Apply Now

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Learning Play and Development

Apply Now

Course Description

This course is for those who want to progress to higher education vocational qualifications such as primary teaching, early years professional or a Foundation Degree.


Level 3 National Diploma in Children's Learning, Play and Development

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above are needed to begin this course, and this needs to include English and Maths. If these two subjects don’t reach the required grade, there are opportunities to study these subjects alongside the course to help achieve grade C/4. This is a government requirement but also needed by many employers for any number of careers, especially in the uniformed services.

Alternative entry requirements to the GCSEs include the CACHE Level 2 Certificate, BTEC Level 2 qualification, NVQ Level 2 or VRQ Level 2.


All Early Years courses include topics which are integrated with work experience in a range of childcare settings, with children from birth up to eight years of age. All students will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Assessment is a combination of assignments, examinations, knowledge based and skills based activities.

Students will be expected to attend college 9-5pm three days a week. To be successful on this course it is essential that you have good attendance and punctuality. You must also be motivated, committed and enthusiastic as you will be expected to develop a range of skills that will celebrate and nurture the potential in all children and young people.

Topics on this course include:

  • Health & well-being
  • Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Professional development
  • Observation, assessment and planning

Learners must achieve a total of 20 units:

  • Core units – 13
  • Optional specialist units – 7
  • Unit 1 is externally marked

Work Experience

Students must attend a work experience placement in the first and second year of their study programme. You must do a minimum of 750 hours over a period of two years.

The first placement will be allocated to you in your first term. You will be visited at your placement by a member of staff.


On completion of the course students can go on to Higher Education, including the Foundation Degree in Early Years at Hopwood Hall, or employment as a nanny, childminder, practitioner in a day nursery, nursery school or primary school, pre-school worker. Those who achieve a degree level qualification can go into the teaching profession.

Apply Now