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Early Years Care and Education

Foundation Degre

Study Early Years Care and Education at University Centre Leeds

Inspire future generations on our Early Years Care and Education Foundation Degree. In West Yorkshire alone, childcare roles are among those that have seen the largest growth and employment in recent years (West Yorkshire Combined Authority, 2021). You could be among those securing employment in one of many sectors looking to employ people to work with children including the childcare, charity and voluntary, healthcare, social care, teaching and education sectors. Or you might want to consider working with children in other industries such as law, leisure, sport and tourism and public services and administration. With a work-focused approach, you will gain vital academic skills alongside vital industry experience. Develop your understanding of safeguarding and build on your language development knowledge, whilst learning how to create an inclusive and engaging environment for all.

This is the ideal degree to begin your future in childcare roles such as: Early years or nursery practitioner, Nursery Lead, Nursery Manager, Childcare or early years assistant, Classroom or learning support assistant.

Become a teacher in three years with our Foundation and Top-Up degree route. After this foundation degree, you may go on to study our Top-Up degree to gain a full BA (Hons) degree (with QTS).

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 2 years full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Venue: Teacher Development Centre (Park Lane Campus)
  • Fee: £8,745 Full Time or £4,372 Part Time (per academic year for UK students)
  • UCAS Course Code(s): L524
  • UCAS Institution Code: L21
  • Study Mode: Full Time / Part Time
  • Validated By: Luminate Education Group
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Early Years Care and Education

Learn how to be instrumental in supporting children and young people’s development through studying a range of aspects relating to childcare and education. Discover how to create an appropriate learning environment, whilst developing pedagogical practice skills and in-depth understanding of a child’s holistic learning and development. You will be able to put theory into practice by undertaking a relevant work placement, helping you to gain essential practical experience for your future career in childcare. Further, you will be able to explore how to become a successful leader and manager and develop the skills that will help you climb the career ladder.

The course is written in consultation with active members of the childcare sector so that you are equipped with all the necessary knowledge and skills you require to enable you to thrive in any role in the sector. This foundation degree will also provide you with the necessary academic skills to help you progress onto further study such as a top-up degree or teacher training.

This course is validated by Luminate Education Group

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How To Apply

If you would like to apply for to study full time, please do so via UCAS.

The institution code for University Centre Leeds is L21.

The application fee for applying through UCAS is £27.50.

Apply via UCAS

If you're interested in applying to study part-time, these applications must be submitted directly through our website via the following link:

Part Time - Direct Application Form

If you are a student currently studying at Leeds City College, Keighley College or Harrogate College and if all of the following applies:

  • you do not already have an application with UCAS
  • you only wish to study your full time undergraduate course with University Centre Leeds
  • should you be successful in your application and enrol onto this course, you agree to us submitting a record of prior acceptance (RPA) application to UCAS on your behalf 

Then you can make a direct application via the following link: 

Internal Students - Direct Application Form

For further information in regards to this please email

Course Information

You will study 120 credits per year of the course and the modules may include:

Year 1 (Level 4)

Skills for Academic Development (20 credits)

Develop your academic research, report writing, presentation, evaluation, and referencing skills that will allow you to succeed on this Foundation degree. You will also gain practical skills to become a reflective practitioner and effective decision maker. 

Enabling Learning Environments (20 credits) 

Gain an understanding of pedagogical practices to support young children’s learning and development. You will develop the skills to provide meaningful learning opportunities through planning supportive environments for learning and development. This module is linked closely with the Supporting Holistic Development module.

Supporting Holistic Development (20 credits)

Learn to recognise and plan for all areas of children’s development and to take into consideration the developmental stages and support needs of the child. Through the module you will gain knowledge of the theoretical perspectives of development and learning and the established patterns and sequences in children’s learning and development; physical; cognitive; linguistic; emotional and social development. This will include considerations of inclusion and inclusive practices, equality and diversity, and ethical practices. 

Supporting the Unique Child (20 credits)

During this module you will further your knowledge of children with additional requirements and identify how to meet their needs promoting an inclusive environment. You will gain the skills and knowledge needed to support children’s individuality to achieve their full potential.

Safeguarding (20 credits)

You will learn what is meant by safeguarding and how it is fundamental when working in any childcare profession. Explore and apply key theories, concepts and principles of safeguarding to contemporary practices, to support families within the legislative framework. You will also have the opportunity to reflect on your own knowledge, skills, experience and professional values. 

Developing Pedagogical Practice (20 credits)

This module will teach you the best practice in the early years and education sector and provide opportunities to help you develop these skills. You will evaluate theory, values and principles when planning learning opportunities for children and young people. You will also gain practical skills through the planning, preparing and delivering of a micro-teach that evidences effective communication and evaluation skills.

Year 2 (Level 5)

Learning in the Early Years (20 credits)

You will explore and critique historical and contemporary developments in technology that have changed the way in which the brain is understood and how children learn and evolve in the early years.

