Early Years and Playwork training at Level 3 | Oxfordshire County Council

Early Years and Playwork training at Level 3

Training for Level 3 courses in Early Years and Playwork.

Level 3 qualifications are for people working in early years registered settings or settings on the Childcare Register who work in a supervisory position or independently.

People need to have been working with children for some time, be capable of working on their own initiative and organising some of their own work.

Overseas qualifications

In order to confirm whether staff with qualifications from overseas can be counted in the level 2 or level 3 ratio’s they will need to contact UK Naric to get a Statement of Comparability for the Early Years Sector (SOCEYS).

To count in the ratios at level 3 staff with qualifications from overseas must also hold qualifications which are comparable to GCSE English and maths at grade C or above.

Early years and childcare training

Abingdon and Witney College

Introduction to working with children and courses at levels 2 and 3 and the Foundation Degree in Early Years

Banbury and Bicester College

Childcare courses level 2 and 3

City of Oxford College

Childcare courses at levels 1, 2 and 3

Henley College

Childcare courses at levels 2 and 3

New Level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) qualification

The new level 3 Early Years Educator (EYE) was launched on September 1  2014 and replaces the previous level 3 Children and Young People’s Workforce qualification.

To count in the ratios at level 3, staff holding an Early Years Educator qualification must also have achieved a suitable level 2 qualification in English and maths as defined by the Department for Education on the Early Years Qualifications List published on GOV.UK.  As from April 3 2017 this does not have to be GCSE and can be functional skills.  

Further details of the new EYE can be found here.

Playwork training

Oxfordshire Play Association

Playwork training at levels 1, 2 and 3

NB: Level 3 Transition Award to Playwork (from Early Years)

The Level 3 Transition Award to Playwork is available for practitioners who currently hold a level 3 Early Years childcare qualification and would like to gain a level 3 in Playwork. The course is offered through workshop sessions and runs over approximately six months.


For applications please contact the training providers directly or, for further details please contact us.

Full and relevant qualifications

If you already have a level 3 qualification and need to check whether it is full and relevant or may need updates, look at the Department for Education's Qualifications Finder for those delivering the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. For further details on qualifications go to the Department for Education website.


Funding from Oxfordshire County Council is no longer available towards early years/childcare and playwork training. However there may be other sources of funding. Please contact your provider / college directly or go to our page on funding.

Advanced Learn Loans

Advanced learner loans are available for individuals aged 19 or above to undertake approved qualifications at levels 3-6 at an approved provider in England. Advanced learner loans give individuals access to financial support for tuition costs similar to that available in higher education and are administered by Student Finance England. Advanced learner loans are paid directly to the college or training organisation on behalf of an individual.

More information can be found on our funding page or go to Advanced learn loans

Last reviewed
21 June 2018

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