Children’s Play, Learning and Development

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Type: Applied General Qualification

Course code: 601/2459/3

GLH: 1080

Structure of Course

The qualification is a two-year full-time qualification, with an integrated weekly professional work placement.  It is designed for post-16 learner’s interest in progressing into a career working within the early years and child care sector.  It is equivalent in size to three A’ Levels and students will also be award ‘Early Years Educator Status’ for their profession work placement.  This qualification enables students to gain entry to University and the ‘Early Years Educator Status’ qualifies learners to seek employment in a range of child care, education and early years settings.

Students will study 15 units in total, 3 of which are externally assessed through a formal examination or controlled assessment, all other units are assessed through assignment based coursework.  Students are required to undertake 750 hours of professional work experience placement hours across 3 different age ranges within the early year’s sector.  The course is structured so students will spend 4 days a week in college studying theory and 1 day a week, plus several block weeks, in a child care setting building their knowledge and experience of professional practice.

Externally assessed units assesses via either formal examination or controlled assessment

  • Unit 1: Children’s Development – written examination
  • Unit 2: Development of Children’s Communication, Literacy and Numeracy Skills – controlled assessment
  • Unit 4: Enquiries into Current Research in Early Years Practice – controlled assessment

Internally assessed units assessed via assignment based coursework

  • Unit 3: Play and Learning
  • Unit 5: Keeping Children Safe
  • Unit 6: Children’s Physical Development, Care and Health Needs
  • Unit 7: Children’s Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Unit 8: Working with Parents and Others in Early Years
  • Unit 9: Observation, Assessment and Planning
  • Unit 10: Reflective Practice
  • Unit 11: The Early Years Foundation Stage
  • Unit 12: Children’s Development Outdoors
  • Unit 13: Healthy Eating in the Early Years
  • Unit 16: Working with Children who have Additional Needs
  • Unit 20: Career Development in the Early Years Sector


Equivalent in size to three A Levels.  15 units, 11 are mandatory, 5 are optional.  Students will also produce a Professional Evidence Portfolio (PEP File) linked to their professional work placement that will assess their skills and competencies as an early years sector professional.


The Academy has been teaching Early Years and Child Care related course for many of our student’s progress onto a wide range of higher education courses to include;

  • BA (Hons) Primary and/or Early years Education
  • BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs
  • BSc (Hons) Working with Children and Families
  • Bsc (Hons) Psychology

Students that opt to go directly into the work place have secured employment in roles to include:

  • Primary School Teaching Assistant and Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant
  • Family Support Workers
  • Nursery Practitioners
  • Hospital Play Specialist