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Not sure? No problem

Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

Advice & Help Centre

This study programme is designed for 16-19 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan). 

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.


The level 3 technical qualification in Education and Childcare has 2 components:

1. Core knowledge and understanding covers the core knowledge, understanding and skills relevant Education and Childcare, including:


  • Behaviour
  • Child Development
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Parents, families and carers
  • Safeguarding, health and safety and wellbeing

2. Occupational specialism covers the knowledge, understanding skills and behaviours that is required to achieve competency. This will focus on early years education and childcare:

  • Support and promote children's play, development and early education
  • Develop relationships with children to facilitate their development
  • Plan, provide and review care, play and educational opportunities to enable children to progress
  • Safeguard and promote the health, safety and wellbeing of children
  • Work in partnership with colleagues, parents, carers and other professionals to support children's development


As part of this T Level programme you need to complete an industry work placement in an Early Years setting where you will gain hands on experience in working within the sector, allowing you to put theory into practice and apply the knowledge that has been gained.

Entry requirements

  • 5 GCSE passes (grade 4 or above), including English, maths and science
  • a pass in a relevant level 2 qualification
  • Have an interview with a member of the course team
  • Have a clear DBS check


The course will give you a Level 3 T Level Technical Qualification in Education and Childcare with a (licence to practice)

What you'll learn (core modules)

The core elements studied include:

  • Wider context
  • Supporting education
  • Safeguarding, health and safety and wellbeing
  • Behaviour
  • Parents, families and carers
  • Working with others
  • Child development
  • Observation and assessment
  • Reflective practice
  • Equality and diversity
  • Special educational needs and disability
  • English as an additional language

Benefits, skills and character strengths

This course will prepare you for employment in the childcare sector, progression to a higher apprenticeship or university studies. This course will give you the confidence and resilience needed to be successful in Early Years Practice

With 750 hours of practical experience over two years of the course, our students perform exceptionally well at university interviews. The course attracts UCAS points, the maximum available points for distinction* candidates is 420 points

How will I be assessed?

T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and 'on-the-job' experience during an industry placement of 750 hours over two years.


The assessment consists of:

- core component:

  • paper A written examination
  • paper B written examination
  • ESP (versions specific to each occupational specialism)


- occupational specialism component:

  •  synoptic assignments (specific to each occupational specialism) 


Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

West Suffolk College. Your placement is organised by the college but students are given the opportunity to make choices about where they would like to go to placement.

Where will the course take me?

The majority of our students progress to university or into employment in the early years sector. Our students this year are applying for higher level apprenticeships and an early childhood studies degree amongst others. Many students gain employment throughout their studies with their work placement setting.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Students will need to purchase two placement T-shirts, available from the college shop at a cost of around £13 each.

Furthermore, students will need to have their own college stationery for classes - paper, pens, a folder etc.

I'm interested. What should I do now?

If you are interested, do come along to one of the college open events which is a great opportunity to meet the course tutors, ask more questions about the course and meet current students. If you would like to apply, this can be done via the college website.

Days & times

Starting September 2022

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