Early Years Educator Level 3 – T Level

The Early Years Educator Level 3 – T Level course is suitable for anyone wanting a career in early years education, childcare or assisting teaching. It is a level 3 qualification studied over a two-year programme.

Course Info
How to make an Application
Other courses in this area
Who is the course for?

Who is it suitable for?

This qualification is suitable for post-16 students looking to develop both knowledge and practical skills in the Education and Childcare sector.

This Technical qualification will support students on a range of progression routes including employment, higher education and higher apprenticeships.

The course includes 750 hours minimum working with an employer in an industry placement and will include enrichment activities such as trips and guest speakers.

About this qualification

The technical qualification (TQ) forms part of the new T Level study programme.

The purpose of the Level 3 technical qualification is to ensure students have the knowledge and the practical abilities needed to progress either into skilled employment, or higher education or via a higher-level apprenticeship. The T Level is a full-time course.


What will I Learn?

All students will develop an understanding of:

  • Understanding the Education and Childcare sector from ages 0 to 19
  • Child Development
  • How to support children and young people’s education
  • Safeguarding, health and safety and wellbeing
  • Understanding and managing behaviour
  • Observing and assessing children and young people
  • Equality and diversity
  • Special educational needs and disability
  • English as an additional language
  • Working with parents, carers and wider families
  • Working with agencies and services that support children, families and carers
  • Reflective practice and other forms of professional development

In addition to the core content, each student will follow the specialism of the Early Years Educator.

Course Structure

How is this qualification structured?

The technical qualification is split into 2 component parts:

Core component: the knowledge and underpinning concepts, theories and principles as well as core skills for the education and childcare sector and the Occupational specialism of the Early Years Educator.

The occupational specialism section provides students with knowledge and skills required to enter employment or further study in the specific occupational area.

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

Experience in the workplace

Industry placements are intended to provide students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for skilled employment in their chosen occupation which are less easily attainable by doing a qualification alone.


How is it assessed?

Core component:

  • Paper A written examination
  • Paper B written examination
  • Employer-Set Project

In order to achieve a grade for the core component, students must have results for both sub-components (the core (written) examination and the employer-set project).

The combined results from these sub-components will be aggregated to form the overall core component grade (A*–E and U).

If students fail to reach the minimum standard across all sub-components, they will receive a U grade. No overall grade will be issued for the core component until both sub-components have been attempted.

Occupational specialism component:

  • Synoptic assignments

The student is also required to successfully achieve a Distinction/Merit/Pass grade in the occupational specialism component. If the student fails to reach the specified level of attainment, they will receive a U grade.

Entry Requirements
  • 5 GCSEs (9-4) including English and Maths, or satisfactory results (Merit/Distinction) in a relevant Level 2 qualification and successful completion of the NCFE Level 3 Award in Higher Level Studies
  • An interview
  • Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS*) check is also required.

*Please note there is a charge of approximately £50 for a DBS check.

Course Progression

What related qualifications can you progress to?

Students who achieve this qualification could progress to employment, higher apprenticeship or higher education:

The T Level study programme is eligible for UCAS points. On successful completion of this course you could progress to study for a degree in areas such as social work, primary school teaching or early years.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

We are still accepting late enrolments across most of our subject areas for both school leavers and adult learners.

What are my options?

Haven’t enrolled on a course yet? Studying somewhere else but not sure the course is for you? Studying with us but looking to swap courses?

Not a problem! Walk-in enrolments and advice about changing courses is available at both our Braintree and Colchester campuses.

I’m looking for an Apprenticeship – what are my options?

There are a number of options available to you at this stage of the application cycle. If you are interested in an Apprenticeship and have a contract offer of employment in place then please choose the option for your age from the below:

15 – 18 years old: Complete Our Late Application Form

19 years or older: Please click the ’19+ Years – How to Apply’ button located on each individual apprenticeship course page, where you will be taken to the application form.

What if I don’t have an employer?

If you do not have a contract offer of employment from an employer in place then there a number of options still available to you:

Apply for a live Apprenticeship Vacancy

We have apprenticeship vacancies available throughout the year in a variety of industries.

View our live vacancies

Join Our Talent Pool

All you have to do is complete and submit our Talent Pool application form, attend a pre-screening assessment/interview and be available when contacted. We will then send your details along with your profile to employers looking for an apprentice, inform you if you are selected and send your guidance to prepare you for interview.

Join our Talent Pool

Access to Apprenticeships - 6 month Functional Skills and Employability programme

Access to Apprenticeships – 6 month Functional Skills and Employability programme

This course is aimed at any prospective student who wishes to progress onto an apprenticeship, but does not meet the relevant entry criteria for a course, or needs to develop the necessary work based learning skills.

Maths and English can often be seen as a barrier to success on an apprenticeship, and this programme will see students working in a supportive environment to achieve Functional Skills to a level 2 standard (GCSE 4 equivalent).

Students must have a requirement to achieve English/maths at Level 2 and will work towards achieving a Functional skill in either/both English and maths. Applicants who have already achieved a 4(C) GCSE grade in both subjects will not be accepted onto the course.

Access to Apprenticeships – Find out more

Early Years Educator Level 3 - T Level
Qualification: T Level Technical Qualification In Education And Childcare (Level 3) (Delivered By Ncfe)
LevelLevel 3
DurationTwo Years
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Braintree Campus
Start DateSeptember 2023 - Applications open on 3rd October 2022
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: TBC


All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2022-23 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

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.