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Children's Play, Learning & Development (Early Years) BTEC Level 3 at Priestley College

Course description

The BTEC Level 3 in Children’s Play, Learning and Development National Certificate and Diplomas have been developed in consultation with employers, higher education institutions and professional bodies to ensure you gain the understanding and skills for working with children aged 0 – 7 and 11 months. This is a full time programme and by the end of the second year of the course you will achieve and Extended Diploma in Children’s Play, Learning and Development with Early Years Educator Status, which can help students progress to employment and careers such as nursery assistants, family support workers and other Early Years professions. However some students may wish to continue on university studying early years related courses.

Course content

The course is made up of a series of units which are relevant to Early Years settings such as Schools, Nurseries, Children’s Centres, Child Minders, Play Groups etc. The content of each unit has been carefully selected to reflect the latest developments and approaches within the Early Years Sector. The core modules consist of Child Development and Play in Early Years Settings. Child Development is common to all levels of the qualification and provides underpinning knowledge of theory, factors affecting and stages of development of children. Play in Early Years Settings provides an understanding of the different types and value of play and how it is organised and resourced. Other units look at Health and Safety, Meeting Needs and Working with Parents. Within this course you will have three days in College and two days on placement.

Entry requirements

You must complete a DBS application form and obtain clearance to take this programme. You must have achieved or be working towards C/4 at GCSE or above in Maths, English and Science. You also need to be organised, have good time management skills and be able to work independently.


You will sit one exam in your first year, Unit 1: Child Development. This exam focuses largely on the psychological aspects of child development, along with factors affecting development and atypical development. You will also complete a number of coursework units and these will be assessed in a variety of ways, such as written reports, presentations, display work and group work. Alongside your exams and coursework you will complete a Practical Evidence Portfolio, which will consist of your achievements and reflections on placement settings.

Future opportunities

Following the completion of the qualification, you can gain employment in a number of specific careers within the Early Years Sector as a qualified practitioner or, alternatively, you may wish to progress to University to study Social Work, Primary School Teaching, Nursing and other children and early years related degrees e.g. speech therapist.

Further information

You will have the opportunity to go on various trips such a residential trip to London, where you will visit The Children’s Museum. This will provide you with extensive knowledge to support you with your coursework and also the opportunity to take part in many sightseeing activities. We will also organise non-residential trips such as visits to Universities to explore their range of Early Years and Health-related degrees including a tour of their campus, taking part in lectures and finding out other general information relating to tuition and accommodation fees.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 23 September 2016
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