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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.

About the course

This course provides an introduction to work in the Childcare sector, providing a valuable foundation for progression into higher level courses or employment. This course qualifies you to work as an Early Years Assistant in childcare settings. A compulsory part of the course is work placement and you will need to complete in the region of 300 hours to pass the course. Work placement is organised by the work placement team. It is a full time course. You attend college three days per week and the other two days are out in placement. You will get the opportunity to work in a nursery setting.

Entry requirements

The minimum requirement is English at grade 4 and 3 other GCSEs at grade 3 or equivalent.

In addition all students must:

  • Have an interview with a member of the course team

  • Have a clear DBS check



This course will give you the NCFE CACHE Early Years Practitioner Diploma Level 2

What you'll learn (core modules)

The aim is to give you a good understanding of the childcare sector; the values, skills and knowledge that are essential for work in this field. You will study seven core units:

  • Roles and responsibilities of the Early Years Practitioner
  • Equality, diversity and inclusive practice in Early Years Settings
  •  Support well-being of babies and young children for healthy lifestyles
  •  Promote positive behaviour in Early Years Settings
  •  Safeguarding, protection and welfare of babies and young children in Early Years Settings
  •  Support babies and young children to be physically active
  •  Partnership working in the early years
  •  Understand how to support children's development
  •  Support the needs of babies and young children with Special Educational Needs and Disability
  •  Support the needs of the child in preparing for school
  •  Support care routines for babies and young children
  •  Support the planning and delivery of activities, purposeful play opportunities
  •  Health and safety of babies and young children in the early years




In addition, any students aged 16 to 19 who does not have a GCSE A* to C (Grade 9 to 4) in Maths and English will need to continue studying these subjects alongside their childcare studies.

Benefits, skills and character strengths

This course will prepare you for employment in the Early Years sector. Upon successful completion of level 2, students either go into employment as a Level 2 Early Years Practitioner, continue to a level 3 qualification as an apprentice in the workplace or, with a strong grade profile, they may progress onto the full time level 3 course at the college.

This course will give you the confidence and resilience needed to be successful in childcare.

How will I be assessed?

The course units are internally assessed in a variety of ways - course work, assignments, presentations and a visit in placement

to check skills, knowledge and competencies.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

West Suffolk College

Your placement is organised by the college and students are invited to suggest settings that they would like to go to.

Where will the course take me?

Distinction and high merit students can apply to progress onto the full time level 3 childcare course at college. They will be interviewed for this course.

Upon completion of the course, you are able to be employed as a level 2 Early Years Practitioner in the industry and may decide to continue your level 3 studies via an apprenticeship.

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.

How much will it cost?


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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If there is anything more you would like to know about this course, please message us here.

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