We are still accepting applications for September 2020 starts.

Our campuses remain closed for the foreseeable future 

Easter Closure and return to study

The College will be closed from Saturday 4th April to Tuesday 14th April (inclusive), there will be no work set for classroom based courses over this normal 2 week holiday period, however we will be returning to remote working on Wednesday 15th April for staff to continue to prepare online learning and resources.

UCC students and Apprentices will return to their online remote learning on Monday 20th April.

Further Education students will return to online remote learning on Wednesday 22nd April. This delay is to allow teaching staff to prepare materials for the next few weeks of online learning on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st April.

Children’s Play, Learning and Development Level 3

This programme is designed to help you build the knowledge and childcare skills needed when working with children and young people from birth to eight years. It is a level 3 qualification studied over a two-year programme.

Who is the course for?

The course is aimed at those who wish to work, or are working at an unsupervised level in the children and young people’s workforce in England. The programme will prepare you to work in a wide range of settings, with different professionals and volunteers who provide services for children and their families. The course is for those wishing to work in a specialised field of employment in the 0-8 years age range or continue to higher education.

What Will I Learn?

Practical work-based training forms a large part of this programme. You are required to undertake a minimum of 750 placement hours in a minimum of three different settings, covering the age groups 0-2, 2-5 and 5-8. You will also complete a Practical Evidence Portfolio. You will also engage in activities to develop your English, maths and employability skills.

Course Content

Practical work based training forms a large part of this programme. Theoretical work includes the following modules of study, and several optional modules that are not listed:

Children’s Play, Learning and Development Level 3 units may include:

  • Special Educational Needs
  • Promoting Children’s Development
  • Literacy and Numeracy in Schools
  • Supporting Children’s Speech and Language and Communication
  • Working with Babies and Young Children

You are required to undertake a minimum of 750 placement hours in a minimum of three different settings, covering the age groups 0-2, 2-5 and 5-8. You will also complete a Practical Evidence Portfolio.

Some units will be internally assessed, using a range of methods; others will be assessed externally and by exam.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs (grades A*-C/9-4), usually including English Language and maths, or satisfactory results in a relevant Level 2 qualification (Merit/Distinction), and an interview. A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)* check is also required.

*Please note there is a charge of £44 for a DBS check.

Career Opportunities

This qualification enjoys an excellent reputation for its suitability across the whole spectrum of childcare employment including teaching, children’s centres, day nurseries, schools and social work, special needs and play therapists.

Course Progression

On successful completion of this course you may progress to study for a degree in areas such as social work, primary school teaching or early years.

Trip to Goa, India
Children's Play, Learning and Development Level 3
LevelLevel 3
DurationTwo Years: Year 1: Foundation Diploma | Year 2: Extended Diploma
CampusColchester Institute
Braintree Campus
Start DateSeptember 2020
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: £7,395 (This fee covers the full two-year course)


All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2019-20 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.