Childcare and Early Years Courses

If you’re responsible and like working with children…

Our Childcare and Early Years tutors deliver courses with a wealth of experience in the sector. Their professional expertise is valued by our students.

There are excellent facilities including well-equipped classrooms with interactive technology and resources for an early years setting. Recent campus developments feature several upgraded classrooms which are designed to mirror industry-standard facilities in the early years education sectors. These include a replica nursery with a soft-play area, a kitchenette and a sensory room.

Career options include:

  • Au Pair
  • Early Years Teacher
  • Nursery Manager
  • Play Therapist
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Youth Worker

Further Education qualifications are available for students to learn the knowledge and skills needed when working with children and young people from birth to 19 years. Work experience is a significant element of childcare and health and social care study programmes.

As well as further education courses, students can choose to undertake an Apprenticeship allowing them to earn while they learn. They will also gain first-hand experience in a childcare or nursery working environment.

The practical element of my course has been most useful for me. We were able to do a six month placement which supplemented my theoretical learning and helped develop employability skills, I’m now going on to a Level 3 Apprenticeship with Pebbles Nursery in Clacton<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Louise – Early Years, progressed from Clacton Coastal Academy</strong></span>

For students wishing to progress further, the School of Health and Social Sciences at University Centre Colchester (UCC) offers undergraduate Early Years Education programmes that cover a wide range of subjects and offer a holistic approach to child development. Students develop their knowledge and understanding through practice based studies and can choose option modules in areas of particular interest. The Higher Education Centre at UCC provides a great range of specialist facilities for students. This includes well-equipped teaching spaces and private study areas.

Full-time Courses and Apprenticeships

Caring for Children Under Five Level 1
Early Years Educator Level 3 - T Level
Early Years Practitioner Level 2

Early Years EducatorLevel 3 Apprenticeship
Early Years PractitionerLevel 2 Apprenticeship
Teaching AssistantLevel 3 Apprenticeship

What our students say - Children's Play, Learning and DevelopmentKelsey Marshall
What our students say - Children's Play, Learning and DevelopmentGeorgia Pearce
What our students say - Children's Play, Learning and DevelopmentMary Carvalho
What our students say - Children's Play, Learning and DevelopmentGeorgia Carrington

Early Years Centre

A new centre for our first T-Level!

From September 2023 we will be starting our first T-Level at Colchester Institute and it will be in Early Years. To ensure we provide the best possible experiences for students, Colchester Institute has heavily invested in the new Early Years Centre, not only, in providing state-of-the-art facilities but ensuring that all staff from senior leadership down are fully dedicated to providing students with everything required to succeed. Our Principal and Chief Executive Alison Andreas and Chair of the Colchester Institute Corporation Board Kevin Prince officially opened the new Early Years Centre at the start of December. The Centre was supported by T Level Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant received from the Department for Education.

Principal and Chief Executive Alison Andreas and Chair of the Colchester Institute Corporation Board Kevin Prince officially open the new Early Years Centre
The New Early Years Centre at Colchester Institute

T Levels are Level 3 qualifications that follow on from GCSEs. They are the equivalent to three A Levels and are new qualifications that will combine classroom theory, practical learning, and an industry placement working with an employer for 45 days.

The two-year T Level courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.

They will provide excellent destinations for students, including full-time skilled employment, higher-level apprenticeships and Higher Education degrees.

Part-time Courses

Early Years Educator (CACHE Diploma) Level 3 (PT)
Introduction to Early Years Education and Care (CACHE Certificate) Level 2