NCFE CACHE Level 3 Child Care and Education suite (Legacy)

  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Child Care and Education
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

These qualifications are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables.

These qualifications have been designed to provide the knowledge and understanding that support competent practice.

They will help holders develop many of the practical skills and competencies set out in the National Occupational Standards in Children’s Care, Learning and Development at Level 3.

Education context

The qualifications cover many of the National Occupation Standards for Children’s Care, Learning and Development.

CACHE-branded qualifications are specialist qualifications in the childcare, health and social care and education sectors.

In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE.

Awarding organisation
Qualification codes
500/1900/4 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Child Care and Education)
500/1902/8 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education)
500/1901/6 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education)

It is expected that most people will progress through the Award and Certificate to complete the Diploma to be able to practice as an early years practitioner.

  • Award: Units 1 and 2; 120 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)
  • Certificate: Units 1 – 5; plus a short answer test; 360 GLH
  • Diploma:  Units 1 – 9, plus three optional units chosen by the centre from Units 10 – 21; plus short answer paper and research task; 1,009 GLH plus 750 recommended practical training hours in Unit 9.
Subject areas

Mandatory units:

  • An introduction to working with children
  • Development from conception to age 16 years
  • Supporting children
  • Keeping children safe
  • The principles underpinning the role of the practitioner working with children
  • Promoting a healthy environment for children
  • Play and learning in children’s education
  • Caring for children
  • Development of professional skills within children’s education

 The Diploma has an optional unit which covers:

  • research into child care, education and development
  • care of sick children
  • nutrition and healthy food for children
  • child, family and outside world
  • working with children with special needs
  • developing children’s (3 – 8 years) mathematical skills
  • developing children’s (3 – 8 years) communication, language and literacy skills
  • international approaches towards children’s education
  • working with babies from birth to 12 months
  • multi-agency working with children
  • children, parent and family needs
  • supporting children with English as an additional language
  • Level 3

A – E


These qualifications are assessed through:

  • placement summary
  • practice evidence records
  • practice evidence record diary
  • professional development profiles.
Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Learners must achieve grade E, or above, in the short answer test to pass the Level 3 Certificate.

Learners must achieve the research task at grade E, or above, to pass the Level 3 Diploma.

Resit arrangements

Short answer task – Results that do not achieve a grade E will be graded as a referral. A centre may re-enter a learner to take the test again.

Research task – Results that do not achieve a grade E will be graded as a referral. A centre may re-enter a learner to submit a research task again.

Guided / notional learning hours notes

The qualifications have a range of 120 – 1,759 Guided Learning Hours depending on the final qualification and optional units chosen.

UCAS Tariff points

NCFE CACHE Award in Child Care and Education

Grade Points
A 24
B 20
C 16
D 12
E 8

NCFE CACHE Certificate in Child Care and Education

Grade Points
A 48
B 40
C 32
D 24
E 16

NCFE CACHE Diploma in Child Care and Education

Grade Points
A 144
B 120
C 96
D 72
E 48
Key issues for UK HE admissions

The first cohort of students completed the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award, Certificate and Diploma in Childcare and Education in August/September 2009.

Holders of the qualifications have been applying for entry to higher education since September 2009 onwards.

Timing of assessments and results

Most learners start their studies in September and complete towards the end of the following academic year.

There is the flexibility to allow some to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

Qualification dates notes

This is a legacy qualification.

Reporting of results and certification information

Results are made available to CACHE centres throughout the year.

Data is provided for DfE, Ofqual, Skills for Care and Development and Skills Active.

Progression information

Holders may progress on to higher level qualifications. These may include professional development qualifications or higher education qualifications, for example, nursing or teaching.

This will be subject to the individual requirements of the university or higher education college.