L3 BTEC Children’s Play, Learning and Development

 “Children are not a distraction from work. They are the most important work” C.S. Lewis

Entry requirements

Automatic entry onto Level 3 courses includes students achieving 5 x A*-C or equivalent at GCSE. Students should also have achieved a grade 5 or above in English and Mathematics or still be working towards achieving a grade 5 in Mathematics. 

Course description

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Children’s Play, Learning and Development gives an introduction to study of the sector. It is intended as an Applied General qualification, and is equivalent in size to one A Level. It supports access to a range of higher education courses, possibly but not exclusively in the early years sector, if taken alongside further Level 3 qualifications. No prior study of the sector is needed, but learners will have a range of achievement at Level 2 in GCSEs or equivalent qualifications. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been involved in order to confirm that the content is appropriate for those interested in working in the sector. Learners will complete 50 hours’ work experience in the sector.

Learners taking this qualification will study four units which cover the following topics:

  • Children’s Development - In this unit, you will learn about theories and models of development that explain how and why children develop and how this relates to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). You will develop an understanding of a range of factors that may influence children’s development, and consider the short- and long-term effects on their development.
  • Communication and Numeracy - In this unit, you will learn the sequence of children’s speech, communication, language, literacy and numeracy skills development. You will plan stage appropriate activities that encourage children’s development and understanding by stimulating their enthusiasm, and using exciting and interesting ways to enable them to find out more.
  • Play and Learning - In this unit, you will learn about the types of play and the opportunities that should be made available to children at different ages and stages of development. You will consider why play is so important and how it supports children’s learning and development.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage - In this unit, you will look at the principles, themes and aims of the EYFS and how these can influence the way that the curriculum is organised. You will study the learning and development requirements and how they prepare children for school by the time they reach the age of five years.

The qualification carries UCAS points and if it is taken alongside other qualifications as part of a two-year programme of learning, then it is recognised by higher education providers as contributing to meeting admission requirements for many courses. It will support entry to many higher education courses, depending on the other qualifications learners have taken.

Exam board

  • Pearson / Edexcel

Exam board website


  • 360 GLH - Equivalent in size to one A Level. Mandatory content (83%) and External assessment (66%).

Ways to help my child succeed

Coursework and exams can be challenging and stressful.  In order to assist your child talk to them, proof read their work, assist with revision strategies and encourage them to present/execute their work to the highest standards

Useful resource

  • Revise BTEC National Children's Play, Learning and Development Revision Guide Publisher: Pearson Author: Brenda Baker ISBN: 9781292150161
  • Revise BTEC National Children's Play, Learning and Development Revision Workbook Publisher: Pearson Author: Brenda Baker ISBN: 9781292150154
  • BTEC Nationals Children's Play, Learning and Development Student Book Publisher: Pearson Author: Penny Tassoni,Brenda Baker,Louise Burnham,Karen Hucker ISBN: 9781292133621
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