NCFE CACHE Level 3 Childcare and Education qualifications

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This QIP covers vocational qualifications which are not listed on the Department for Education (DfE) 16 – 19 performance tables for England.

These qualifications are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables because they are not designed to meet the requirements of the Key Stage 5 performance tables.

In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE.

Countries
  • England (601/3998/5; 601/2629/2; 501/0476/7; 603/2496/X)
  • Northern Ireland (600/7093/6; 603/2496/X)
  • Wales (601/3998/5; 601/4574/2; 600/7093/6; 501/0476/7; 603/2496/X)
Purpose

Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable students to gain the skills required to perform a particular job, or qualifications that may be taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.

Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the DfE performance tables, if approved for teaching to 16-19 year olds by the Secretary of State for Education in England under Section 96, where this is in the best interests of individual students.


The aim of these qualifications is to enable students to access Higher Education or assist with progression into the workplace.

These qualifications have been designed, written and reviewed by a team of subject matter experts, employers and Higher Education Providers.

Students will develop generic, transferable skills valued by employers, such as effective teamwork, planning and health and safety principles. As well as extending their creative and intellectual abilities, e.g. communication, innovation and critical evaluation.

For those who wish to study at a higher level, the qualifications will enable them to develop higher level learning skills such as independent working, research, self-reflection and collaborative learning.

Education context

These qualifications are designed for post-16 students and fall under the oversight of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Following its 2012 review of post-19 qualifications the ESFA removed 1,800 qualifications from public funding and a further 1,000 in 2014. In March 2014 the government published a Reform Plan for Vocational Education.

This qualification has not been subject to the same reforms as Applied General and Tech Level qualifications (which are specifically designed for 16-19 year old students), however the ESFA has implemented a new set of business rules for the approval of qualifications for funding, based on the 2013 Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England. These rules recognise that adults may have different needs, aspirations and ambitions to younger people and include that qualifications should be:

  • relevant to individuals and employers and affordable for all sizes of business and for individuals
  • rigorous and based on a robust future-looking occupational standard designed and assessed by the sector
  • recognised as worthy of investment, giving a clear signal of the economically valuable skills, knowledge and understanding required in an occupation now and in the future.

Regulation of vocational qualifications

The regulation of vocational qualifications is the responsibility of the respective regulators in each UK country – Ofqual (England), CCEA Regulation (Northern Ireland) SQA (Scotland) and Qualifications Wales (Wales). The regulatory approach undertaken for vocational qualifications is different from A levels. This is because there are no specific qualification criteria for vocational qualifications, as there currently are for GCSEs, AS and A levels. Vocational qualifications must comply with the regulator’s general rules, as is the case with all regulated qualifications.


In 2015 CACHE became part of NCFE. CACHE-branded qualifications are specialist qualifications in the childcare, health and social care, and education sectors.

Early Years Educator (EYE) qualifications were introduced in September 2014. They meet the National College of Teaching and Leadership’s approved design criteria.

From September 2014, approved EYE qualifications became the only Licence to Practise qualifications for people wishing to work with children from birth to five years.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
Qualification codes
601/3998/5 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education)
601/4574/2 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales))
600/7093/6 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland))
601/2629/2 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator))
501/0476/7 (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools)
603/2496/X (NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning)
Structure

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

Students must pass two mandatory units, including all the criteria students must know about, which is contained in the delivery guidance.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

Students must achieve five mandatory units. Students must also complete a short answer paper.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

The qualification is composed of mandatory and optional units. These units can be knowledge-based, skills/competency-based, or a combination of both.

Students must achieve a minimum of 150 credits to achieve the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland). This is made up of:

  • 49 credits from the CCLD mandatory units
  • a minimum of 16 credits from the CCLD optional units
  • 65 credits from the extended mandatory units
  • a minimum of 20 credits from the extended optional units

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

Students must achieve 23 mandatory units. In order to aid holistic delivery and assessment we have structured the units around the following three themes:

  • Theme 1: Health and well-being
  • Theme 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice
  • Theme 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Students must achieve 11 mandatory units, totalling 32 credits, plus 12 credits from a group of 38 optional units, to achieve the Diploma. Of the 44 credits required to achieve the Diploma, 40 of them must be at or above the level of the qualification (Level 3).

