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Early Years and Healthcare Play

This work-based Foundation Degree is considered a full time course with part time attendance. The structure and timings of our course are designed for those with busy working and family lives.

Our Staff

Our staff are experienced practitioners, not only in the field of early years but in the multi-disciplinary areas of health and social services. They are passionate about providing this higher education pathway which combines academic study with work-based learning for those who would like to remain in work whilst studying.

Julie McLarnon

I am an experienced HE Lecturer who holds a teaching qualification plus several post graduate qualifications including an MA in Child Centred Interprofessional Practice. My social work background; direct work with young children and experience as a Government advisor and independent consultant, equips me with the knowledge and competence to teach to a very high standard, across a broad range of subjects, relevant to both the Early Years and the Health Play Specialist Foundation Degrees I deliver on. For example: Reflective practice; child development; pedagogy; child protection; play; teaching and learning; children’s rights; ethics and special educational needs. I am passionate about good quality, academic learning that has the potential to impact on practice and dedicated to supporting the students I teach to grow not just academically but also personally and professionally.

About the Course

This degree is specifically designed for early years practitioners who have an appropriate Level 3 qualification and at least two years post qualifying experience. You must be working at least 16 hours per week with babies and children from birth to five years old within an early years setting.

We keep our class sizes small, at around 20 students, so you not only get much more individual attention from your tutors but build a real relationship with your classmates. Our tutors will also pinpoint the areas you are most challenged by and give you the personal skills and tools to master them. We then encourage you to learn from one another and bring your own work-based experiences to the course using group work sessions, paired work and class discussions.

What will I study?

This course will equip you with higher level skills and a sound knowledge of areas relevant to your work including local and national statutory frameworks, theories of learning, collaborative working with agencies and families, educational systems and a deeper understanding of child development, observation and assessment. You will reflect upon your practice of working with babies and children from birth to five years with opportunities to explore and develop an in-depth understanding of safeguarding, child protection, ethics and diversity. Flexible study will enable you to engage with a wide range of reading and you will develop essential skills of academic writing, planning your studies, engagement with research and critical reflection and analysis of both your practice and reading.

Assessment is conducted through written assignments, practical presentations, a written short answer paper and practitioner research.

"I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the many people who have helped me on a Journey I never dreamed I would travel. Undertaking this Foundation Degree has to be one of the most challenging experiences of my life and without the many people behind me I would never have got to the end. It’s been an amazing learning journey for me, with highs and lows, tears and tantrums! Yet magical moment’s proudness!
To my tutors at Nescot College, who have been amazing, supportive and I am in complete awe at their depth of knowledge and teaching skills. Even at times when I was terrified they reassured me!
To all my work colleagues for listening to me moan and groan and helping me with my workload."
Jo Mepham, Nescot Foundation Degree Early Years student


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