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National Foundation Diploma in Children's Play, Learning & Development - Level 3 - Full-time (ND)

Level 3 Vocational
Course Code:
North Devon Campus
Two years

Are you passionate about working with children? This course covers all aspects of children's learning and care. This impressive BTEC National course can take you all the way to university, or lead you straight into employment in the childcare industry.

Successful completion of this qualification will earn you Early Years Educator status as a Level 3 Practitioner.


Throughout the two years studying on this Children's Play, Learning & Development course, you will study a wide variety of topics such as:

Children's Development:
This unit explores the way in which children gain skills, abilities and how they learn. It covers processes such as the development of language and thinking. As a professional working with children, you will need a good understanding of children¿s development and the different theories about how children learn.

Children's Communication, Literacy and Numeracy Skills:
Being able to communicate and talk with others is an important skill as it leads to children being able to read, write and learn about mathematical concepts. This unit looks at children's development of communication, early literacy and numeracy skills. You will learn how children acquire their skills and how you can support them.

Play and Learning:
This unit will look at the benefits for children as they play, different approaches to organising play and the role of adults in play. You will also explore a range of theoretical and philosophical perspectives that underpin the way it is organised and provided for in early year¿s settings.

Keeping Children Safe:
In this unit you will learn about the legislation, regulations and guidance relating to health and safety and child protection. You will also examine how early years professionals safeguard the children in their care and respond to concerns that a child is being abused.

Children¿s Physical Development, Care and Health Needs:
You will learn about the physical development and care needs of children and how to support their healthy development. You will also plan routines and activities that meet children's individual needs.

Working with Parents and Others in Early Years:
Babies and children are surrounded by people who play an important part in their lives. As early year¿s professionals, it is important that you understand the different roles adults have in children¿s lives and that you work with parents, colleagues and other professionals in a cooperative way.

Work Experience and Curriculum:
Throughout the first year, you will carry out 350 hours of work experience in settings within the community. Here, you will be assessed on your developing skills by a member of our assessing team. Your practice will be supporting your theory, knowledge and understanding. Across the two years you will achieve 750 hours.

This is a coursework and skills-based programme, with one exam and one externally-assessed unit.

It is a challenging course, and involves a fast-moving and demanding programme which requires you to link childcare theory with practice both in college and during work placements.
Assessment is through written coursework, presentations, role play, making DVDs and interactive resources for children to use, as well as displays. You are also assessed by a college assessor whilst on work experience.

Learners have the responsibility of recording their own professional development through a portfolio which will contain evidence of their ability to observe and assess children's needs, to plan and implement activities that meet these needs and promote development. Reflective accounts of the learner's own development alongside supervisor and tutor assessment reports are added to the evidence.

Grading is either Pass, Merit or Distinction and will contribute to the final grade profiles which are linked to the UCAS tariff.
To be accepted onto a two-year Level 3 programme, all entrants must hold at least a grade 4 in GCSE Maths and a grade 4 in GCSE English, as well as at least three other GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above. Certain subjects require a minimum of GCSE grade 6.

We accept applicants who have successfully completed a relevant Level 2 qualification who have achieved English and Maths at Grade 4/5 or above.
You will have to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
Many students progress to Higher Education, usually to early childhood studies, teaching or nursing; although the UCAS points you will earn can provide access to many other programmes of study. Lots of our students also progress directly to employment, both locally and abroad.
Classrooms have interactive whiteboards, and we make use of other facilities within the college to enrich your understanding of topics being covered. We book computer rooms as often as possible to facilitate research and assignment support. We have a well-equipped resource room to aid the development of practical skills.
On your first day at college, you'll need to bring your GCSE certificates and your original DBS check.
Please note you may be required to adhere to the dress code in placement (eg black trousers/ black shoes). You will also need to print your own work and provide your own stationary.
Please contact the Advice & Guidance Centre on 01271 852422 for more information.
Q: Do I have to find my own placement?
A: No, placements will be arranged for you, and we will try, as far as possible, to make these as readily accessible as we can. We do not place students at any settings where family members work, or siblings attend.

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