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Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork Childcare & Early Years


Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork

Use play to help children aged 4 to 16 develop creativity, dexterity, physical, cognitive and emotional strength, using our Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork course.

If you currently work with early years children and are keen to discover how play supports development, this nationally-recognised CACHE qualification offers the perfect introduction. 

The course consists of two units, which introduce key principles of play and playwork. As you progress, you’ll consider different ways to support the rights of children through the creation of diverse, inclusive play environments, in which they can learn to manage risk. You’ll also gain useful information on key organisations and leaders in this fascinating field.

Through our Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork online course, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to work effectively in playwork environments such as after-school clubs, adventure centres and holiday clubs.

Why study Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork?

This course is accredited by CACHE, the UK’s only specialist awarding organisation for the childcare sector. By studying with NEC, you’ll benefit from the support of a personal tutor, plus 24/7 access to NEC Laser, an online learning system that makes submitting work, completing activities and accessing feedback simple. 

You’ll build an online portfolio of evidence including learning plans, written tasks and discussion, upon which you’ll be assessed. On successful completion, you’ll be ready to enter the playwork profession.

This Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork course is ideal if you:

  • Want to create a play environment in which young children can thrive.
  • Have experience with young children and are keen to learn more about playwork.
  • Would like to gain a recognised qualification in Playwork*.
  • Are keen to develop a future career in the area of Playwork.
  • Need a flexible training solution, that fits your lifestyle and workplace commitments.
  • Enjoy applying your learning in the workplace and reflecting on your actions.
  • Would benefit from gaining more confidence in your abilities. 

Future opportunities

  • You could progress your studies with a Level 3 Certificate in Playwork, and ultimately a Level 3 Diploma in Playwork.
  • The Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork supports entry-level practitioner roles in settings such as breakfast / after-school clubs, summer schools and hospitals.

*Please note: completion of this course does not confirm occupational competence as a playworker.

Course content

Understand aspects of playwork practice

Understand the theories underpinning playwork practice

Study the Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork with us and benefit from:

  • Flexible learning
  • Support from a personal tutor by email, phone or Skype
  • Any time enrolment
  • Assignments with tutor feedback
  • Ongoing support from Student Support
  • Forums to discuss your course with other students

NEC Laser

Choose when and where you access your course, using NEC Laser our 24/7 online learning platform.

This easy-to-use learning platform makes completing your course – submitting your work, doing activities and getting feedback – straightforward and enjoyable. All the work you complete is recorded in your learner profile, forming an online portfolio.

Our course tutors

You’ll have access to support from a personal tutor. All NEC tutors are subject experts, with experience of supporting online learners. 

Meet Kate who is just one of our first-class childcare and early years tutors:

“When my own children were young I worked as a childminder and in a pre-school and while doing this achieved two level 3 qualifications. I enjoyed working with children and learning about how to do it more effectively, so I then did a degree with the Open University and gained my assessor qualification. I have taught childcare with the NEC, through the NCMA (now PACEY) and for two other local training organisations. It is a very satisfying job, as I see students start at the beginning of a Level 2 course slowly grow in confidence, ability and understanding, to the end of a Level 3 course. I feel proud of being involved in raising the professional status of childcare professionals through training and qualifications.”

What you need to know


  • This course is accredited by NCFE CACHE


  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor

Entry requirements

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A good command of basic English
  • A Level 3 qualification covering the National Occupational Standards for Children’s Care, Learning and Development
  • You need to be based within the UK, or if you are overseas within Europe. If you are based overseas it is essential that you contact our course advice team before enrolling on this course. 
  • Registration with CACHE – we will take care of this process, but you will need to pay an additional registration fee, which is not included in the price of your course, when you enrol


  • Complete at your own pace across 6 months
  • Approx. 80  study hours


  • You will create an online portfolio of evidence using different formats such as learning plans, written tasks and discussion


  • No additional set texts required


  • Internet access
  • Computer operating system, browser and software to enable you to complete the course using the NEC Laser online learning platform

What's included?

Our course fees are open and honest to help you plan for any additional costs.

Your course fee includes:

  • Access to the NEC Laser online learning platform
  • All the course materials you need to complete the course
  • Support from a personal tutor for up to 18  months from your date of enrolment
  • Assignment marking
  • NEC’s guide to study skills: How to Succeed as an Independent Learner
  • Spelling, punctuation and grammar guide
  • Time planner to help you plan your study timetable

Your course fee does not cover:

  • CACHE registration fee – NEC will register you with CACHE but the £57 registration fee is not included in your course fee and will need to be an additional payment at the time of enrolment.

Exams and assessment

You will create an online portfolio of evidence using different formats such as learning plans, written tasks and discussion