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

What does the qualification cover?

The CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with 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.

In response to the Department for Education and National College for Teaching and Leadership Policy, Improving the quality and range of education and childcare from birth to 5 years, we have built a qualification to meet the Criteria required for those wishing to become Early Years Educators.

As the leading Awarding Organisation in the care sector we have surpassed the minimum requirements set out in the Full and Relevant Criteria to develop a qualification which reflects the priorities of practitioners and employers to meet the needs of young children.

When is this qualification available?

This qualification will be open for registrations from 1st September 2014.

Who is it suitable for?

This qualification is suitable for a range of learners, either working or wishing to work in early years education and care.  

What are CACHE's entry requirements?

You should be at least 16 years old. CACHE does not set any other entry requirements but colleges or training providers may have their own guidelines.

What are the National College for Teaching and Leadership's entry requirements?
Skills Funding Agency-funded learners

Learners aged 19-23 who are publicly funded by the Skills Funding Agency will be required to have achieved GCSE English and maths grade A* - C before commencing their Early Years Educator qualification.

Learners funded via a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan are regarded as publicly funded, and are therefore subject to the same funding rules as learners funded via the Skills Funding Agency. As such, learners funded via a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan will be required to have achieved GCSE English and maths grade A* - C before commencing their Early Years Educator qualification. Learners funded via a 24+ Loan and who hold qualifications superseded by GCSEs, specifically O-Levels and Grade 1 CSE, will be exempt from the GCSE entry requirement.

Education Funding Agency-funded learners 

Learners aged 16-19 (and learners aged 19-24 with learning difficulties and/or disabilities) funded by the Education Funding Agency will not require GCSE English and maths grade A* - C prior to commencing their Early Years Educator qualification. However, the Department for Education expect learners without English and/or maths GCSE at grade C to be offered and encouraged to take up GCSEs as part of their Study Programme. From 2016/17 learners will need to have completed or be studying GCSE English and maths to have their study programme funded.

Self-funded learners

Learners who self-fund their learning will not be required to have achieved GCSE English and maths grade A* - C before commencing their Early Years Educator qualification.

How is this qualification structured?

We have structured the units around four 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
  • 486 guided learning hours (GLH) 

How is it assessed?

To gain this qualification the learner will need to:

  • Pass all units
  • Complete longitudinal study
  • Show competence in a real work environment

Do you need to have access to practical placement?

Placements are required for achievement of this qualification. A minimum of 350 placement hours is required. During placement, learners will need support from a professional within the real work environment who will be required to complete professional development records.

How long does it take to complete?

This qualification will take approximately 2 years to complete.

What related qualifications can you progress to?

Learners can progress to the CACHE Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Health and Social Care and Children and Young People's Services (England) (QCF), or other higher level early years qualifications.

Which type of job roles can you apply for on completion?

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

Learners can progress into various job roles in the statutory, voluntary or private sectors such as:

  •   Assistant in Children's Centres
  •   Practitioner in nursery schools
  •   Practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
  •   Pre-school worker