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.

Duration: 2 years


About the course:

This is a level 3 qualification which provides comprehensive knowledge and understanding of health and social care.


Who is this course for?

The Caring Profession offers a variety of rewarding careers working with adults or children in the community. With a national shortage of qualified care professionals there could be no better time to work in the care industry.


If you want an opportunity to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of and develop skills in the health and social care sector which will enable you to secure a worthwhile career or to progress to university. Our students take part in a variety of tasks including working in and around the community which develops not only knowledge skills, but also professional interpersonal skills.



The qualification has ten core units:

  • Developing effective communication in health and social care
  • Equality, diversity and rights in health and social care
  • Health, safety and security in health and social care
  • Development through the life stages
  • Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology for health and social care
  • Personal and professional development in health and social care
  • Sociological perspectives for health and social care
  • Psychological perspectives for health and social care
  • Caring for children & young people
  • Values & planning

You will also study a number of option units including:

  • Working in the health/social care sector
  • Physiological disorders
  • Introduction to Counselling
  • Caring for individuals with additional needs
  • Research & methodology



For the duration of the course you will spend one day each week in a work placement, in a variety of settings. Over the two years, most students attend three different placements in order to gain a variety of experiences. Whilst in placement you will build a portfolio of evidence which will include activity plans, reflective accounts, supervisor reports and reports of tutor visits.



  • Each unit is assessed by a variety of assignment tasks, both written and practical. You will also be assessed at placement.
  • Each unit will be graded PASS, MERIT or DISTINCTION.
  • In order to gain the full qualification all units must be successfully completed.


Qualification Gained

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care. (Equivalent to 3 A levels)


Opportunities for Progression

Students who successfully complete this programme will be able to go onto further study at University. Alternatively, you are qualified to work in the Health and Social Care Sector.