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Childcare courses can be very confusing to start with. With many different options and avenues to explore finding the perfect qualification can be a stressful business!
What do you require?
Every student requires a different thing from a course. Whether you need a base to start your career or one to help you progress to being a better practitioner: there will be a course out there that suits your needs. Childcare courses come in all shapes and sizes, with or without accreditation, so that you can get qualified, learn how to be better in your profession and (hopefully) get promotions!
There are so many different accreditation bodies out there that its hard to keep up with knowing them all. But the whole point of a qualification is to get a certificate that people recognise in your profession. Otherwise you have a piece of paper with your name on which may be worthless! Go for a recognised qualification that people know. Yes, you may see a great deal with an awarding body which can save you a lot of money. But it won’t- because it won’t be worth anything to your career in the long run.
For childcare we prefer Cache qualifications as they are robust, recognised and well worth the money. Every person that employs people in childcare will look for Cache accreditation and immediately know that you have a childcare course to a good standard. Childcare courses need to be in-depth and the new Early Years Educator courses from Cache are fantastic in giving a very good knowledge in Early Years- these qualifications are fast become a mush-have for new practitioners.
Full courses in childcare can last between a few months to a few years and are somewhat like doing an apprenticeship program if they include work experience. Some can be done completely online while others will require placements in a setting. Full childcare courses will normally result in being accredited to a certain Level (i.e. Level 2 or 3) which can give a license to practice in the case of the Early Years Educator courses.
Online courses can give certification to different Levels (such as the Level 3 Award in Childcare and Education) which are very good of getting certified and fit in well around work and family life. However, the Early Years Educator courses are best for people looking for a course that enables you to be included in numbers to Level 2 or 3 standard upon completion. Therefore if you are just starting out and wish to get a qualification to begin working with children these EYEs are perfect.
As well as longer courses which give the licence to practice, you can find short childcare courses. These are designed to give knowledge of a specific area of practice rather than a general overview of Early Years. Great for continuous professional development, these courses are usually used by experienced practitioners that are looking to become better qualified in a certain area. With a wide variety of courses from policies and procedures in a setting to special educational needs, these courses give a great knowledge in an area of childcare which you may like to specialise in. Safeguarding courses are also very popular and employers love to have people in numbers with specific knowledge in different areas.
Some short courses in childcare may have no accreditation. Others may carry accreditation, but most will usually have this as an option upon enrolment. This is normally the best way as some students may wish to increase their knowledge, whereas others are looking for a certificate in this area to show employers. All of our short courses come with COT accreditation and certification and the vast majority have cache accreditation as an option for an additional fee which is passed over to Cache.
Online or Postal?
The days of home study courses being sent by mail are quickly becoming seen as old-fashioned. With modern online learning, studying can be accessible 24/7 and enrolments made immediately. Without needing to wait for feedback through the post or print out pages upon pages of materials, online learning is by far the best way to study nowadays. You can complete work whenever and wherever you like and receive feedback much faster!
Support and Assistance
We all need pointing in the right direction at times. And to complete a childcare course you may find that you require help navigating course materials or writing assignments. Our fantastic tutors are at your beck and call throughout an enrolment and guidance is given extremely promptly. Expert advice and tutor support is one of the best assets available when studying so we advise all of our students to ask questions!