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

Students must achieve 16 mandatory units, totalling 53 credits.


For detailed unit and content information, please view the qualification specifications on the CACHE website.

Subject areas
  • Early education and childcare

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

Mandatory units cover:

  • Child development from conception to seven years
  • Children’s health and well-being

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

Mandatory units cover:

  • An introduction to working with children
  • Development from conception to age 16 years
  • Supporting children
  • Keeping children safe
  • The principles of the role of the practitioner working with children

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

The extended mandatory units are:

  • Extending understanding of theories of children and/or young person's care or development
  • Understand the role of policies in children and/or young people's settings
  • Maintaining the health of children and/or young people
  • An introduction to leadership and management
  • Supporting the development of study skills
  • Working with families of children and/or young people
  • Working as part of more than one team
  • Supportive approaches to behaviour management
  • Formal recording for use within the work environment
  • Research to support practice when working with children and /or young people

The extended optional units are:

  • Support children and/or young people’s development of art drama and music
  • The Common Assessment Framework for children and/or young people
  • Learning about planning for given frameworks or curricula
  • Support numeracy and literacy development in children and/or young people
  • Observing children and/or young people’s play to inform future support
  • Learning styles and their role in learning and achievement
  • Managing quality standards when working with children and/or young people
  • Supporting science and technology development in children and/or young people
  • Understand aspects of Playwork practice **
  • Understand Playwork Principles *
  • Understand children and young people’s self-directed play **
  • Understand the organisational framework for play **
  • Understand relationships in the play environment **
  • Understand health, safety and security in the play environment **
  • Understand how to plan for and support children and young people’s self-directed play **

These units are taken in addition to those from the Level 3 Diploma for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland).

*Students taking any of the Playwork optional units marked **must take Understand Playwork Principles as one of their optional units.

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

Subject areas include:

  • Supporting healthy lifestyles for children
  • Physical care routines for children
  • Promoting children’s emotional well-being
  • Supporting children who are unwell
  • Understanding legislation relating to the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children
  • Legislation relating to the health and safety of children
  • Legislation relating to equality, diversity and inclusive practice
  • Working in partnership
  • Understanding the value of play in early years
  • Planning, leading and reviewing play opportunities which support children’s learning and development
  • Promoting enabling play environments
  • Developing children’s emergent literacy skills
  • Developing children’s emergent mathematical skills
  • Support children’s transition to school
  • Developing children’s cognitive skills
  • Promoting children’s speech, language and communication
  • Promoting children’s physical development
  • Promoting children’s personal, social and emotional development
  • Supporting children with additional needs
  • Using observation, assessment and planning to promote the development of children
  • Using longitudinal studies to observe, assess and plan for children’s needs
  • Engaging in professional development.

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Mandatory units cover:

  • communication and professional relationships with children, young people and adults
  • schools as organisations
  • supporting learning activities
  • children and young people’s positive behaviour
  • equality, diversity and inclusion in work with children and young people
  • supporting assessment for learning
  • understanding child and young person development
  • understanding how to safeguard the well-being of children and young people
  • supporting children and young people’s health and safety
  • engaging in personal development in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings

A broad range of optional units provides students with an opportunity to specialise in specific subjects or develop their knowledge and skills in areas of particular interest. Optional units include (but are not limited to):

  • invigilating tests and examinations
  • supporting literacy and numeracy development
  • supporting delivery of the 14 – 19 curriculum
  • supporting children’s speech, language and communication
  • supporting disabled children and young people and those with special educational needs
  • supporting learners with sensory and physical needs
  • improving the attendance of children and young people in statutory education
  • promoting the well-being and resilience of children and young people
  • supporting young people in relation to sexual health and risk of pregnancy
  • supporting young people who are socially excluded or excluded from school

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

Mandatory units cover:

