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CACHE Level 3 Diploma Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) at University College Birmingham

Course description

The course prepares you to become and Early Years Educator and enables you to work with children from birth to five years and gain knowledge of children aged five to seven. You will gain a thorough and essential understanding of the practices and theory of childcare and education including supporting and keeping children safe and developing them through play and learning activities.

In your first year you will work towards the CACHE Level 3 Certificate and progress on to the Diplom in your second year.

Two days a week are spent on practical training, where you will be placed in an appropriate setting with children, such as day nurseries, nursery schools or specialist placements. Placements are organised by our employability tutors and they will visit you during your placement to ensure you gain the right practical skills.

Course content

Year 1 - Certificate:

  • Providing Safe Environments for Children
  • Child Health
  • Play and Learning
  • Understanding Children's Additional Needs
  • Observation, Assessment and Planning
  • Professional Practice Portfolio

Year 2 - Diploma:

  • Supporting Literacy
  • Supporing Maths
  • Preparing for School Readiness
  • International Perspectives
  • Reflective Practice for Professional Development
  • Professional Partnership in Early Years
  • Professional Practice Portfolio 2

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs at grade C/grade 4 or above including English language and maths, OR a recognised Level 2 Childcare qualification plus GCSE grade C in English and maths.

All applicants are required to attend an interview and have a good school report or reference.

This course also requires a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

. Information about the DBS check and how to apply for it will be sent to you by our Placement team.


A range of assessments will be used throughout the course and you will also be assessed whilst on your placement.

Financial information

Tuition Fees

If you are aged 16-18 you will not have to pay tuition fees.

Uniform and Equipment

This course requires the purchase of some uniform which you will wear whilst you are at placement. Full details on the cost and details of how to order will be given to you prior to the start of your course. An order form will be included in your enrolment pack which is usually availabe in May or June.

Educational Visits

You may be required to pay for any educational visits or trips.

Disclosure and Barring Service Check (DBS)

This course requires a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS). Our Placement Team will contact you with further information and how to apply for your DBS.

Learner Support Fund

The Learner Support Fund is available to assist students with course related costs such as essential uniform, equipment and travel. The fund is available to students who have a total household income of less than £30,810 per year (figure correct as at September 2016). A non-refundable contribution of £50 is required.

Discretionary Bursary

The Discretionary Bursary is for learners who have a household income of less than £20,817 per year (figure correct as at September 2016). Bursary payments will be made every Friday subject to 100% attendance. Learners who are in receipt of out of work benefits, work more than 24 hours per week or are over the threshold are not eligible.

Mandatory Bursary

The Mandatory Bursary Scheme is paid to students aged 16-18 who fall into one of the following categories:

  • Looked after child
  • Care Leaver
  • Receiving Income Support in their own name
  • Receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance or PIP

Eligible students will be entitled to a guaranteed bursary with weekly payments paid every Friday subject to attendance.

Application forms for the Learner Support Fund and Bursary will be included in your enrolment pack (available in May/June) and forms are also available from Student Services.

Network West Midlands 16-18 Photocard

If you are under 18 years old and in full-time education you may be entitled to child rate fares and season tickets for travel on the bus, train and metro. All you need is a valid 16-18 Photocard which is available from Network West Midlands. It costs £10 and is valid for one academic year. You will be able to apply once you are enrolled. Further information is available from our Student Services team.

Travel Assistance

If you are travelling from outside the Network West Midlands are you may be able to claim a 50% reimbursement of your travel costs. Please contact the Student Budget Counsellor to discuss the additional support that may be available to you.

Free School Meals

Some students will be able to receive a free meal at lunchtime whilst they are in college.

You must be aged between 16-18 with parents or guardians in receipt of:

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)
  • Guarantee element of Pension Credit

You will need to apply for the Discretionary Bursary Scheme and provide evidence of one of the above benefits. An application form will be included in your enrolment pack and forms are also available from Student Services.

If you are eligible you will receive a daily allowance which can be used to purchase a selection of items within the Summer Row cafeteria and Richmond House cafeteria. Please note that as we are aiming to promote healthy eating there are restrictions on solme items such as fizzy drinks, chocolate, crisps, cakes and flapjacks.

Childcare Funding

Students aged under 19 on the start date of their course can apply for childcare support through the Care to Learn Scheme. For further information and how to apply go to and search 'Care to Learn' or call the helpline on 0800 121 8989.



Future opportunities


On successful completion of the Level 3 Diploma students can apply to join the Foundation Degree or Degree in Childhood Studies (depending on the result achieved) both of which are available at UCB. Alternatively you can apply to other universities and higher education institutions.

Career Opportunities

The CACHE Level 3 Diploma will enhance your skills and enable you to practice in a wide variety of children's workforce settings in the UK and abroad. Our previous students have gone on to work in the following roles, nursery supervisor, pre-school leader, play group leader, special education needs support assistant, nursery nurse, nanny, childminder, teaching assistant, children's representative on cruise liners or in a holiday resort.

Further information

Please see our website for further details and information on our next available Open Days.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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    • The Summer Row site contains the original college building and was opened in 1968. It consists of
      thirteen floors of teaching and support facilities and is the base for all our Higher Education
      programmes and central administrative services. The Summer Row site also contains our specialist
      catering, restaurant and bakery facilities and all vocational catering and bakery courses are
      undertaken on this site. The Main Library, Learning & Skills Development Centre, Modern
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