Services for Young Children

Level 5 and 6

Open University (distance learning)

Undergraduate Programme

The OU undergraduate programme comprises:

All of the above qualifications are open entry however; pre-registration checks apply on certain modules. From September 2014, students in England without a previously achieved Level 3 Early Years qualification will additionally require GCSE passes at grade C or above in English and Maths, to enable their higher education qualification in Early Years to be considered ‘full and relevant’ for the purposes of registration and regulation, and to be counted in the Level 3 ratios.

Modules for these qualifications start in October and registrations usually open in April.

Local College/University

Level 5 Diploma (distance learning)

The Level 5 Diploma in Leadership for the Children and Young People's Workforce (Early Years) is the only L5 Diploma qualification suitable for the early years sector. It has been designed to meet the needs of senior/experienced practitioners and managers/deputies/room leaders working in early years settings.

The Level 5 Diploma is not equivalent to a full foundation degree, although, you may be able to transfer onto the second year of a foundation degree once you have achieved it. More details of how to access/study this qualification can be obtained from PB Development.

Level 5 Foundation degree

Practitioners who have a minimum of 2 years experience of working with children 0-5 years and who hold a full and relevant Level 3 qualification and increasingly A-C grades at GCSE in English and Maths, are encouraged to consider this as the next step in their career. Further details of entry requirements and possible transfer of existing credits should be obtained from the awarding university or their affiliated college.


Level 6 (B A Hons)

Foundation degrees can be ‘topped-up’ to full Level 6 B A (Hons.) The study options are 1 year full time or 2 years part time. Before making your decision you should check any financial implications of not achieving in the specified time frame and be realistic in the time you have available to study. The college or university delivering your Foundation Degree will be able to give you more information about the options they offer.

Early Years Teacher

Entry onto an Early Years Teacher programme is dependent on the final classification of your full degree.  If you intend to follow this route you will also need to hold GCSE A-C grade in Science.  Further details.