Child Development and Care in Early Years

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NCFE Level 1/2 Technical Award in Child Development and Care in Early Years

Key Stage 4

This qualification provides the opportunity to gain a vocational qualification that gives an introduction to child development and care. It includes the knowledge and understanding of Child Development and Care in Early Years and well-being necessary for working with children aged 0-5 years in a variety of settings - pre-schools, nurseries, playgroups, and their own home. 


Students study a range of topics related to Child Development and Care in Early Years. These include:

  • Types of settings for early years education
  • Roles and responsibilities of early years workers
  • Meeting the individual needs of children in an early-years setting
  • Child development
  • The importance of observation as part of a cycle of observing, assessing and planning
  • The importance of routines in a nursery including snack time and outdoor play


The qualification has 2 assessments externally-set by NCFE: one non-exam assessment and one written examined assessment. The non-exam assessment (NEA) is conducted at the end of Year 11 and totals 14 hours and the examined assessment is a 90 minute exam. The qualification is graded at level 1 pass/merit/distinction and level 2 pass/merit/distinction/distinction* (equivalent to GCSE grades 8.5 to 1).


Students can progress onto several subsequent courses within the Child Development area. Most of these will involve a significant amount of time in childcare settings and so are delivered through an FE College with work-based placements. Alternatively, these qualifications can be taken as part-time study once a student has taken on an apprenticeship position within a childcare setting. Examples include Level 2 awards in Childcare and Education and Level 3 awards in Diploma Qualification for Children and Young People’s Workforce. Students also may progress to A -level courses (particularly for Psychology and Sociology).


This is a very widely recognized vocational qualification and would provide entry into work in childcare establishments for 0-5 year old children. This is an area of employment that is growing rapidly in Britain.