Hello, and welcome to our website!

Just a heads-up, we're close to rolling out a shiny new website and we've had to make some changes which may affect the way our current course information is displayed. If you have any questions, please get in touch.


Childrens Play Learning & Development (Early Years Educator)

Courses starting September. Call 01539 814700 for details.

This programme is designed to qualify you to work with children from 0-8 years, e.g; as a teaching assistant in a school, learning support assistant or nursery practitioner.

You complete the 90-credit Diploma in the first year and the Extended Diploma in the second year. The two-year course is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and is worth up to 168 UCAS points (Triple Distinction*)  or 144 UCAS points (Triple Distinction). UCAS have recently changed the UCAS Tariff from September 2017 so they could include more qualifications. The new Tariff points are lower than the original Tariff points but the value remains the same, as universities will just use lower Tariff numbers in their entry requirements than in previous years.

This qualification is particularly recommended if you want to go to university to study a degree.

The course provides an excellent and well-established route to progress to professional training such as primary teaching, paediatric nursing and early years studies. You can use this qualification to progress to a wide range of degree programmes, for example, psychology, sociology, social work, criminology or educational studies.

The programme includes professional practice over two years to include the full age range of children’s settings. You will spend two days in placement and three days in college each week. This programme is particularly useful if you want to work as a teaching assistant or to study for a teaching degree.

The course consists of a total of 13 mandatory units, many of which focus on curriculum related subjects:

Mandatory units include:

- Promoting literacy in children aged 4-8 years
- Child development
- Health and Safety practice
- Observation, assessment and planning for play and development
- Research skills
- Supporting children’s communication and language

The programme also requires you to complete compulsory professional practice totalling 750 hours over 2 years. You will spend 2 days in placement and 3 days in college each week.

There will be a minimum of 3 placements across the 2 year programme, including:
- 11 months with 0-1 year olds
- 11 months with 2-4 year olds
- 11 months with 5-7 year olds

Mainly coursework which involves essays, reports and presentations.

The child development unit also has an externally assessed exam.

This course will be part of a wider study programme, which may also include english & maths, work placement and additional studies.

How will I be assessed?


Next: Career Opportunities?

Career Opportunities

You can use this qualification to progress to a wide range of degree programmes, for example, psychology, sociology, social work, paediatric nursing, criminology or educational studies.

This qualification also qualifies you to work as a practitioner in schools, nurseries and other educational establishments.

Our students have progressed onto the following job roles:

- Child care practitioner
- Nursery manager
- Teaching assistant
- Child minder
- Children’s rep
- Au pair/nanny

Next: Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You should have a minimum of five GCSEs at A*-C to include English and Maths, or Level 2 Diploma in Childrens Care Learning and Development (Merit or Distinction) plus again A*-C in English and Maths and a satisfactory tutor reference. 

As part of the entry criteria for this course you will need to have a check completed by the Disclosure and Barring service.  This does not mean that if you have any previous convictions or warnings that you will not be able to join this programme, but an assessment will be completed as to your suitability to progress on to the programme.  Please discuss with us in confidence if you have concerns about the content of your check.

In addition you will be given an interview with a member of the Childhood Studies team to assess your suitability and potential for successful completion of the course. 

You will also need to demonstrate good communication skills and a commitment to working with children.

Next: Fees

Adult fees


Please note: If you are an adult student you may be entitled to financial support to cover the cost of your course, dependent on your circumstances. Please contact Student Services on enquiries@kendal.ac.uk for details. More about Student Finance.

Next: Apply

Apply for Childrens Play Learning & Development (Early Years Educator)

Click here to apply


Want to know more? Check out our FAQ, otherwise contact us