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

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  • England

This qualification is not listed on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables.

It prepares learners to become early years educators.

It enables them to work with children from birth to five years.

It also enables them to gain knowledge of children aged five to seven years.

Education context

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.

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
  • NCFE
Qualification code
601/2629/2 (Level 3 Diploma for Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator))

Learners must achieve 23 mandatory units

Subject areas

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.
  • Level 3

Pass, Fail


Learners are assessed by their training provider.

A variety of assessment methods are used, e.g. direct observation within the workplace, a portfolio of evidence, written assignments.

There are no externally marked assessments.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

Learners must achieve a pass in all units to achieve the qualification.

Resit arrangements

Learners are assessed by their training provider as they progress through the qualification.

They have the opportunity to resubmit work for assessment following feedback from their tutor and assessor.

Guided/notional learning hours
486 hours
UCAS Tariff points

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

Grade Points
P 32
Key issues for UK HE admissions

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

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Most learners start their studies in September and complete by July of the following year.

There is the flexibility to allow some learners to progress more quickly than others.

Results are confirmed, and certificates issued, upon completion.

Qualification dates notes

This is a current qualification

Reporting and certification information

Results are made available to CACHE centres throughout the year.

Data is provided for FORVUS (DfE&BIS), Ofqual, Skills for Care and Development and Skills Active.

Progression information

This qualification was designed for learners who wish to enter the workforce as early years educators.

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

601/4000/8 NCFE CACHE 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)