Adult Skills and Community Learning

Course content

You'll gain an in-depth knowledge and the skills you need to become an early years educator. The course will enable you to work with children from birth to five years old. It will also help you gain knowledge of children aged five to seven years.

When you complete this course you'll achieve a level 3 diploma for the early years workforce. You'll then be able to enter the workforce as an early years educator (EYE). It enables staff with an EYE qualification and level 2 English and maths qualifications to count in the level 3 staff to child ratios in childcare settings. The course also requires you to grow a broad understanding of working across varied age ranges. 

The course is divided into three themes:

  • Theme 1: Health and wellbeing.
  • Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice.
  • Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness.

This course will enable to:

  • Work alongside other practitioners to support children's learning and development.
  • Be able to practice as a key worker in provision.
  • Understand the early years framework.
  • Know how to plan for the children to learn and develop.
  • Develop your own personal and professional reflective practice.
  • Build a portfolio of evidence and tutor assessment of your skills and knowledge.
  • Apply for employment.
  • Achieve a nationally recognised level 3 diploma for the early years workforce (early years educator).
  • Provide you with the skills needed to progress onto higher levels of study.

You'll develop the following skills for work:

  • Working as part of a team, sharing ideas and working together.
  • Problem solving in tasks and leadership within this role.
  • Effective communication and language skills.
  • Building your confidence to work at this level.
  • Planning and self-management.
  • Resilience and motivation to achieve your goals.
  • Develop your literacy, numeracy and digital skills.

Course delivery 

The duration of the course is 54 weeks in total. It comprises of four hours of classroom delivery per week, over 46 weeks. It has a minimum of three placement observations. It also has tutorials and one to one support totalling no more than 24 hours over the course.

Expectations and support

  • You'll need to source your own placements.
  • You'll go to your placement one full day or two half days. This is term time negotiable between you and your placement.
  • You'll create a portfolio of evidence over the duration of your course. This will be to show your knowledge.
  • Your portfolio will include a minimum of three observations. These will be carried out by your class tutor.
  • You'll need to complete reflective accounts of your learning. These should include the impact the learning has had on you personally and in your profession.
  • You can expect a minimum of four progress reviews over the duration of your course. These will be with your tutor, to discuss your progress and future learning.
  • In class support will be done through activities, discussions and tutor feedback.
  • You'll receive class materials via Teams for Education. You'll also get a textbook to support your learning.
  • Assignment briefs will be used to give further guidance via Teams.
  • General group discussions will take place via Teams.

What do you need?

  • A mobile phone, tablet, laptop or computer (with a webcam and sound) with internet access. This will be to access any online and tutorial sessions (desirable). Other arrangements will be made if you don't have access to this equipment.
  • Access to a laptop, desktop or similar to complete your work. You don't need Microsoft Office before the start of the course. You'll be given full access to an Office 365 account at the first session.
  • A notebook and a pen for classes.
  • Time and commitment to complete tasks set outside of class and to attend your placements.
  • Your attendance both in class and in placement must be a minimum of 85% overall (ideally 100%).
  • A DBS. We'll carry this out before you start your placement, unless you're already employed in a school. In this case they should have carried out the check already.

Entry requirements 

You'll have already completed the following with us:

  • Information, advice and guidance session, and initial assessment on the BKSB software.
  • A Level 2 or equivalent in English and maths, or be working towards a Level 2. You can't be counted in ratio in early years settings without a minimum of level 2 in English and maths.
  • A valid Level 2 certificate in early years (dated within the last two years). You could also have six months experience within an early years setting (eg a nursery).
  • A placement secured in an early years provision. If you're already employed in this role, this will be classed as your placement.
  • Confidence in using emails and Microsoft packages, eg Word, PowerPoint and One Drive (desirable). A short course is available to upskill you in these areas if needed.

Course fees

The cost of the course is £2882, which can be paid monthly via Direct Debit over the duration of your course. You can also apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with the costs of this course. Loan eligibility does not depend on your income and there are no credit checks. Find out more about the Advanced Learner Loan.

This course is eligible for full funding for anyone who is unemployed or in receipt of a low wage via the level 3 free courses for jobs offer for 2023/24.

How to apply


Progression routes include:

  • Pre-school worker
  • Practitioner in day nurseries
  • Practitioner in a children's centre
  • Practitioner in nursery schools
  • Practitioner in reception classes in primary schools

What our learners say

  • I am now more confident in supporting my own children with activities and also offering support and advice to friends if needed.
    Adult learner
  • This course has helped me by making me want to work in a health and social care role. As well as providing us with transferrable skills, such as emergency first aid, people moving people and conflict resolution. You learn a lot about going into work. I really, really enjoyed this course.
    Adult learner
  • I am making a lot of progress in learning new skills on how to become a teaching assistant. It included learning about safeguarding and how to run a classroom.
    Adult learner