Childcare & Early Years Education

Foundation Degree Early Childhood Education in Practice


This foundation degree course is run in conjunction with Bishop Grosseteste University. For help with your application, please contact Bishop Grosseteste University on 01522 583648 or email

Am I Ready?

A minimum of one year’s practical experience in an employed or voluntary capacity with a written statement of support from the head teacher/manager. Candidates should ideally hold a Diploma, NVQ or Access to HE qualification and a minimum of a Level 2 in English and maths although other qualifications will be considered and enthusiasm and experience are essential. Candidates should also hold or be willing to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. Applicants must have access to a voluntary or paid role in a relevant setting for at least 12 hours a week throughout the course and have written support from the setting.

Course Details

Have you ever thought about working towards a degree, but decided against it as you are already in employment or volunteering and don’t want to give that up? Our FdA Early Childhood Education in Practice course is designed for those working or volunteering with children 0-8 years in the voluntary, private and independent early years sector or a foundation unit in a school. This course is also for nannies, child minders and those working in Children’s Centres with families of young children.

This work-based Foundation Degree programme is a combination of practice-based learning and campus-based teaching sessions that take place once a week, allowing you to continue working or volunteering throughout the course. Throughout the two-year programme, you will integrate your previous experience working with young children into your studies.

In your first year, you will study learning principles as an introduction to higher education and analyse the complex link between practice and meeting the needs of children. You will investigate your role in the early years sector to support your professional development, as well as study modules on child development and social interactions to supplement your practical knowledge.

As you go through the second year, you will study modules on inclusion, equality, and diversity, developing and supporting children, and expanding young children's thinking and learning via pedagogy and practice and reflection. You will be able to collaborate with students from other related courses who work in a variety of contexts such as schools and youth services to increase your employability by broadening your perspectives on working with children and young people.


Assessment is through a variety of methods including essays, presentations, journals and portfolios depending on the module content. Access to practical experience of teaching/supporting learners is required and observations will be carried out on a regular basis.

Additional Information

Many of our Foundation degree graduates take on higher level roles specialising in areas such as family liaison, special education needs, managing settings youth work, mentoring or roles in the wider community and with local authorities. The degree has evolved to respond to the demand for graduate professionals set by the government through the professionalisation of the children’s and youth workforce.

The majority of students advance onto our Top Up Degrees to take their qualifications to honours degree level. Like the Foundation degree, these Top Up Degrees allow you to study and continue to work.

Staff profile: Emma Marshall. Emma has been involved in education for over 25 years. Following her first-degree BA (Hons) in geography from University of Birmingham, Emma did her PGCE with the University of Lancaster and worked as a teacher in Foundation stage and key stage 1 classrooms across Lincolnshire, she was also SENCO in two different Primary Schools. She then took a sideways step and took a role as Deputy Head of a large Montessori Nursery school. During that time she developed her passion for outdoor learning becoming an accredited Forest School Leader. Emma has worked for the past 5 years at Grantham College teaching on the BGU Foundation Degrees and in the past 18 months has taken on the role of course leader. She has recently completed her MA in Professional Studies at BGU.


Your Next Steps

On successful completion of this course you may be able to progress on to a BA (Hons) Degree.

Course Details
Code: HGA10091 Type: Part Time Duration: 30 weeks Dates: 18 September 2023
Entry Requirements: See “Am I Ready?”
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