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Caring for Children Level 1
Study Mode
Full Time 
Practical Assessment and Coursework 
Course Code:
Entry Requirements
4 GCSEs at A*-D grades (or acceptable alternatives) including English Language.

Caring for Children Level 1

This course is designed to give you the knowledge; understanding and practical skills needed for supervised employment in early year settings. It is ideal for learners who would like to work with children and their families, in a variety of different early years settings, for example day care, nursery, out of school care and schools.

About the Course

This course offers an insight into the Child Care sector and provides the opportunity to develop the skills, personal qualities and experience that will help prepare you for further study or employment in this area. You will study a wide range of subjects relating to children’s play, learning and development.

Key Units

The BTEC First Certificate in Children’s Play, Learning and Development consists of two core units, two mandatory units and five specialist units.

The core units are:

  • Unit 1 - Patterns of Child Development – External Assessment
  • Unit 2 - Promoting Children’s Development Through Play

The mandatory units are:

  • Unit 3 - The Principles of Early Years Practice
  • Unit 4 - Promoting Children’s Positive Behaviour – External Assessment

Specialist units are:

  • Unit 5 - Health & Safety in Early Years Settings
  • Unit 6 - Supporting Children’s Language and Literacy Development 
  • Unit 7 - Making Healthy Food Choices for Children

On your programme you will also study Functional Skills or GCSE English and Maths qualifications, if you do not already hold a minimum GCSE grade C.

Course Enrichment:
Course enrichment activities include trips, visits, residential courses and presentations by guest speakers. Child Care professionals come in to college to work with you on practical assessments and activities. You also have the opportunity to study for additional awards such as emergency first aid at work.

The cost of any trips and visits are kept to a minimum. You may be entitled to help from the college’s Learner Support Fund with the cost of trips, visits, DBS check and anything else you need to buy for your course.

Work Experience:
Work experience is an invaluable part of your study programme and will help to guarantee that you are fully prepared for the working environment on completion of your studies. Many, if not all of employers and Higher Education providers will expect that learners have successfully completed work experience in a vocationally related area, in order to be offered employment or progression on to a higher level course of study.  

A work experience placement of one day a week is a compulsory part of this your course and also forms part of many course assessments within your college study programme. We will discuss your placement with you and take into account where you live and what career you would like to do in the future. Students usually work in settings such as nurseries and schools.

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs at A*-D grades (or acceptable alternatives) including English Language.


This course is assessed by mainly coursework and two exams. Assessment methods include written assignments, worksheets, role plays, examinations, practical assessments, observations, photographic records and workbooks.

Tell Me More

Staff and Facilities:
At the Sheffield College you will learn from highly qualified staff with a range of academic and child care work related backgrounds. Students also benefit from our strong partnerships with local child care employers. The Sheffield College has excellent facilities for child care students, which include well equipped learning areas, a creative practice room, a fully operational kitchen and a simulated nursery room.

Will the course suit me?
An ideal person for this course is one who is interested in caring for children. It is an advantage to be a patient person who enjoys helping others and working as part of a team.

Extra Costs

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required for students going on work placements and will be carried out at the start of the course. Students will need to pay for this and the cost is approximately £52.00.