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Bradford College

Diploma Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)

Qualification Gained
CACHE Level 3 Diploma (QCF) Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)
Study Level
Level 3
Course Type
15 months
Start Date
September 2024
Study Mode
David Hockney Building


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.

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.

  Key Info

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.

Units are based around four themes:

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

In order to achieve an Early Years Educator qualification, you will need GCSE Grade C/4 or above in English Language or Functional Skills Level 2 in English to count in the ratios at Level 3 in childcare settings.

You will ideally have the equivalent grades in Maths and we would advise you to enroll separately to a Maths course in order to achieve these grades if you do not have them as it will increase your employability.

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).

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.

Upon achievement of this qualification, you will be able to enter the workforce as an Early Years Educator at level 3.

This course has nominal UCAS points, however you may be able to progress to further study at level 4 or on a foundation degree.

You may be eligible for a Lifetime Skills Guarantee course, which could be free for adults depending on salary and prior academic attainment.

If you not eligible for Lifetime Skills Guarantee then student loans are available or you can self fund your course.

This is representative of the most common fees scenario, but actual fees can vary depending on a number of factors. Please contact us if you need more guidance.


If you have any questions or require any additional information, please contact [email protected]

Disclaimer: Our prospectus, college documents and website are simply here to offer a guide. We accept no liability for any inaccurate statements and are not responsible for any negative outcomes if you rely on an inaccurate statement. We reserve the right to withdraw any programmes or service at any time.