Children’s Play, Learning and Development

BTEC Level 3 Diploma

Children’s Play, Learning and Development

Why should I study this course?

If you can visualise yourself working with children and families, this engaging course will prepare you for a future working within a range of childcare contexts.

You will gain knowledge and understanding of childcare and education so that you develop the qualities required to work in the Early Years sector. This will include learning about child development, play, physical care needs and health and safety. You will also need to complete 750 hours of vocational training in a range of early years settings. This could take place within various organisations, private day nurseries, children’s centres and schools.

This short presentation from CPLD teacher Christine Philipson, explains more about our courses, the grades you need, the opportunities the course provides for further study or careers, the trips and visits we offer, and one student's journey from studying CPLD at Wilberforce to becoming a Primary School teacher.


What will I study?

Unit 1: Children’s Development. Examination 1hr 45mins.

Unit 2: Development of Children’s Communication, Literacy and Numeracy Skills. Exam 3 hrs

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

Examination board


How is the course assessed?

Combination of examination and coursework. There will be a 3 hour controlled assessment in Unit 2. You will also complete a Practice Evidence Portfolio (PEP) containing 100 practical competency skills achieved during vocational training.

What will the course prepare me for?

You can go on to study a related degree at university or start work in the Early Years sector.

Private study

You will be required to complete 4-5 hours independent study working on homework or assignment tasks each week to enable you to be successful. This may be on assignments or placement-related work.

What materials will I need to provide?

Apart from the usual materials needed to be a successful student you may wish to obtain the text book designed specifically for your course - please ensure the book is the 2016 specification:

BTEC National Children's Play, Learning and Development - Student Book

Publisher: Pearson

Author: Penny Tassoni,Brenda Baker,Louise Burnham,Karen Hucker (ISBN: 9781292133621)

For placement you will need to wear suitable professional clothing and our college polo shirt.  This will be explained when you start the course.

How will I be taught?

Staff use a variety of methods such as presentations, group tasks, case studies and practical sessions to support your learning. You will also acquire a range of professional skills within a variety of Early Years settings.

This course is for you if...

You are wanting a career in early years as a Level 3 practitioner, or planning to increase your knowledge of early years at university.

Your application starts here

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What are the course requirements?

Four 9 – 4 (A*-C) grades at GCSE or equivalent in 3 or more subjects including a minimum of a grade 4 (C) in English Language OR Mathematics.  A DBS check will be required.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements. All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication; however, the College may need to make some changes in light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College's control.

What skills do I need?

  • A passion for working with children
  • Effective communication skills
  • A willingness to work as part of a team
  • Excellent attendance and punctuality
  • Patience and a caring nature
  • Ability to meet deadlines