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

Duration: 2 years


What is the National Diploma in Children’s Play, Learning and Development?

This is an advanced level of course, which includes placement two days a week. You will be provided with a unique combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience making you highly employable.

You will:

  • Be taught and supported with the knowledge and skills to care for young children in a wide variety of settings.
  • Take part in up to two days a week practical work experience
  • Benefit from a breadth of curriculum such as pediatric first aid qualification, outdoor education visits, visiting speakers from a variety of professions, practical application in and around local schools.


Units of Study include:

  • Child Development
  • Play in Early Years Settings
  • Meeting Children's Physical Development, Physical Care and Health Needs
  • Health and Safety Practice in Early Years Settings
  • Collaboration with Parents, Colleagues and other Professionals in Early Years
  • Supporting Children's Communication and Language
  • Supporting Children's Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Child Protection
  • Observation, Assessment and Planning for Play and Development
  • Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in the Early Years
  • Reflecting on own Early Years Practice


Work Experience

Work experience is an important part of the course and gives students a real insight into working in various childcare settings and the opportunity to practice their skills. It can also help students to make decisions about future careers.

You are required to complete a minimum of 750 hours' work placement. This will involve a minimum of 3 settings, with three age groups (under 2s, 2-4 i.e. those not in reception, 4-7 years and 11 months in a school setting). Practical training placements include private families, day nurseries including our own Children's Centre, reception class, infant


How will I be assessed?

The majority of the units are assessed through internally marked assignments set throughout the two years of the course. However, unit 1 will be externally assessed by means of a written paper- based test. Your work will be graded pass, merit, distinction and distinction*


What can I do after this course?

Many people think of childcare courses solely leading to work in a Nursery, a Pre-school or an After School Club.

However, now that many services supporting children and their families work closely together, it is easier to move into other fields.


Examples include:

  • classroom assistant or as a learning support assistant in a school
  • play worker in variety of setting s such as hospitals , holiday play schemes and clubs, or prisons
  • crèche worker, for example at a Gym or at a Sports Club
  • Nanny, often working abroad
  • Children's Representatives working abroad in summer and winter resorts
  • Primary school teacher or a teacher for children with Special Needs
  • health visitor
  • family support worker
  • outreach worker
  • youth worker
  • Children's social worker


Who is the course for?

  • Anyone who would like to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to care for young children and babies
  • Anyone who wants a nationally recognised qualification to work with children in a professional capacity in a variety of settings
  • Anyone who would like to progress to university level qualifications leading to nursery and primary teaching, social work, paediatric nursing and midwifery.