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  4. Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner

Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner

Who is it for?

To achieve this qualification you will be looking to learn, develop and practise the skills required for employment in the Early Years sector. You must be working in a relevant setting to be able to demonstrate your competence in working with babies, toddlers and young children as well as your knowledge of all stages of child development, from conception to 7 years.

What topics does the qualification cover?

  • Developing effective study skills: planning and reviewing professional development, exploring and applying study skills.
  • Principles of safeguarding policies and procedures: knowledge and application of safeguarding including legislation, Statutory guidelines, policies and procedures.
  • Theories which underpin practice: involves researching theories and principles of children’s personal, social, emotional, intellectual, behavioural, cognitive and biological development, how these theories have influenced current practice.  Historical and emerging theories of cognition, attachment, play and early years pedagogy.
  • Child development from conception to 7 years: the sequence and rate of development for children and factors which may influence development, research into the different ways children develop to gain an understanding of the areas of development including neurological and brain development stages, physical, communication, intellectual/cognitive, personal, social, emotional and behavioural.
  • Observation and assessment in the early years sector: using observation and assessment to record, monitor and support children’s holistic development and practice. Linking observation and assessment to promoting learning and development appropriate to age, stage of development and individual circumstances.
  • Promote partnership working with parents: the importance of working with parents, how parents are integral to children’s early learning and development, how working with parents may be affected by barriers and how such barriers may be removed or reduced.
  • Model, promote and support positive behaviour with children: behaviour management – theory and application, acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
  • Promoting diversity, equality and inclusion.
  • Promoting children’s health and welfare: health and welfare requirements according to statutory guidance, factors affecting health (illness), providing nutrition and hydration to meet growth and development needs, providing personal care.
  • Promote children’s speech, language and communication development: understand speech, language and communication delays, ways of promoting development including planning the environment.
  • Working in partnership with colleagues and other professionals: ensuring a child centred approach is used to support holistic development and well-being, potential barriers to partnership working and strategies to remove or reduce such barriers.
  • Continuous professional development using reflective practice: understand the importance of continuing professional development, opportunities to support and expand p4rofessioanl development, planning and reviewing professional development.
  • Support organisation requirements for recording, storing and disclosing information and providing reports: knowledge and skills for administrative requirements, legislation governing the secure storage of information, how and when information is to be shared.
  • Plan and implement activities, play opportunities and educational programmes: the role of the practitioner in providing experiences and programmes which support holistic development, planning and implementing activities within current curriculum requirements.
  • Supporting children’s creative and imaginative pay and experiences: exploring the range of activities, play, creative development and educational programmes that stimulate and engage children.
  • Supporting children experiencing transitions and significant events: transitions which have an impact on learning and behaviour, consideration of changes that children may experience and how to support them, the different transitions experienced by children and strategies to help them through these times.
  • Promoting the health and safety of children: managing risks and dilemmas relating to health, safety and security, responses to accidents, incidents, emergencies and illness, infection control.

Programme structure

You will provide evidence of your work practice, including completing assignments, case studies, written accounts and providing work products. Evidence is uploaded to an e-portfolio which is available 24/7 on computers, tablets and mobile devices.

An Open University assessor will observe work-based practice on at least six occasions, assess evidence uploaded to the e-portfolio and provide developmental feedback.

You will have access through VQLearner Home to online resources specific to your qualification and links to suggested further study with the Open University.

Support will be provided throughout the qualification by the VQAC Learner Support Team.

Course Summary


18 months

Credit Value

64 credits

Total Qualification Time

640 hours



Further Information

Download brochure


To register

Registration page

Registration agreement

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