What you will learn

This is a Nested Qualification which means it prepares you in 3 stages to progress over 2 years to gain a qualification which is recognised as ‘full and relevant by the industry. This will enable you to enter the workforce as an Early Years Educator or to progress onto Higher Education. In the first terms we work towards the L3 Award in Childcare and Education, progressing onto the Certificate in Childcare and Education. You will study topics including:
child development from conception to seven years, children’s health and wellbeing, providing safe environments for children, child health, play and learning and understanding children’s additional needs.

Ideal if
You are interested in starting a career in Childcare and want to work in a sector with multiple ranges of employment opportunities locally as well as moving on to further or higher education and you want a good solid foundation for starting a career supporting teaching and learning in a school.  It will help you to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to work in this sector. This course is aimed at people who have little to no experience of working in a childcare environment.

What to expect
You can expect to be stretched and challenged throughout the year in order that you can reach your highest possible grade as all units are assessed internally and are graded A*-D. During this first year you will complete an extended assessment which is set and marked externally as well as assessed in the workplace applying classroom knowledge to practice.

What next
You will be able to progress onto year 2 whereby you will complete the remaining units that make up the Technical Diploma in Childcare and Education preparing you for the World of Work. Alternatively, you may wish to progress onto an Apprenticeship, or further learning within the sector.

Work Placement

You will need to be working or volunteering in a childcare placement, with children aged between birth to 5 years, as an important part of the assessment process involves evaluating skills in real working situations. A work placement is required for 1 day per week.

Attendance days
09:00 – 16:00 Tuesday and Thursday Term time only
The term starts in September and finishes in July with a big celebration in the Guildhall. All your family and friends are invited to watch you receive your certificates.

Wider Curriculum activities
Throughout the year there will be a range of visits from Employers representing Early Years Settings who come in to talk about working in the sector and visits are arranged to local places of interest for children
and families whereby the learners have a chance to practice their risk management skills and mapping activities to the early years Curriculum. The Childcare and Education Department supports a number of local and National Charities throughout the year, creating lots of opportunities for team building and personal development skills.

What it feels like to be a student
Class group sizes are between 10 to 20 students with a dedicated tutor. Support staff are on site such as pastoral care, finance and careers advice.
“I have really enjoyed learning at ATL. I would definitely be interested in doing further courses here. The staff are all really warm and supportive. I have really felt at ease here”.

Salary and Career expectations
Apprenticeships are widely available within this sector. With experience and further training, you can apply for supervisory jobs and progress into nursery management. Employment as a qualified nursery worker, you can expect on average a starting salary of £18,000 and can go upto £34,000 depending on your experience and which part of the sector you work in. Progressing onto the second year level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education will provide additional opportunities including higher education
(UCAS points 72/96/120/144/168).


You will need to have achieved a Level 2 related course or ideally have GCSE’s grade 5/6 in English and Maths.

Level 3 courses are fully funded if you are a school leaver

Apply here 16-18

If you have any issues with applying online and need additional support including reasonable adjustments with the application process please contact the Admissions team on 01752 202269.