Enrolment 2024 – details here.

Early Years

University-Level Courses

The Early Years Department

Early Years: A work-based Foundation Degree, considered a full-time course with part-time attendance.

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 higher education pathways which combines academic study with work-based learning for those who would like to remain in work whilst studying. The structure and timings of our courses are designed for those with busy working and family lives to develop essential skills for planning your studies, academic writing, engagement with research and literature, critical reflection and analysis of your practice.

What to Expect

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. 

Assessment is conducted through written assignments and practical presentations focusing on current working practice.

Our Staff

Julie McLarnon

Julie’s social work background, direct work with young children and experience as a Government advisor, independent consultant and author has equipped her with the knowledge and competence to teach to a very high standard. Julie is an experienced and well qualified HE Lecturer across a broad range of subjects. She is passionate about good quality, academic learning & practice development and dedicated to supporting the students she teaches so that they fulfil their potential.

Norma Jun-Tai

Norma is a registered Health Play Specialist and experienced HE lecturer with an MA in Education. She represents the profession of Health Play Specialists on a national level and endeavours to share her professional experiences with the students she has the pleasure of teaching.

Your Education

The Foundation Degree in Early Years is a professionally recognised two-year degree that is highly valued by employers. It is delivered by and at Nescot on behalf of the Open University (subject to validation). The course is specifically designed for Early Years practitioners who have an appropriate Level 3 qualification and that are currently working, or volunteering, 16 hours per week within the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Student Feedback

I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am to have had you both as teachers for my first two years. Being taught to such a very high standard and learning alongside other practitioners from different settings has increased my understanding of Early Years so much. Keep being fab at what you do!

“At Nescot I feel that I am valued as a Higher Education student. I feel that I have flourished and I did not have to move miles away, for the ‘university experience.”

Photograph of a Nescot student

“The course has helped me in so many ways, it has given me the confidence to move on from my previous Teaching Assistant role to a school where I am able to grow and put many more of my skills, knowledge and experience into practice. Thanks to the course my goals are in sight and my ambitions in reach. I have also decided to continue in Higher Education, progress to Level 6 and to achieve Early Years Teacher Status.”