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Advanced Diploma in Early Years EducatorApply Now »

Course Image
Level: 3

Location: Ilkeston

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This CACHE Diploma is recognised throughout the UK as a high level qualification for individuals wanting to work within the Early Years sector. It is also widely accepted for entry to universities. As part of your studies, you will spend time in a practical work placement. 

Entry requirements

You must have attained five A-C grades at GCSE, including English and Maths (Grade 4 or above).
You must be willing to provide evidence for an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check which will have to be self-funded.
You also need two references and to complete an Early Years taster day successfully.

Course Content

You will study at College for three days a week and will spend the other two days on placement within an Early Years setting. At College, you will cover units centred on four key themes:
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Play, development and learning for school readiness
  • Professional development
During your placement, you will be required to carry out tasks which include child observations, activity plans and reflective diaries.

How will I be assessed?

Each unit is assessed separately through a variety of methods including portfolios, assignments, presentations, displays and an external assessment research module.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You need flat shoes and smart trousers and you should purchase a placement top from College.

You should also have an A4 ring folder, pens and paper. In addition, you will need to pay for your DBS check.

What can I do after this course?

Further study
The course provides a route to higher education programmes in subjects such as Primary School Teaching and Children’s Nursing. It also provides a direct route to the Foundation Degree in Children’s and Young People’s Services which is delivered at Derby College in partnership with the University of Derby. The Foundation Degree gives you the opportunity to specialise in a Teaching Assistant or Early Years pathway. You could also consider the Foundation Degree in SEND.
After gaining this Diploma, you will be qualified to work with children in Childcare and Early Years settings in roles such as:
  • Early Years/Foundation Stage Practitioner
  • Special Educational Needs Support Worker
  • Nanny/Home-based Child Carer
  • Children’s Centre Practitioner


This course is run at the Ilkeston Campus

About Ilkeston »

Harli-Marie Richards

Harli-Marie Richards

Exploring the rewards of a childcare career

Taking children to see piglets and new-born lambs is all part of a day’s work for nursery practitioner Harli-Marie Richards. Having completed her childcare apprenticeship, Harli-Marie was taken on permanently by Derby College’s Little Explorers nursery at Broomfield Hall campus.

Before embarking on her apprenticeship, Harli-Marie took A-levels but had no interest in university. She spotted the nursery opportunity and hasn’t looked back since. She worked towards an advanced NVQ qualification while undertaking on-the-job training.

It’s a great job and I love the fact that the children are free to enjoy the outdoor space. Little Explorers is special and I can’t imagine any other nursery quite like ours. I definitely see my longterm career in nursery care – and I applied straight away when a permanent role became available at Little Explorers.
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