×

Explore Our courses

Level 3 Certificate in Playwork Childcare & Early Years

NCFE CACHE

Level 3 Certificate in Playwork

If you’re an experienced playworker, keen to deepen your knowledge of managing effective play environments for children aged 4 to 16, our Level 3 Certificate in Playwork online course is the perfect way to progress your career.

This CACHE qualification offers an in-depth study of playwork, which will build on your current experience. This course explores core aspects of creating safe, inspiring play experiences and will also develop your line management skills.

You’ll gain plenty of theoretical knowledge, supported by opportunities to apply new knowledge in the workplace. As you progress, you’ll study diverse aspects of playwork including: self-directed play; safeguarding well-being; supporting positive outcomes; relationships in play; and health and safety.

By studying the Level 3 Certificate in Playwork using flexible, online NEC learning materials, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills and confidence you need to progress to a senior role in this fascinating field.

Why study Level 3 Certificate in 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 be assessed via an online portfolio of evidence, including learning plans, written tasks, discussion and direct observation, plus face-to-face workplace assessments. Completing this nationally-recognised qualification, will clearly demonstrate your competency in playwork, to both current and future employers.

This course is ideal if you:

  • Are keen to create and manage settings in which children thrive.
  • Would like to gain a recognised qualification in playwork.
  • Are beginning or planning to progress to a more senior playworker role.
  • 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

  • This Certificate qualification forms part of the Diploma in Playwork and carries 32 credits towards this higher-level qualification.
  • Gaining this qualification opens up managerial positions in playwork across all settings, and specific roles including playwork development officer, hospital playworker or adventure centre supervisor.

Course content

Award in Playwork units

  • Understand playwork principles
  • Understand children and young people’s self-directed play
  • Understand how to safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people’s play

Certificate in Playwork units

  • Understand the organisational framework for play
  • Understand how to support positive outcomes for children and young people
  • Understand relationships in the play environment
  • Understand health, safety and security in the play environment
  • Understand how to plan for and support children and young people’s self-directed play
  • Engage in personal development in health, social care of children and young people’s settings

Study the Level 3 Certificate in 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.”

At a glance

Accreditation

  • This course is accredited by the NCFE CACHE

Format

  • Online learning with support from a personal tutor

Entry requirements

  • A good command of basic English
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Working or volunteering regularly in a playwork setting. You will need to give details of your workplace setting when you enrol, and your manager will need to confirm some information.
  • Your playwork setting must be able to arrange one or more sessions of practical assessments.
  • You need to be able to gather evidence – such as accident reports, health and safety procedures, feedback on child behaviour – from the playwork setting where you work. Your face-to-face assessor will require you to talk about your experiences.
  • 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

Hours

  • Complete at your own pace across 12 months
  • Approx. 300 study hours

Assessment

You need to gain 32 credits to achieve the Certificate in Playwork by completing these nine units:

  • three units that make up the Award in Playwork
  • six units that make up the Certificate in Playwork
  • You will create an online portfolio of evidence using different formats such as learning plans, written tasks and discussions, and direct observation

This course forms part of the Diploma in Playwork (QCF) and carries 32 credits towards the higher level qualification. 

Resources

  • No additional set texts required

Requirements

  • 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 12  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 £113 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 need to gain 32 credits to achieve the Certificate in Playwork by completing these nine units:

  • three units that make up the Award in Playwork
  • six units that make up the Certificate in Playwork
  • You will create an online portfolio of evidence using different formats such as learning plans, written tasks and discussions, and direct observation

This course forms part of the Diploma in Playwork (QCF) and carries 32 credits towards the higher level qualification.