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Early Years Workforce - Level 3


The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (EYE) is to prepare you to become Early Years Educators, enabling you to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years. Upon completion of this qualification, it is intended that you will be able to enter the workforce as an Early Years Educator.

The purpose of the qualification is to:

  • Confirm occupational competence and/or ‘license to practice’
  • Confirm competence in an occupational role to the standard required.

Qualification structure In order to aid holistic delivery and assessment, we have structured the units around the following three themes. All of the following units are mandatory:

Theme 1: Health and well-being

  • Unit 1.1 Support healthy lifestyles for children through the provision of food and nutrition
  • Unit 1.2 Support healthy lifestyles for children through exercise
  • Unit 1.3 Support physical care routines for children
  • Unit 1.4 WB Promote children’s emotional well-being
  • Unit 1.5 Understand how to support children who are unwell

Theme 2: Legislation

  • Unit 2.2 Understand legislation relating to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children
  • Unit 2.3 Use legislation relating to the health and safety of children
  • Unit 2.4 Follow legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice
  • Unit 2.5 Working in partnership
  • Unit 4.1 Engage in professional development

Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness

  • Unit 3.1 Understand the value of play in Early Years
  • Unit 3.2 Plan, lead and review play opportunities which support children’s learning and development
  • Unit 3.4 Promote enabling play environments
  • Unit 3.5 Developing children’s emergent literacy skills
  • Unit 3.6 Developing children’s emergent mathematical skills
  • Unit 3.7 Support children’s transition to school
  • Unit 3.9 Develop children’s cognitive skills
  • Unit 3.10 Promote children’s speech, language, and communication
  • Unit 3.11 Promoting children’s physical development
  • Unit 3.12 Promoting children’s personal, social and emotional development
  • Unit 3.13 Support children with additional needs
  • Unit 3.14 Use observation, assessment, and planning to promote the development of children
  • Unit 3.15 Use longitudinal studies to observe, assess and plan for children’s needs. (This will be a mandatory task set by the Awarding Body. It will be internally assessed.)

*Funding: From April 2021, any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full level 3 qualification, which is equivalent to an advanced technical certificate or diploma, or 2 full A levels, will be fully-funded on this course.

If you are aged 19 to 23-year-olds you will continue to be eligible for your first full level 3 via the adult education budget.

Early Years Educator: GSCE English and Maths requirement The requirement for Level 3 Early Years Educators (EYE) to hold GCSE English and maths A*-C/9-4, has been broadened to Level 2 qualifications, including Functional Skills. This will enable staff with an EYE qualification and Level 2 English and mathematics qualifications to count in the Level 3 staff: child ratios in childcare settings. This includes those who already hold an EYE qualification, began studying an EYE from September 2014 or will achieve an EYE in the future.

Please refer to the Early Years Workforce Strategy (March 2017) for further details. International qualifications can be checked through NARIC

Placement hours As part of your course, you will complete 350 recommended placement hours. During placement, you will need support from a professional within the Real Work Environment. To aid Assessors with discretionary decisions concerning individual experience in real work environments across the age range from 0-5 years: direct observations must be used to assess competence with the age range you are working with but can be complemented with expert witness testimonies, reflective accounts including prior knowledge and professional discussions to assess knowledge, skills, and competence outside of this age range.

The preference for best practice will source evidence for the assessment criteria from direct observation and first-hand experience, however, we appreciate that this may not always be possible due to accessibility and work-related employment, in such cases evidence to meet assessment criteria can be submitted through alternative methods including:

  • Reflective accounts
  • Professional discussions
  • Summaries from interviews with practitioners.

There are no specific entry requirements but you must be able to complete assessments for the level of course that you are enrolling on.


All units will be internally assessed using a range of methods. This could include direct observation within the workplace. Some learning outcomes within this qualification will require assessment in a Real Work Environment.


On completion of the Diploma you can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary, or private sectors such as:

  • Practitioner in day nurseries
  • Practitioner in Nursery schools
  • Practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
  • Pre-school worker.

You will be taught using a variety of methods, such as having discussions, watching/preparing presentations, role play, note-taking, and teamwork.


If you will be aged 19 to 23 on 31 August in the year you begin your course and have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for the past 3 years, you may be eligible for fee remission to cover your course fees, depending on your circumstances. For more information on fee remission, please click here.

If you are not eligible for fee remission, or are aged 24 or older, you may be able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover your course fees. For more information on Advanced Learner Loans, please click here.

Course Fee: £3026.5

You may be eligible for financial help to support with books, travel, course materials and childcare costs – please click here for more information.

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