Health Social Care & Early Years

Foundation Degree in Early Years (0-8)

Course overview

Are you looking for an alternative route into teaching or to work with children and families?

Then our Foundation Degree in Early Years will enable you to develop your personal and professional qualities to further your career in early years. Throughout the course you will cover modules in Child Development, Children as Learners, The Early Years Curriculum, Child Protection and other relevant areas of study. This course is suitable for those who are looking to, or are already working in a early years or primary school setting.

This course requires you to work in an Ofsted approved setting, either as an employee or volunteer for at least seven hours per week, while attending college for one day per week.

This course is validated by the University of Worcester and Early Years Sector Endorsed.

The team are highly qualified with full Honours Degrees or Masters in Education. Other qualifications include QTLS , PGCE, a qualified head teacher (NPQH) .

All staff are experienced practitioners in the childcare industry in both pre-school and school environments. They are therefore able to offer clear insights into day to day practice which supports the theory, both of which are necessary to study at this level. Specialist areas of additional qualifications: English, play-work, early years, school Based Practice.

All sessions provide face to face teaching.

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Tariff points
•Acceptable qualifications include a minimum of 1 A Level and maximum of 3 1/2 A Levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, for example the CACHE Diploma or EdExcel BTEC National Diploma in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.
•Evidence of level 2 Literacy is required, for example key skills or functional skills at level 2 or GCSE English language at Grade C/4 or above. If you do not have evidence of Literacy at level 2, it will be necessary to complete a non-standard entry essay to demonstrate competence in written English.
•Current police clearance to work with young children (DBS check). Relevant forms will be sent by admissions on receipt of a firm acceptance of an offer of a place on the course.
•A testimony / reference that supports the your suitability for the course.

Practitioners who do not hold the qualifications outlined above will be considered on the basis of prior professional experience and related learning.

The College and the University of Worcester, who work in partnership, are committed to offering education to a diverse range of applicants. If you have prior learning (APL) which includes accreditation of certificated learning (APCL) and experiential learning (APEL) you may be able to use these to gain credits towards the Foundation Degree.

The following are required for both standard and non-standard entry:
•A statement of support from your current employer to provide the time, opportunity and support for work-based requirements and release to attend university-based study
• A testimony from an appropriately qualified referee
• Evidence of current police check (DBS) clearance to work with young children

Practice learning can be supported within a range of early years settings, including children’s centres and childminders and schools.

Please note all applicants are required to complete a DBS check, attend an interview and provide satisfactory references.

Course Modules

Year 1
–– Competence in Practice (Year 1 and Year 2)

These modules are non-credit bearing but successful achievement and evidence of completion of the practice requirements is essential to the professional requirements of this course. It allows students to provide evidence of competency in professional practice within early years settings. It thereby facilitates enhanced student employability on completion of the award.

–– Understanding Children’s Development and Learning

The module will challenge, transform and extend student learning in relation to perceptions of the developing child. The child is maintained at the centre of consideration whilst recognising and valuing the diverse nature of childhood experience and implications for development. Starting with student’s own understandings the module will consider the relevance of theory to inform the study of children and their development.

–– Supporting Learning and Development in Practice in Practice

This module supports students in beginning to investigate and reflect on the implications of practice for children’s learning and development. The child continues to be at the centre of consideration within the context of their learning environments. The role of practitioners in enabling children as learners is investigated within the context of current early childhood provision and related policy.

–– Protecting and Safeguarding: Working Together for the Child

This module explores how the family (however constituted) is of central importance to young children. It recognises that practitioners need to work together with families to effectively support the child and identifies ways for professionals to be proactive and protect the welfare of children. This requires understanding of social contexts and the impact of poverty, ill health and adversity. Within this framework students will explore knowledge of statutory responsibilities and guidance in managing responses to concerns about child welfare. The concept of children’s rights and the importance of listening to young children and empowerment will be evaluated within this context.

Year 2
–– Working Together to Develop Positive Learning Environments

This module supports students in beginning to investigate and reflect on the implications of practice for children’s learning and development. The child continues to be at the centre of consideration within the context of their learning environments. The role of practitioners in enabling children as learners is investigated within the context of current early childhood provision and related policy.

–– Investigating the Key Features of Quality Enhancement in Education and Care

Within the framework of the student as a developing reflective practitioner this module is based on a view that effective individuals and teams are essential to organising, evaluating, monitoring and supporting work with young children and their families. It underlines collaboration and multi-agency working in that it views collaborative practice based inquiry as an important part of quality improvement.

Within this framework it considers the role of leadership and management in supporting the management of change.

–– Evaluating and Developing the Curriculum for Young Children

This module examines in greater depth policy, principles, theories and research that inform the planning and organisation of learning opportunities. Students will be supported in learning from critical examination of different approaches to planning, organising and supporting learning within the curriculum, applying this to practice within their setting and identifying their own role and responsibilities.

Year 3
–– Reflecting: Responding and Learning: Practice and Self

A practice / work- based module that requires students to self-evaluate practice, identify areas for professional development and engage in a process of reflective learning and action. Developing a professional identity as a reflective practitioner is a key theme of the module.

–– Practice/ Work Based Enquiry: improving quality in early years settings

The Module provides an introduction to the processes and techniques for engaging in practice/ work-based enquiry. It reinforces the central focus of developing a purposeful approach to enquiry. It allows you (at Level 5) to gain a sound theoretical and practice based knowledge and experience of practice/ work-based enquiry. The Module offers a model of practice/ work-based enquiry which allows the student to evaluate and develop their professional effectiveness. There is a strong emphasis on improving quality and ensuring that any investigation is purposeful. The selection of the theme of focus for enquiry is a strong element of the taught component, underpinned by theoretical perspectives.

How will I be assessed?

You will complete a range of course work, including case studies, presentations, essay, reflective practice tasks, portfolios and work-based learning. There are no formal examinations.

What can I do next

The FDEY will qualify you for a range of careers in the early years sector, including day nurseries, family support work, children’s centres and enable you to progress towards nursery management. With further qualifications you can enter Primary Teacher Training.

You can progress from the FDEY to a BA (Hons) Top-Up degree in Integrated Working with Children and Families (Level 6) at the University of Worcester, or a similar degree at a university. After gaining Level 6, you can then apply for teacher training on a one-year PGCE course. An alternative university course is the Early Years Teacher Status: Level 6. NB: PGCE and EYTS courses require GCSE English, maths and Science at C grade (grade 4).