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Early Years

Early Years at Nescot provides students with a strong foundation for their journey as an early years practitioner. With a strong focus on innovative practice, all students use their skills in a work placement, which allows them to nurture links with employers and prepare for employment.

The Early Years Department

The whole department is deeply committed to helping you become the care professional you want to be. We will give you a thorough understanding of the theory of your chosen area and provide you with innovative, exciting opportunities to put that understanding into practice. Whether you are already working with children and want to take your career further, or are just starting out Nescot’s Early Years courses will show you how to keep children healthy and happy.

We not only give you work experience in the wider world but you can also get involved with other departments at Nescot to give you a real feel for your chosen career. From experience in the Campus Nursery, Nestots, to working with some of our students with learning disabilities, you will learn how to put classroom theory into practice to change lives.

What You Can Expect
  • Targeted work experience in an organisation relevant to your area of study, so that you can see for yourself how your skills could fit in different sectors.
  • Childcare employers frequently send us their vacancies because they want someone who is ‘Nescot qualified’.
  • The opportunity to do work experience at our on-site nursery, Nestots.
  • Level 3 students get additional qualifications in cooking and paediatric first aid, to increase their employability even further.
  • Students go on a range of trips throughout the year, including to Thorpe Park and Brighton, to give them an opportunity to practice planning an effective trip.
  • Students benefit from an annual careers fair, where a range of local employers network with our students, which leads to real job opportunities within the industry.
Our Staff

Our tutors are excellent teachers and mentors with a wide breadth of industry experience, including nursery managers, special needs practitioners, primary school learning support and nannying. The quality of teaching in the department has consistently been recognised as good or above.


Early years students from Nescot have gone on to study at universities such as King’s College London, the University of Roehampton and St Mary’s, as well as finding work straight after finishing at Nescot.


  • Childminder
  • Children’s nurse
  • Crèche assistant
  • Early years teacher
  • Holiday childcare representative
  • Hospital play specialist
  • Nanny
  • Nursery assistant
  • Nursery manager
  • Playworker
  • Primary school teacher
  • Special care baby unit assistant
  • Special needs teaching assistant
  • Teaching assistant

At Nescot we encourage our students to think ahead, so that they can choose the right courses to fit them and their future. We also use an innovative online platform called Start, which is a free and comprehensive digital platform, offering students a single starting point to help simplify careers guidance. Students can build a personal profile aimed at guiding them throughout their career. Find out more here.

Early Years

This chart shows some details about employment trends in the sector, and companies Nescot works with.

Skills you will gain

If you want to work with young children it is essential to get both knowledge and experience. Your journey as a Nescot student will balance classroom, practical and work experience to ensure you have the skills for a rewarding career. Your learning will include:

  • Resilience and mental health
  • Knowledge of Early Years
  • Foundation Stage framework
  • Legislation and health & safety
  • Organisation and communication skills
  • Safeguarding and equality & diversity
  • Self-confidence
  • Empathy and care giving 
  • Literacy, numeracy and IT skills
  • Observation and assessment

Photograph of a Nescot student

One of the best things about the course is the extra things we learn. For example, we got an extra qualification in cooking, which would be really useful if you became a nanny. We’ve learnt a lot about using Makaton and visual aids, so I feel more equipped to help children with additional needs, too. I’m staying at Nescot next year to study for a Foundation Degree in Pedagogy, and I’m really excited about starting it. I’m hoping to become an Early Years teacher in the future.
Level 3 Education & Childcare

Photograph of a Nescot student

I’m the only male in our group of 20, but the whole class are very supportive and I feel included and comfortable. It doesn’t matter if I’m the only male – I think you should study what you want to do, and I enjoy working with children. I think it’s really important for more men to get into childcare – we are role models and it is good for schools and nurseries to have a balance of sexes.
Level 3 Education & Childcare