Need Help Applying for a course?
Funding Support for Students
This qualification is designed to provide learners with underpinning knowledge and skills needed when working with children. It covers a diverse range of job roles and occupational areas in children’s settings, including early years. The qualification then builds on this knowledge and provides extended knowledge and skills to further learners understanding and provide a stepping stone into higher education. Learners will study the age range 0-12 for knowledge criteria but must have the opportunity to work with children aged 0-5 years 11 months for the competence criteria. A project-based learning approach is taken to the delivery of this qualification, giving learners the chance to engage in exciting practical activities and assessments.
To achieve this qualification learners are required to successfully complete 136 overall credits: 56 credits from the 8 Diploma mandatory units, 14 credits from the Diploma optional units, of which there are 13, 66 credits from the 7 Extended Diploma graded mandatory units, 1 (one) external assessment.
Learners must also have access to between 600–700 hours in a work setting that will facilitate development of their skills and knowledge at Level 3.
Learners must complete a total of 15 mandatory modules which include: Context and principles for the Early Years sector, Communication and partnership working, Safeguarding children, Keeping children safe, health and well, Supporting children’s personal care and nutrition, Supporting children’s development, Supporting children’s play opportunities and experience of play, Contribute to the support of children with disabilities and / or special needs, Developing study skills for professional practice and Partnership working in early years.
Learners much achieve a total of 14 credits by completing a number of optional modules in areas such as : Support children with physical disabilities, Support children or young people in their own home, Support children with autistic spectrum conditions and Understand the needs of children and young people who are vulnerable and experiencing poverty and disadvantage.
Learners should be 16 or over and are required to have a minimum of 12 points. This should preferably include GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or above/equivalent. Learners must complete an Access NI check and be successful at interview. Entry criteria may be enhanced depending on demand.
This qualification is internally assessed and externally quality assured.
The assessment consists of 2 components: an internally assessed portfolio of evidence which is assessed by college staff and externally quality assured by NCFE, external set and assessed extended assessment.
Learners must be successful in both components to gain the Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children’s Care Learning and Development (Northern Ireland).
Learners are required to secure placements in Early Years settings which will enable them to work with children in the 0-5 years and 11 months age group and will be required to complete a minimum of 600 hours work placement. Competence on work placement is also assessed.
Upon achievement of this qualification learners may be able to access Higher Education and/or progress into a wide range of job roles within children’s care, learning and development in Northern Ireland such as Classroom Assistant, Pre-School Leader or Sure Start Room Leader.
A clear Access NI Enhanced Disclosure is required and costs £35.
Mode of Study
Hours per Week
Number of Weeks
Subject to Timetable
Total Annual Fee N/A
Total Concessionary Fee N/A
Fees Payable Each Year
**Am I eligible for concessionary fees?
Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies, validated by Queen’s University Belfast, quality assured by Stranmillis University College (Part-Time)
Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies, validated by Queen’s University Belfast, quality assured by Stranmillis University College
NCFE CACHE Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for Childrens Care Learning and Development (Management) (NI)