Adult Courses, Free Courses for Jobs

Early Years Workforce (Level 3 Diploma)

Course Overview

Entry requirements

To enrol on this course you need to be employed either full-time, part-time or on a voluntary basis. If you work part-time or volunteer then a minimum of 12 hours per week is required in the workplace.

You must also provide proof of employment orplacement by providing us with a letter from your employer stating that they are prepared to support you through this qualification and that they give us permission to assess you carrying out your normal duties. You will also need to provide a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check (formerly CRB).


This course is a 'Free Courses for Jobs' course. This courses is free if you are not working, earn below the National Living Wage annually (£18,525), or do not already have a level 3 qualification. find out more

The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

This qualification is suitable for a range of learners, either working or wishing to work in early years education and care. Upon achievement of this qualification it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators.

You will work towards achieving core and optional units. All of these add to the required content for your award. Your selection of optional units will depend on a discussion between you and an assessor about the duties within your role.

You need to complete 11 core units (27 credits), 5 units from your chosen pathway (22 credits) plus optional units to make your total award up to a minimum of 65 credits.

Some of the mandatory units you can expect to study are:
  • play, development and learning for school readiness
  • legislation, framework and professional practice
  • health and wellbeing 
  • promoting equality and inclusion
  • having a duty of care

Due to the nature of this qualification, studying is more focused on your knowledge and skills. Tutors and assessors will provide information on the unit subject and you will then provide evidence of your knowledge (via professional discussion, written work, question and answers and other means of assessment).

The Early Years Workforce Level 3 Diploma is a part-time course which enables you to develop specialist knowledge in the childcare sector. The course provides a practical work-based qualification for staff already employed or volunteering in a childcare setting. To complete this course successfully, assessors must be able to observe you working closely with children, carrying out observations, writing reports and developing plans. You must have permission from your employer for this to take place in your work setting.

  • Assessment Criteria

    You will build a portfolio of evidence with the assistance of an assessor. You also have to be observed in practice by your assessor and marked off against a list of standards to prove your competency. You are expected to complete the award in one academic year.

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What Can This Course Lead To

Upon achievement of this qualification learners will gain their licence to practise and it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators.

Learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as; Assistant in Children's Centres, Practitioner in nursery schools, Practitioner in reception classes in primary schools or as a Pre-school worker.

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