Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)

Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)

Course Information

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

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

Experience in the workplace

Learners will need to be working, volunteering or on a practical placement as an important part of the assessment process involves evaluating skills in real working situations. CACHE recommends 350 hours across the age ranges.

National College for Teaching and Leadership entry requirements

GSCE English and Maths at grade C, 4-9 (or equivalent Level 2 Functional Skills) or above are a completion requirement for apprentices funded by the Skills Funding Agency. GCSE English and Maths at grade C, 4-9 (or equivalent Level 2 Functional Skills) or above are also a requirement together with the Early Years Educator qualification to count in the staff-to-child ratios at Level 3. It is not a requirement for awarding organisation registration or certification.

Qualification structure

The qualification is structured around the following four themes:

  • Theme 1: Health and well-being
  • Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness

Learners must achieve:

  • 23 mandatory units
  • Credit Value: 61
  • Guided Learning Hours (GLH): 486

To gain this qualification the learner will need to achieve the following:

  • Pass in all units
  • Satisfactorily complete the longitudinal study
  • Be competent in a real work environment

The Course Content

This course will require you to show your practice, knowledge and understanding of developing and promoting relationships with children and adults, communicating with children and adults, establishing and maintaining a healthy, safe and secure environment for children, observing, assessing, planning and implementing provision to promote development, equality of access and inclusion and looking at, evaluating and developing your own practice.
Learning and assessment will generally take place in the workplace but where additional underpinning knowledge is required attendance at some “one to one” or informal classroom seminars may be required. Unit certification can be claimed for all achieved units. 


All units are internally assessed. Assessment enables the learner’s workplace practice to provide evidence for individual units as well as the whole qualification. Methods of assessment could include:

  • Inference of knowledge from direct observation of practice
  • Witness evidence when directed by the sector skills assessment strategy
  • Reflection on own practice in real work situations
  • Written assignments
  • Learner’s own plans and written records
  • Tasks set by CACHE for knowledge learning outcomes only

The qualification is ” pass or refer” and all the assessment criteria of the chosen units must be achieved in order to obtain a pass. The candidate is supported and assessed through one to one support by a qualified and experienced assessor. Observations are done in the workplace by the assessor and knowledge evidence is gathered through questioning and other supporting evidence. The candidate should be prepared to do set work in their own time to build a portfolio of evidence for this certificate.

Contact us about this course

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