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Social Care & Early Years

Children’s Care, Learning and Development - Level 3 Apprenticeship

Start Date: 2nd September 2024
Code: PWFM01156


Duration: 2 Years Full-time
Start date: 2nd September 2024
End date: 5th June 2026

Course fee: FREE (Eligibility criteria may apply)

What is an Apprenticeship?

As an apprenticeship you are employed as full-time members of staff and typically work for an employer three to four days a week. One or two days a week is spent at college, studying for nationally-recognised qualifications in the same profession as the apprenticeship.

  • You must find your own employer.
  • Some employers may require GCSEs on entry.
  • It might be possible to do an apprenticeship with a current employer.
  • You work all year round, but your College classes run from September to July.

Employers pay for the day the apprentice is in college, meaning you will receive a full-time wage at least  in accordance with the national minimum wage.

Details and restrictions

  • Apprentices must be aged 16 or above. There is no upper age limit, which means you can start an apprenticeship at any stage of your career.
  • Potential apprentices can be existing or new employees including graduates or about to take up a permanent paid employment offer. An existing employee must be in a new job that requires a substantial amount of learning and skills development.  You must be employed by a company that has a base in Northern Ireland and is registered as an employer with HMRC and be contracted to work a minimum of 21 hours per week with one employer.

Course Content

This Level 3 Apprenticeship qualification is designed to provide learners with underpinning knowledge and skills needed when working with children. It covers a diverse range of job roles and occupational areas working in children’s settings, including early years. The qualification then builds on this knowledge and provides extended knowledge and skills to further their understanding and provide a stepping stone into higher education.

Mandatory Units include:  

  • Context and principles for the early years sector 
  • Communication and partnership working  
  • Safeguarding children  
  • Keeping children safe, healthy and well  
  • Support children’s personal care and nutrition 
  • Supporting children’s development 
  • Supporting children’s play opportunities and experiences of play  
  • Contribute to the support of children with disabilities and/or special needs 

There are a range of optional units to choose from to make up the remaining 14 credits. Examples include: 

  • Enable parents to develop ways of handling relationships and behaviour that contribute to everyday life with children   
  • Support children with physical disabilities 
  • Support families who have a child with a disability   
  • Support children with autistic spectrum conditions 

Assessment Methods

The course is assessed mostly by coursework with one external assessment. The external assessment is an extended piece of writing based upon set themes. 

You must:

  • Be employed with a Northern Ireland-based company and be contracted to work a minimum of 21 hours per week (including day release/off- the-job training).
  • Have satisfactory Access NI Checks.
  • Achieved Level 2 Apprenticeship in Children's Care, Learning and Development (CCLD).
  • Complete a current 12 hour paediatric/childcare first aid qualification.

If you do not hold a Level 2 Apprenticeship in CCLD, you may be able join, subject to assessment by the College and employer, if you have:

  • Already gained significant work experience in this occupational area, which could be considered as meeting the requirements of the Level 2 CCLD framework and also demonstrate the capacity to achieve a level 3 standard or
  • Previously achieved a relevant level 2 recognised vocational qualification that is a mandatory requirement of the current Level 2 Apprenticeship CCLD framework.

All relevant paperwork should be uploaded to the admissions portal prior to being considered for an apprenticeship, this should include your:

  • Employer response form
  • Vision verification form (Electrical Installation only)
  • One form of official photographic ID
  • Official proof of your National Insurance number eg Letter from HMRC

To access the forms and for further details visit our Apprenticeship page 

22 Moneymore Road
BT45 6AE
0333 034 8197



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Essential Skills

All full-time students at Northern Regional College have the opportunity to improve their English, Maths and ICT skills and gain qualifications. The qualification you take will depend on the qualification you already have. If you do not have a grade C or above in GCSE English, Maths or ICT, you MUST complete Essential Skills; this will form a compulsory part of your timetable. If you are planning to go on to further study (for example university), please check if a GCSE qualification (rather than Essential Skills Level 2 equivalent) is required. For those who have a GCSE grade D in Maths or English, we offer a GCSE fast-track course.

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