Course Overview

The CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) will prepare you to become an Early Years Educator, enabling you to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

Upon achievement of this qualification, you will be able to enter the workforce as an Early Years Educator.

At Bradford College we feel this vocational route is suitable for mature learners who have some experience, either volunteering or working in early years, or may have their own children or some life experience.

The course is open to learners aged 19-23, and 24+ and is offered as a part-time vocational route to Early Years Educator.

You will need to attend College once a week (on a Friday) (in term-time) from 09.00-15.00 and will also be expected to complete independent study and assignment tasks in your own time.

Course Structure

Placements or voluntary work is required for achievement of this qualification. A minimum of 350 placement hours is required. During your placement, you will need support from a professional within the real work environment who will act as a mentor.

If you are employed or have voluntary work in a registered early years setting that provides all the age ranges, you will need to work within each range. If not, you will need to complete a secondment to work with the age range your current setting does not provide for. It may be possible to do this outside of school term time if you are currently employed in a school.

If you do not already have a setting, you will be found a suitable placement.

Bradford College will also carry out Disclosure and barring Service (DBS) checks when we have arranged placement or if you do not already have one for the setting in which you will be volunteering.

You will be supported to achieve your practical competencies in placement with workshop sessions when you attend College each week, which will be with your assessor. She will also visit you in your placement setting, at least once in each age group to observe your practice and assess competency.

You need to experience different age groups within the 0-5 years range. The minimum requirement works out in full days as:

  • 3-5 years: - 32 days
  • 2 -2 years 11 months: - 22 days
  • 0-1 year 11 months: - 6 days.

We recommend two full days per week, however if you are working/volunteering you may be able to do more days/structure your time differently.

Entry Requirements

In order to achieve an Early Years Educator qualification, you will need GCSE Grade C/4 or above or Functional Skills Level 2 in English and Mathematics to count in the ratios at Level 3 in childcare settings so ideally you will already have achieved these.

If you have not, you may still be able to enrol on the course if you have been accepted to study GCSE or Functional skills at Level 2 alongside. (You would not be able to practice at Level 3 without achieving English/Mathematics minimum requirements)

How Will I Learn?

Units are based around four themes:

  • Health and Well-being
  • Legislation, Frameworks and Professional Practice
  • Play, Development and Learning for School Readiness
  • Professional Development.


On completion of the course you may progress to the CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner, Cache Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services (England) (QCF), or other higher level Early Years’ qualifications such as a Foundation degree.

This qualification is a vocational route so is not graded and does not have the UCAS points attached/A level equivalence that our full-time courses do. Mature students are often able to progress into HE through a Foundation degree route. Bradford College University Centre offers Foundation degrees such as Early Years and Education Studies.

How You Will Be Assessed

To gain this qualification you will need to:

  • Pass all Units (coursework/essays set and marked by unit tutors)
  • Complete a longitudinal study (practical observations, assessments over time like a learning journey completed during placement)
  • Show competence in a real work environment (an assessor will observe your practice, have professional discussions with you and ask for work products and reflective accounts).

Information, Advice and Support

Careers Guidance

Help with choosing the right course and with thinking about where this might take you in the future.
Tel: 01274 433043
Email: [email protected]

Student Finance

Money matters - you may be entitled to financial support whilst you study.
Tel: 01274 433246.
Email: [email protected]

Learning Support

Support for applicants with a learning difficulty, disability, illness or other learning need.
Tel: 01274 438999
Email: [email protected]

For all other queries call 01274 088088

Tuition Fees

If you are aged 19+ and studying a Further Education Course at Bradford College, you may have to pay course fees. Course fees are dependent on the number of hours and which course is being taken. Actual costs can be obtained from our FE Registry team.
Tel: 01274 433172
Email: [email protected].