  • schools and colleges as organisations
  • support health and safety in a learning environment
  • understand how to safeguard children and young people
  • develop professional relationships with children, young people and adults
  • understand how children and young people develop
  • support positive behaviour in children and young people
  • support children and young people during learning activities
  • support English and maths skills
  • support the use of ICT in the learning environment
  • support assessment for learning
  • engage in personal and professional development 
  • support children and young people's speech, language and communication
  • understand how to support bilingual learners
  • understand how to support learning of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities 
  • support children and young people during transitions
  • support the role of play, leisure and extra-curricular activities for children and young people
Levels
  • Level 3

Level 3 qualifications are regulated to the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England and Northern Ireland and the Credit and Qualifications Framework for Wales, though many may be offered on a three-country basis.

Level 3 is broadly aligned to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 6 / 7.

Grading

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

A* – D

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

A – E

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

A* – E

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

Pass/Fail

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Pass/Fail

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

Pass/Fail

Assessment

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

All units will be internally assessed using a range of methods. All units are graded A* – D.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

Units 1 - 5 are each assessed through assignments which are externally set and internally marked. The short answer paper is externally set and externally marked.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

The CCLD units will be internally assessed. The extended units will be internally assessed using mandatory assessment tasks which are externally set. The three extended assessments will be externally assessed. The optional unit; Understand how to set up a home-based childcare service, (unit number: CYPOP 5, unit reference: Y/600/9770) may only be assessed via an externally assessed multiple choice examination.

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

All units are mandatory and will be internally assessed. Unit 3.15 (Longitudinal Study) is a mandatory task set by CACHE and internally assessed. Competence in a real work environment must be demonstrated.

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

All units will be internally assessed.

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

All units will be internally assessed.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

Two mandatory internally assessed and graded units contribute 100% of the overall grade.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

Five mandatory units internally assessed via externally devised tasks contributes 80% towards the overall grade. Short answer paper contributes 20% towards the overall grade.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

Students must complete all of the units within the qualification to a Pass level. Students must complete the three external elements and achieve three separate grades for each, these grades are aggregated to form an overall grade for the qualification, A* - D. Students who complete the qualification without the three external elements are eligible to receive an E grade.

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

23 mandatory internally assessed units contribute 100% of the overall grade.

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

All assessment criteria for the chosen units will be internally assessed and contribute 100% of the overall grade.

Resit arrangements

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

There are no formal resit arrangements as this qualification is internally assessed. Students have the opportunity to resubmit work for assessment following feedback from their tutor/assessor.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

There are no restrictions on either the internal or the external assessments, timings of external assessments are however scheduled for the year and the student would have to re-sit the short answer paper during their registration period.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

There is a maximum of one further opportunity after the first submission for students to submit the external assessment to achieve a pass grade, or to improve a grade.

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

There are no formal resit arrangements as this qualification is internally assessed. Students have the opportunity to resubmit work for assessment following feedback from their tutor/assessor.

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

There are no formal resit arrangements as this qualification is internally assessed. Students have the opportunity to resubmit work for assessment following feedback from their tutor/assessor.

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

There are no formal resit arrangements as this qualification is internally assessed. Students have the opportunity to resubmit work for assessment following feedback from their tutor/assessor.

Guided/notional learning hours
601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education (TQT 227): 180 hours
601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales) (TQT 399): 360 hours
600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland) (TQT 1500): 1046 hours
601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator) (TQT 610): 486 hours
501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools (TQT 440): 232 hours
603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning (TQT 530): 380 hours
UCAS Tariff points

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education (from September 2014)

Grade Points
A* 28
A 24
B 20
C 16
D 12

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

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

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

Grade Points
A* 168
A 144
B 120
C 96
D 72
E 48

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator)

Grade Points
P 32

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Grade Points
P 24

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

Grade Points
P 32

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Key issues for UK HE admissions

There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing vocational qualifications that are not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables for England:

  • Some of these qualifications are occupational, and may not be designed specifically for progression to HE.
  • Applicants holding these qualifications may be school or college leavers, however, some may be more mature students who are likely to have other relevant experience alongside these qualifications.
  • These qualifications may have been taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.
  • If they are presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.

