Early Years | NCFE Certificate in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) | Level 3

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Course Code: FE0135-1C Course Type: 16+ college (full-time) Campus: Central Brighton Campus Qualification: NCFE Award, Certificate and Diploma in Childcare and Education Level 3 Awarding Body: NCFE

Why this course?

Our early years department has an excellent track record of student progression to employment or University. You will learn about caring for children from birth to seven years of age, linking classroom theory with hands-on experience through regular work placements. This experience will provide you with the skills and confidence required for this challenging and rewarding industry. On completion of the second year of Level 3, you will have Early Years Educator status, allowing you to go into employment as an early years worker or apply for university to study teaching or childhood studies. 

  • Fantastic links with local hospitals, pre-schools and schools
  • Work placements provide practical experience
  • Inspirational guest speakers
  • High progression rate to employment

Start dates

August 2023 Apply
  • student Views Rachel Martin Early Years
    The teachers and their assistants helped me through any struggles I had and were absolutely amazing. After I finished college I was offered a job at my placement in a private daycare setting where I am now a key worker.
  • student Views Georgina Booker Early Years
    The tutors were very supportive and helpful throughout the course, and they helped me to gain the qualification that has shaped the beginning of my career. I have had a great introduction to my career, spending several years working in childcare for a travel company.
  • student Views Tyla Dawson Early Years
    Since leaving college I have moved onto university to study a degree in Special Needs and Disabilities. I never thought someone like me (who struggles academically would be able to get into university, but I did. Karen and Sam motivated me and pushed me to do my best.
  • student Views Chloe Pullinger Early Years
    Sam is the most amazing teacher! Always make us feel safe and comfortable at college whilst pushing us to do our best. Couldn’t ask for a better teacher. The course can sometimes be hard but Sam and Karen have the ability to help us understand our work and they provide loads of different resources.
  • student Views Isabell Coates Early Years
    With the support of the teachers and support staff around me I have grown in confidence, achieved higher grades and become more independent.
  • student Views Kerrie Rose Early Years
    Whenever I need help, all my teachers are more than willing to oblige. All my lessons have been easy to understand because they’ve been broken down into small parts and I find it easier to learn that way.
  • student Views Holly Parker-Reed Early Years
    This course has been the best two years of my life. The people on the course are amazing and I have met one of my best friends along the way. The teachers are incredible.
  • Views Sam Morris Early Years Tutor

    I see my students grow and develop into adults who are competent in working with children. The best thing about it is that students get to choose whether to use their qualification to gain direct employment or go onto university

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Entry requirements

At least four GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English and maths. 

Plus two references; one academic, one working with children; and an enhanced DBS. 

If you do not have these grades, we have options for you. You can start on the Level 1, or Level 2 Diploma.

Entry requirements

Course content

Topics include: 

  • Child development and supporting physical care
  • Supporting children’s play
  • Safe environments
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Legislation
  • Two days per week in work placement

About this course

  • You will benefit from high-quality work placement opportunities in a range of settings, experiencing multiple aspects of early years.  
  • This course offers high levels of progression to employment and apprenticeships. 
  • Hear from inspirational guest speakers and experience industry related trips and visits.  
  • Our industry-experienced teaching staff are passionate about their areas of expertise and are committed to helping you to attain your learning goals and meet your personal aims.


  • Access to quality teaching resources, rooms and studios 
  • Online access to course documents, resources and study support through the MET’s virtual learning environment
  • Library and computing facilities
  • Access to the MET’s student services, including career advice and additional learning support
  • Cafés and coffee bars with a wide range of reasonably priced meals, snacks and drinks
  • A travel agency and a hair and beauty salon, which are both, open to the public and offer exceptional value


What's next?

After completing Year 1 of this Certificate in Childcare and Education (EYE) most students progress to Year 2, studying the Diploma in Childcare and Education (EYE). Upon completion of Year 2 most students go out to employment in a nursery, primary school or as a nanny or go on to university studying teaching or childhood studies.

You will need to complete 2 years to gain the Diploma and progress straight to work. Alternatively you can complete the Certificate (year 1) alone to gain UCAS points towards a place at University, this would be calculated alongside other subjects you already have.

Future careers

  • Nursery worker  
  • Nanny
  • Nursery nurse
  • Teaching assistant
  • Primary school teacher
  • Social worker
  • Children's holiday rep 

Course Costs

Course fees

This course is free (you do not have to pay fees) if:

  • You are a UK citizen, hold EU Settlement Status or have a visa which could qualify you for home status.
  • AND you are under 19 on 31 August in the year you are studying. 

More information about fees for college courses and financial support for 16-19 year olds can be found here. Please speak to our Admissions team if you have any further queries: admissions@gbmc.ac.uk | 01273 667704

Course is free if you meet the following criteria

If you will be aged 19-23 when your course begins and you have not already achieved a full Level 3 or higher, you may not have to pay any fees. For more information, please speak to our Admissions team: admissions@gbmc.ac.uk | 01273 667704

Lifetime Skills Guarantee

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee is part of the government's National Skills Fund, designed to help adults to gain the skills they need for employment and to improve their job prospects.

This courses may be free for you if:

  • You are 19+
  • This is your first full Level 3 qualification
  • You are unemployed (or earn less than £345 per month) and are in receipt of benefits 
  • You are employed and have an annual gross income less than £18,525

For more information, please visit the government website or speak to our Admissions team: admissions@gbmc.ac.uk | 01273 667704

Advanced Learner Loan

You may be eligible to apply for a loan to meet the course costs of your qualification fees. This is paid directly to the College on your behalf. For more information about Advanced Learner Loans, please click here.

Additional Fees

You will have to purchase a t-shirt for your placement uniform costing £10 and it is advised you purchase a textbook costing £25. 

Children playing in a nursery with a smiling teacher



Open events

Register your interest for our next open events taking place in 2023. It's an opportunity to explore our amazing facilities and hear from our expert teaching staff.


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Course costs

All 16+ (full-time) courses are free to UK citizens, those who hold EU Settlement Status or have a visa which could qualify them for home status, AND are under 19 years old on the 31 August of the year of entry. If you are 19+ and interested in studying this course, you can find out more about costs and financial support in the link below.

19+ fees

How to apply

We accept applications throughout the year, allowing you to apply up until the course starts.

You can also apply for as many colleges and courses as you wish - so keep your options open!

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