To work in childcare gives you the opportunity to play a key part in the development of the youngest members in our society. A highly trained and skilled early years workforce means we will ensure our pre-school children learn and develop as they should, and are kept safe.

If you are currently working in childcare and you are interested in undertaking a work based qualification, you’ll want to explore your options. The government provides funding for apprenticeships, but if this route is not for you, rest assured you can still obtain a nationally recognised, industry approved qualification with VTS. In fact there are some benefits to studying a ‘stand-alone’ qualification. For example -

  • There is no minimum timeframe to get qualified. Although there are certain guidelines, if you put the work in, you can progress significantly faster than those studying a similar course via an apprenticeship
  • You do not have to be employed for a certain number of hours per week…… in fact you don’t have to be employed at all, you can be a volunteer. As long as your duties in the setting match the qualification you want to study, you can enrol.
  • Your employer does not have to financially contribute to your study and therefore you will not be tied to them after you are qualified.
  • There is no maths and English to worry about

You will have a structured learning programme and an individual learning plan. Your VTS tutor will meet with you regularly to guide you through your learning and you will build a portfolio of evidence which will include work you have completed, professional discussion records and observations by your tutor. You will achieve your qualification when your portfolio contains all the evidence required by the awarding body (City & Guilds).

There are qualifications at levels 2, 3 & 5 available for you:

Level 2 Certificiate for the Children and Young People's Workforce

Suitable for childcare workers new to the industry working mainly under supervision

Eleven mandatory units plus a wide choice of optional units

Duration: 9/12 months

Funding type available: Private Funding - £1500



Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner - Early Years Educator

Suitable for childcare workers in a more senior role. This is the qualification required by the industry and replaces all previous level 3 qualifications.

Seventeen mandatory units including three controlled assignments

Duration: 15/18 months

Funding type available: Private Funding £ 2000 or 19+ advanced learner loan £2882


Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management

Suitable for managers or their assistants in various settings within the childcare industry. Learners can choose either children & young people’s residential management, children & young people’s management or children & young people’s advanced practice, depending on their actual job role.

Ten mandatory units plus a wide choice of optional units

Duration 15/18 months

Funding type available: Private Funding £2500 or 19+ advanced learner loan £2882