These qualifications have been developed in partnership with employers, universities and other subject experts to ensure that the content is current and relevant.

Level 3 criteria require students to analyse, draw conclusions, interpret or justify, which are all examples of higher level skills. This means that evidence provided for the portfolio will also demonstrate the development and use of higher level learning skills.

Students may combine these qualifications with other qualifications e.g. A levels or other vocational qualifications.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

Most students start their studies in September and complete within 6 months. There is the flexibility to allow some students to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

Most students start their studies in September and complete within two years. There is the flexibility to allow some students to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

Most students start their studies in September and complete towards the end of the following academic year. There is the flexibility to allow some students to progress quicker than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

Qualification date
Starting from 01 Sep 2014 (601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education)
01 Oct 2014—31 Aug 2019 (601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales))
01 Jan 2013—31 Aug 2019 (600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland))
Starting from 01 Sep 2014 (601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator))
01 Aug 2010—31 Aug 2018 (501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools)
Starting from 01 Jan 2018 (603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning)
Qualification dates notes

These qualifications are current.


601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

The first cohort of students have completed the qualification by July 2016.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

This qualification was launched in October 2014, the first cohort of students completed this qualification by July 2015.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

This qualification was launched in January 2013. The first cohort of students have completed the qualification by July 2015.

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

This qualification was launched in September 2014, the first cohort of students completed this qualification by March 2015.

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

This qualification was launched in 2010 with the introduction of the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). The first cohort of students completed the qualification in August/September 2011. 

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

This qualification was launched in January 2018, the first cohort of students are expected to complete by Spring 2019.

Reporting and certification information

The results of these NCFE CACHE qualifications are reported to UCAS through Awarding Body Linkage (ABL).

View the results available through ABL.

Results are made available to CACHE centres throughout the year.

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

Progression information

601/3998/5 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education

This is the first part of a set of nested qualifications and the progression from Award to Certificate and then to Diploma is natural and achievable. Students achieving the Award could progress into supervised Early Years roles.

601/4574/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Certificate in Child Care and Education (Wales)

Students could progress on to higher-level qualifications. These may include professional development qualifications or higher-level qualifications within the child care and education field.

600/7093/6 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children's Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

On completion of this qualification students can progress to various job roles, dependent on their chosen pathway. The following list is not exhaustive, but indicative of the opportunities available:

  • care worker
  • child minder
  • nursery nurse
  • play group assistants
  • nursery assistants
  • crèche assistants
  • out of school childcare worker
  • Cylch Meithrin assistant

601/2629/2 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Year Educator)

This qualification was designed for students who wish to enter the workforce as early years educators, job roles include:

  • practitioner in day nurseries
  • practitioner in Nursery schools
  • practitioner in reception classes in primary schools
  • pre-school worker.

It also has close links and significant crossover with the following qualifications, which were designed to support entry to higher education and/or employment:

  • 601/4000/8 NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • 601/8437/1 NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • 601/2147/6 NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • 601/8438/3 NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)

501/0476/7 - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

This qualification enables students to work unsupervised in a variety of Level 3 roles that support children and young people’s learning in schools.

These include specialist roles, such as:

  • Teaching assistant
  • Learning support assistant
  • Special needs assistant.

It also provides students with the knowledge and skills related to working with children and young people in a variety of school settings which will enable them to study towards achieving Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) status.

Depending on the school environment in which students are or will be working, the Diploma could also allow them to study towards achieving Early Years Teacher status.

603/2496/X - NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning

This qualification supports students to work unsupervised in a variety of roles that support children and young people's learning in a school or college environment.

It also provides students with the knowledge and skills needed when working with children and young people as a Teaching Assistant which will enable them to study towards achieving Higher level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) status.

Depending on the environment in which students are or will be working, the Diploma could also allow them to study towards achieving Early Years Teacher status.