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Young Children’s Learning & Development FdA

Designed for those already in practice and seeking to further their career in the field of childcare and education, you will be offered the opportunity to develop your practice with the under sevens, alongside developing your own knowledge, skills and understanding through academic study.

The Young Children’s Learning & Development FdA is ideal for those already in practice and seeking to further a career in the field of childcare and education. If you are a practitioner qualified at Level 3 with post-qualifying experience of working with children this course can offer you the opportunity to develop your practice with young children alongside academic studies. You will be encouraged to consider your qualities, interpersonal skills and areas for personal development which has helped many of our students gain workplace promotions.

The course has two themes: the development, care and education of children from 0-7 and the personal and professional development of practitioners, the key aspects being the understanding of child development and children’s learning. The course integrates academic and work-based learning through close collaboration between employers and programme providers enabling you to develop the skills and knowledge relevant to your employment in early years.

You will gain a valuable network of contacts through College study and you can join The Early Years Forum which has been developed to provide a regional focus for sharing good practice and interpretation of policy changes in a sector that is subject to continual government initiatives. This course is also a sector endorsed qualification with SEFDEY (Sector-Endorsed Foundation Degrees in Early Years Professional Association).

The full-time course is usually 1.5 days per week for 2 years. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, presentations and tutorials, which will be supported through group discussion, presentations, individual and group tasks and independent reading and writing. You will undertake work-based and independent directed study requiring reflection on workplace practice.

Alongside the contact hours, you will be expected to undertake 10-12 hours each week independent study such as reading journal articles and books, undertaking research and preparing for assessments. Your independent study is supported by the excellent Learning Hub at the Aireville Campus in addition to the College’s Specialist Support Centre. The average class size for this course is 8-10.

You will be assessed by Presentations,  Research Enquiry, Reports, Portfolio, Research Proposal. You will receive feedback on your formal assessments within four working weeks of the submission date.  You must receive a pass mark of 40 or above in all modules to achieve the Foundation Degree.  Your overall grade for the course and your Foundation Degree classification is based on the marks obtained for all modules. More information can be found here: Student Information > Regulations

Aireville Campus
Study Location
2 Years (FT)
Institution Code
Open University (The)
Validated by

Entry Requirements

  • 48 UCAS tariff Points (formerly 120 UCAS points)
  • English GCSE grade 9-4 (A*-C)
  • 2 references
  • Clear DBS Check
  • Interview

What you will study

Semester 1

  • Personal & Professional Development
  • Theories of Children’s Play & Learning
  • Introduction to Research Methods

Semester 2

  • Promoting Safe Work Practices
  • The Developing Child
  • Learning Journeys

Semester 1

  • Equality, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Working Collaboratively with Parents, Carers & Professionals
  • Early Years Education & Beyond

Semester 2

  • Supporting Young Children’s Language & Communication
  • Children’s Rights
  • Practitioner Research

What's Next?

To apply for a full-time higher education programme, please apply via UCAS.

Further Study

  • Young Children’s Learning & Development BA (Hons) Top-up
  • Early Years Teacher Qualification
  • Primary School Teaching Qualification PGCE, QTS (Primary)

Students wishing to progress to teaching qualifications should check the entry requirements including GCSE English, Maths & Science.


  • Early Years Teacher
  • Primary School Teacher
  • Nursery Room Leader and Management
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Family Outreach Support Worker


Meet the team
  •   Early Years Degree Gains Sector Approval   •   Degree in Childcare – FAQs   •   Childcare (Early Years) for School Leavers FAQs
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