Speech and Language Development (20 credits)

Through this module you will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to enable you to plan and appropriately support the acquisition and development of language in children.

Leadership and Management (20 credits)

Learn to reflect on your own personal and professional practice whilst developing the ability to identify and resolve issues that arise from working as part of a team. You will also explore key concepts and principles in leadership and management to help you advance in the childcare sector.

Research Informed Practice (20 credits)

This exciting module enables you to carry out a research project in the childcare sector to enhance professional practice. You will use the research skills you have gained to identify areas of professional practice in childcare and develop activities to promote specific learning. As part of the research project, you will reflect on your own research skills and make recommendations for professional development when conducting research. 

Social Policy and Families (20 credits)

This module is designed for learners to acquire knowledge of social policy relating to children and families and to reflect on personal values and how these align with contemporary social policies. Develop your understanding of historical and contemporary social policy that shapes the social development of children and families.

Enhancing Professional Practice (20 credits)

Within this module you will carry out detailed evaluation of the professional skills and competencies required when working in the childcare and education sector, and evaluate your own personal and professional skills and knowledge relating to these. You will demonstrate how you have used reflective practice over the duration of the course and be able to provide evidence of your personal, professional, and employability skills as a reflective practitioner.

You will develop your personal and professional skills for your career with children, such as adopting ethical working practices, using your own initiative, communication skills with various groups, and interpreting data to inform planning and progress for holistic development. 

Other benefits include:

  • Develop your research and academic writing skills
  • Gain transferable skills required for employment within the childcare profession such as:  team-working, research, critical evaluation, presentation, independent learning, reflective practice skills identified as key skills required for the ever-changing requirements of the childcare and education sectors.
  • Choose to study around other commitments with a choice of either full-time or part-time
  • Work experience in the childcare sector
  • Learn from knowledgeable teaching staff

Assessment methods have been designed in consultation with employers, to reflect the activities you would be expected to do in the workplace and the skills that employers are looking for. Assessment methods may include:

  • Observation and planning for children and young people’s learning
  • Case studies
  • Presentations
  • Group discussions
  • Evaluations
  • Peer reviews
  • Work related small scale project
  • Reflective journal
  • Professional development plan
  • Induction booklet
  • Micro-teach
  • Teaching interventions

During your degree there will be a mixture of teacher-led sessions which will take place at the Teacher Development Centre at our Park Lane campus, and facilitated sessions to promote self learning. The Teacher Development Centre has its own purpose built library stocked with a plethora of resources such as books, journals and other publications. Once enrolled onto the course, you will receive a Chromebook to ensure that you have access to the IT facilities and apps required for the delivery of the course.


UCAS Tariff Points: 48 UCAS tariff points from two A-levels (or equivalent qualifications)

A Levels: 2xD grades 

BTEC Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma: MP, MPP grade

NVQ Level 3: Pass grade

T Levels: Acceptable in a relevant subject

GCSE English: English Language grade 4 or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

GCSE Maths: Maths (Desirable) Grade 4 or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.

GCSE: GCSE Science (Desirable) at Grade 4 or equivalent.

IELTS: IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any component.

International qualifications: International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria.

Mature applicants: University Centre Leeds welcomes applications from mature* applicants who may not have met the academic criteria, but who can demonstrate a wealth of experience in their chosen field. Candidates in this category and otherwise are likely to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the course and may be asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application.*21 years and over at the start of the course.

RPL claims: The course structure actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).

Part Time: Students for part-time study are required to hold a full level 3 qualification or the equivalent experience in a relevant subject and will need to be working in the sector.

Placements: Employment and placements working within the childcare and early years sector is desired but not essential.

DBS checks: Students will also be required to complete the Disclosure and Barring Service process (DBS) prior to commencement on placement.

Interviews: A successful interview is required.

References: An appropriate reference required. 

Progression may include a further year of study in the form of a top-up degree to gain a full BA (Hons) degree, or relevant employment.

Top-Up Degrees at Leeds City College:


  • Children and Young People’s Care and Education BA (Hons) Degree
  • Learning and Teaching (Primary Education) BA (Hons) Top-Up with qualified teacher status (QTS) – choosing this option means that you would be a qualified teacher after a total of 3 years of study and would not need a further year to complete your PGCE.

*Please note GCSE at level 4 minimum in Maths, English and Science are essential for the BA (Hons) Learning and Teaching (Primary Education) (Top-UP) (QTS). In accordance with the DfE guidance, qualifications in key and functional skills at level 2 are not equivalent to GCSEs in terms of content and therefore do not meet the minimum entry requirements of this Top Up course.

Career opportunities

Following completion of the Foundation Degree in Children’s Care, Learning and Development students gain employment within a range of childcare and early years educational settings such as:

  • Learning support assistant
  • Nursery lead
  • Childcare/early years assistant
  • Early years practitioner
  • Nursery manager

For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the course handbook for this course please click here.

You will be required to have an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check and will be expected to pay any fees associated with this.

For the latest version of the Leeds City College regulations please click here.


Full Time

Part Time


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