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Foundation Degree in Early Childhood (Entry Criteria) (Year 1 of 2)

This foundation degree provides a broad perspective of working with children through early childhood up to eight years of age and you’ll gain a sound understanding of the diverse contexts in which young children develop and learn. This course is aimed at those working in a variety of early settings including children’s centres, pre-schools, nurseries, children’s health services (such as speech and language therapy) and in social services early childhood centres.

Entry Requirements

Applicants will:
– Be employed or doing voluntary work in an early years childcare setting for a minimum of 12 hours per week.
– Have the support of their employer or voluntary setting (unless self-employed, for example child minders).
– Obtain a satisfactory enhanced DBS check.
– Have 2 GCSEs at grade C or above, which may include English – a written task for applicants without evidence of GCSE qualifications can be undertaken.?
– Have a full Level 3 early years qualification – for example NVQ 3 in Children’s Care Learning and Development, BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development, Level 3 Diploma in Children for the Children and Young People’s Workforce or an Advanced Apprenticeship in Early Years, CACHE DCE
– Be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written standard English.

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) will be considered.

Course Content

This course will develop your skills in the study of childhood from psychological, historical, cultural, sociological, social policy and philosophical viewpoints.

Delivered through a combination of taught sessions and employer-supported work-based learning, this programme is designed to support your development as an early childhood worker. This intermediate level study can also provide headway towards gaining a full degree in Early Childhood Studies, becoming an early years teacher or Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
You will study a range of modules each year including:
Year One
– Developing Academic Skills
– Child Development
– Reflective Practice in Early Years Provision
– Play, Provision and Pedagogy
– Safeguarding Children
– Working in Partnership with the Child’s Family

Year Two
– Research Methods
– Pregnancy
– Birth and Baby Care
– Understanding Children’s Behaviour
– Health and Wellbeing of Young Children
– Independent Project

How will I be taught?

This is a two year programme which is delivered on one day per week (Friday). It has a practical, vocational focus to the study of Early Years working and provides grounding in social science perspectives to inform practice. It is delivered partly through taught sessions and partly through employer-supported work-based learning. Students are taught in small groups and there is individual tutorial support to assist with the planning and checking of coursework.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including essays, reports, observations, poster presentations and a 9,000 word independent research project. You will be supported throughout and also be encouraged to monitor your own progress, giving you the opportunity to discuss any issues with your lecturers during the course.

Will I need any extra equipment?


What qualifications will I get?


What will it allow me to do in the future?

The programme is designed to support the development of the role of the early childhood worker through an intermediate level of study. On successful completion, students can continue their studies to a full degree by taking the Early Childhood Studies top-up programme and then the PGCE leading to Qualified Teaching Status to become an early years teacher.
Other careers opportunities include:
– A range of work with Early Years (0 to 8 years) management and policy-making
– Nursery day-care manager
– Hospital support worker
– Health and social care
– Special needs (for example, Portage)
– Good preparation for teaching and social work with young children
– Researcher

Course Information

Formed in 1974, South Downs College has a long heritage in delivering specialist childcare and health and social care courses to both full and part-time students.

The College has no residential student accommodation and students normally make their own arrangements as regards to where currently they live.

This course information is accurate at the time of printing but is subject to change. If you would like further information, advice and guidance, please contact the College on 023 9279 7910 or  email: admissions@southdowns.ac.uk

Further Information


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