NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)

Worker and child learning together

Download course detailsNCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)

The Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with and care for children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

Upon achievement of this qualification it is intended that learners will be able to enter the workforce as Early Years Educators.

We have surpassed the minimum requirements set out in the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) criteria to develop a gold standard qualification which reflects the priorities of practitioners and employers to meet the needs of young children.


Who is this qualification suitable for?

This qualification is suitable for those either working or volunteering in early years education and care.

How is this qualification structured?

The Diploma is made up of banks of shared units, grouped under the following themes:

  • Theme 1: Health and well-being
  • Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Theme 4: Professional development

Learners must achieve 23 mandatory units, equating to 61 credits, which include observational studies and competence in a real work environment.

How is it assessed?

All units will be internally assessed using a range of methods, including direct observation within the workplace and written evidence.

Do you need to be working to enrol on this qualification?

Learners will need to be working or have a suitable work placement in an early years care and education setting. We recommend learners complete 350 placement hours whilst undertaking this qualification. Learners must be in a position to become fully involved in all activities, particularly the observation of children. This qualification requires assessment in real working situations.

What are the entry requirements?

Learners should be at least 16 years of age and meet the criteria below:

  • To have worked, or volunteered, for six months in a level 2 position, gaining experience with key children, observations, activity planning, assessing and reviewing (at least 3 days a week and a minimum of 10 hours)
  • To work in a setting which would support a visiting tutor assessing your skills in the workplace. You may have to carry out specific tasks set by your tutor.
  • To work with, and be assessed working with, the following 3 children age groups, for a total of 350 flexible hours, a minimum of 25 hours in each age group:-  0 - 1 year, 11 months, 2 - 2 years, 11 month, 3 - 5 years
  • To be in a position to carry out eight hours of study per week to complete the knowledge aspects of the level 3 programme
  • To have the appropriate level of literacy and numeracy
  • To have regular access to a computer which will allow you to access the on-line portfolio system
  • To be able to surf the internet, send and receive emails with attachments, complete written work using a computer (with Microsoft Word) and be generally IT literate.
How long will it take?

Approximately 12 - 15 months. Learners will be enrolled for 15 months.

How much does it cost?

Full cost course fee: £2,882
For learners aged 19+ this course can be funded through an Advanced Learner Loan.
Discounts are available for Early Years Alliance members.

Please contact the Training Centre for information on course fees, funding eligibility and individual advice and guidance.

How will the training be delivered?

The Early Years Alliance offers this diploma through a blended/distance learning programme.

The knowledge aspects of this course will be by distance learning, this mode of study will stretch you as you need to be self-motivated and work against the pressures of studying independently.

You will need to fully participate in on-line tasks with your tutor and produce weekly evidence of course participation.

You will be visited by an assessor in the workplace to complete the skills requirements, where observations and assessment of your practice will be carried out.

Advanced Learner Loans

If you are aged 19 or above, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help pay for your course fees. Most learners aged 19 and over, studying at Level 3 or Level 4, will qualify for these loans from the UK government. It’s easy to apply, your household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check. You won’t have to pay anything back until your income is over £26,575 a year!


Training offer

To register your interest and start the application process, please complete the online form below or contact our Training Centre.

Early Years Alliance Training Centre

01732 363070

1st Floor, Bridge House, 97-101 High Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1DR

Enquiry form: Cache Level 3 Diploma EY Workforce