Level 3 Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development

This programme prepares you for work in an early years setting.

Academic Year: 2023/24
Course Code: 10426
Campus: Downpatrick, Lisburn, Newtownards
Study Type: Part-Time
Education Level Further Education
Department: Early Years

Alternative Years

You are viewing the 2023/24 version of this course, it is also available in the following years:

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Course Overview
This qualification is designed to build the knowledge and skills needed when working with children 0-12, however, work placement will involve working with children no older than 6. All students must have attained a placement with the 0-6 age group before joining this programme.  This is a 1 year course.

To achieve this qualification learners need to complete all mandatory units, plus optional units to ensure credits for Diploma fulfilled.

Part time Option: (One year course)

The course covers units that will enable students to work unsupervised with children up to the age of 6 in various settings. Students must be working in this field for a minimum of 20 hours a week. This must be a registered setting e.g. nursery, daycare or other early years settings. Child minding is not included.
The course consists of mandatory units which are complimented by optional units.
This qualification is based on the Skills for Care & Development National Occupational Standards (NOS).  The NOS assessment requirements/strategy and qualification structure(s) are owned by Skills for Care & Development and a minimum credit value of 65 credits.  Covers the age range from birth to 6 years old.  Requires the learner to spend a minimum of 600  hours in a real work environment and is suitable for different types of learners, including those in full time formal learning, those in part time formal learning and those in full time employment.


Which type of job roles can you apply for on completion?

 After completing the Diploma you could work as: 
•  Early Years/Foundation Stage Practitioner
•  Special Educational Needs Support Worker
•  Nanny/Home-based Child Carer
•  Children’s Centre Practitioner

Access NI clearance will need to be processed for each student at a cost of £33

 There will be 8 mandatory units and three optional units which will include

  • Communication and partnerships
  • Safegurading
  • Keeping Children safe
  • support children's personal care and nutrition
  • Development of professional skills

Optional units may include :

  • Understand vulnerable children who experience poverty and disadvantage
  • Support children with learning disabilities

You wish to work as a qualified Childcare practitioner in Early Years settings such as Special Educational Needs, Day Nursery, Crèche, Playgroup and as a classroom assistant. Alternatively students may progress onto Higher Education.

About keeping children safe, promoting healthy living, development of professional skills within children’s education. You will also learn about working with children with special needs and babies

The practical experience you'll gain working with children during work placements.

  • Successful completion of the Level 3 Diploma can lead to employment. The Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development will allow for progression to Higher Education or the work setting. There is also opportunity to progress into further study within the early years sector.

For this 1 year Diploma course (full time option) you will need to have the following:

  • 4 GCSEs at Grade C or equivalent (Including either GCSE English, Maths or Science at grade C or Essential skills grade 2).
  • or a level 2 Diploma in CCLD, or BTEC First Diploma at merit or above (including either GCSE English or Maths at grade C or Essential skills grade 2).

You are required to complete an Access NI clearance. You will also be required to pass initial interview assessment test. 

Alternative Years

You are viewing the 2023/24 version of this course, it is also available in the following years:

View 2024/25 Course View 2024/25 Course

Enquiries Information

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Alternative Years

You are viewing the 2023/24 version of this course, it is also available in the following years:

View 2024/25 Course View 2024/25 Course

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Terms & Conditions

Students will be required to comply with SERC's Terms & Conditions of study.

We strive to ensure the description of courses on SERC's website and in publications is accurate. However, for various reasons there may be occasions when the College may need to change arrangements or be unable to deliver classes due to circumstances such as reduced funding. If there are insufficient numbers applying for a course it may not be viable to deliver the class.

Further Education

Further Education

If you have just completed your GCSEs, Further Education is most likely the option for you. FE covers qualifications from entry to higher level qualifications such as Awards, Certificates, Diplomas, NVQ, BTEC and Apprenticeships.

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