy schoolwork and develop their literacy, numeracy and social skills. Nursery nurses work with children to develop their play and learning; your role is to ensure that they can access and enjoy their play to ensure they meet all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Course content

Through this course you’ll learn about:

  • Patterns of child development
  • Promoting children’s development through play
  • The principles of early years practice
  • Promoting children’s positive behaviour
  • Health and safety in early years settings
  • Working in the early years sector.

Entry requirements

To join this course, you’ll need:

  • Four GCSEs at grade D or above including maths and English; or,
  • Four GSCEs at grade D or above, plus functional skills level 1 maths and English; or,
  • A level 1 qualification in a relevant subject area, passed with a Merit or Distinction grade – plus maths and English GCSE grade D or above, or functional skills level 1 maths and English.


This course is assessed through assignments, projects and two exams. You’ll also sit exams if you’re also doing maths or English GCSE or functional skills.

Financial information

Price on application.

There are no tuition fees for students aged 16-18 years.

If you are over 18, please speak to a client advisor.

Possible charges for any trips, visits, materials and uniform if required offered during the year will be independent of the tuition fees or any other student finance. Financial help may be available for these costs, please contact Student Services for more information.

Future opportunities

Having successfully completed this course, you’ll be able to progress to:

  • Level 3 courses including the subsidary diploma in children's play, learning and development
  • Apprenticeships
  • Paid employment in the sector.

Further information

Please visit our website for further information -

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 19 October 2017
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Key information


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    • The Stevenage Centre, opened in 2003, provides a state-of-the-art learning environment for students, offering the best possible educational and training opportunities for the local community. The main entrance opens up into the Atrium, a large communal space hosting the main reception, a cafeteria and houses a number of student services and social learning facilities. The first and second floors are dedicated learning areas, where students can find classrooms and learning resource centres.

      Classrooms at the Stevenage Centre are equipped with ‘Smart Wall’ technology, helping to provide first class I.T. resources for teaching and learning. The centre also allows space for learning bases, which are dedicated curriculum areas for learners to carry out their studies.