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Working with children and young adults

We offer courses for those setting off on their career in childcare and in young people's professions, as well as those who are already working or volunteering wanting to develop and improve their job prospects.


children and adult stacking play bricks

We have an excellent reputation in this area and work with learners and employers in a flexible and supportive way, responding to the needs of the workforce and local communities.

If you're interested in a fulfilling career, changing career or wanting to develop your working potential by gaining a nationally recognised qualification, or need to update your skills, then this in an area of work that you could consider:

  • early years workers
  • after school workers
  • pre-school, playgroup and nursery workers
  • crèche workers
  • childminders
  • teaching assistants
  • children's residential care workers
  • apprenticeships in childcare
  • behaviour units

For more information about any of our courses please visit our Making Choices - Childcare Information page on our Virtual Learning Environment, Derbyshire Learning Online. For help with setting up an account please contact your local adult community education centre.

To find out what courses are running in your area, take a look at our adult community education courses online, or contact your local adult community education centre.

First steps

For these courses, no formal qualifications are needed and you will be assessed through evidence you collect in tasks and assignments.

Developing skills for listening to children

A 10-week, part-time entry level introductory course, aimed at developing your skills for communicating with children. It's suitable for parents and carers supporting their children and people working with children.

Happy healthy children

A short, 5-week course which explores how you can support the development and wellbeing of children in and out of the home environment. The course is a wonderful starting point for any learner with or without childcare skills and knowledge. It supports learners who are returning to education after a break.

BTEC Award in Health, Social Care and Working with Children

A 10-week, part-time course if you are thinking about a career in social care, health or working with children. This level 1 qualification course includes practical craft activities and gives an insight to job roles within the sector.

Next steps

For the following courses, you'll be expected to spend a minimum of 5 to 6 hours a week within an appropriate school or childcare setting. You'll need a current DBS Check to start any of these courses together with maths and English qualifications.

Certificate for Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools

If you have experience working or volunteering in a school and you would like to work as a teaching assistant, supporting children from age 5 with their learning in the classroom, this professional qualification is for you.

You'll develop the knowledge and skills needed when supporting teaching and learning in primary, secondary or special schools. It covers a wide range of areas including children and young people's development, supporting those with disabilities or special educational needs and communication and professional relationships.

This qualification is delivered part time over 36 weeks

Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner

This qualification is for those with experience working or volunteering in an early years setting (0 to 5 years old) and who would like to work in a nursery, pre-school or other early years setting.

You'll gain knowledge and understanding of babies and young children from birth to 7 years of age with applied knowledge in the early years, 0 to 5 years. The qualification meets the Department for Education (DfE) Level 2 full and relevant criteria for a full Level 2 Early Years Practitioner in the workplace.

This qualification is delivered part time over 36 weeks.

Certificate in Autism

A qualification for learners who wish to develop an understanding of autism and how to support individuals with autism.

You will develop understanding of autism and the principles of supporting individuals with autism covering:

  • the person-centred approach and influence of positive communication methods
  • how to support positive behaviour
  • how individuals with autism can be supported to live healthy and fulfilled lives

The qualification runs over 24 weeks with attendance required on alternate weeks.

Certificate for Children and Young People's Mental Health

Suitable for anyone looking to increase their knowledge in this area.

By completing the qualification, you'll develop knowledge of: children and young people's mental health in context; mental health problems commonly associated with children and young people; the impact of mental ill-health on children and young people; and the support available to maintain mental wellbeing in children and young people.

The qualification runs over 24 weeks with attendance required on alternate weeks.

Diploma in Children's Learning and Development Early Years Educator (EYE)

This Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become early years educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

Upon achievement of this qualification it is intended that you would be able to enter the workforce as early years educators. To achieve the status of an early years practitioner you will need English and maths at level 2.

This qualification is delivered part time over 72 weeks.

Diploma in Specialist Support for Teaching and Learning in Schools

Gain an in-depth understanding of the knowledge and skills required when working directly with children or young people in primary, secondary or special schools.

This qualification covers all aspects of specialist support including planning, delivering and reviewing assessment strategies to support learning alongside the teacher, bilingual and special needs support and personal development and reflective practice.

This qualification is delivered part time over 50 weeks.

Level 4 Higher Level Teaching Certificate

This course is aimed at working teaching assistants who want to enhance their knowledge and gain expertise in supporting learning and gain a professional qualification.

It's aimed at teaching assistants who wish to progress to HLTA status. You'll develop knowledge and effective skills in handling the challenges that you are likely to encounter, how children and young people in education can benefit from effective professional support to maximise in their potential. You will explore child development and wellbeing, positive working relationships, positive behaviour, and supporting children and young people with special educational needs. Curriculum planning, monitoring, delivery and assessment is an integral part of the course, as is working with individuals and groups of learners.