Adult Skills and Community Learning

Course content 

This course intends to provide an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills you need to become an early years educator, enabling you to work with children from birth to five years and gain knowledge of children aged five to seven years. Upon successful completion of this course and achievement of the Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce you'll be able to enter the workforce as early years educators. The course requires you to develop a broad understanding of working across the various age ranges. 

The course is divided into three themes.

  • Theme 1: Health and well-being
  • Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks, and professional practice
  • Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness

This course will enable to:

  • Work effectively 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 effectively 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, knowledge, and competencies.
  • Apply for employment
  • Achieve a nationally recognised Level 3 Diploma for the early years workforce (Early Years Educator)
  • Provide you with the skills, knowledge and competencies needed to progress onto higher levels of study for example higher level teaching assistant Level 4 and teacher training.

You'll develop the following skills for work:

  • Working as part of a team, sharing ideas, working together, problem solving in tasks and leadership within this role.
  • Effective and technical communication and language skills
  • Build onto confidences needed to work at this level
  • Planning and self-management
  • Promote resilience and motivation to achieve your goals and aspirations.
  • Literacy, numeracy and digital skills will be supported throughout the course.

Course delivery 

Classroom based delivery with blended learning opportunities

The duration of the course is 54 weeks in total, comprising of four hours classroom delivery per week, over 46 weeks, minimum of three placement observations, an individual tutorial and one to one support totalling no more than 24 hours over the course of the programme.

Expectations and support:

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

What do you need?

  • A mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or computer (with a webcam and sound) with internet to access any agreed online/tutorial sessions (desirable), alternative arrangements will be made available if you do not have access to this equipment.
  • Access to a laptop, desktop or like to complete your work. You do not need Microsoft Office before the start of the course as you will be given full access to an Office 365 account at the first session.
  • Notebook and pen for classes
  • Time and commitment to complete tasks set outside of class and attend 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 school, and they have carried out an appropriate check.

Entry requirements 

You'll have already completed the following with Adult Skills and Community Learning:

  • Information Advice and Guidance and initial assessment on the BKSB software
  • A Level 2 or equivalent in English and maths working towards a Level 2 (You can't be counted in ratio in Early Years without a minimum of level 2 in English and maths)
  • A valid Level 2 certificate in Early Years (dated within the last two years) or six months experience within an Early Years setting (e.g. Nursery)
  • A placement secured in an Early Years provision. If you are already employed in this role, this will be classed as your placement.
  • Confidence in using emails and Microsoft packages, eg Word, Powerpoint, One Drive (desirable) – a short course is available to upskill you in these areas

The level that you study at will be determined by your initial assessment results.

Course fees

The cost of the course is £2,882.00 which can be paid monthly via direct debt over the duration of your course, however 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.

How to apply


Progression routes include:

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

What our learners say

  • The course gave me the confidence to work in a nursery and be good at my job.
    Early years course adult learner
  • It has given me the confidence to look for other work opportunities that I wouldn't have considered before.
    Early years course adult learner
  • It has helped me to decide what I would like to do in the future!
    Early years course adult learner
  • I have been able to apply for Teaching Assistant jobs and feel confident doing so.
    Teaching assistant course adult learner
  • My teaching assistant course was a great experience. I can't wait to continue at Level 3.

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