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The early years: developing practice

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This Level 1 course is appropriate for practitioners currently working with young children aged between birth and seven years in public, private, voluntary and independent settings. You’ll cover a range of themes including how children develop and learn; their personal, social and emotional development; communication and language; literacy, mathematics; and their understanding of the world. You'll learn about the early years curriculum and develop your ability to work effectively with young children, parents, colleagues and other professionals.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
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Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1625.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£1465.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£775.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.
Start End Fee Register
04 Oct 2014 Jun 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in October 2015.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

This course is for people working in early years settings with children from birth to seven years. If you are a childminder, pre-school leader/practitioner, childcare worker, unqualified nursery teacher, classroom/teaching assistant, nursery nurse or outreach play worker or working voluntarily in a school, Children's Centre, day nursery or out-of-school context with young children, it will help you develop your professional knowledge, skills and practice.

You will focus on the responsibilities, knowledge and skills underpinning your work with young children and with other adults, including parents and carers and a range of professional colleagues in multi-agency contexts. You will develop your understanding of the role of the early years practitioner, the nature of young children’s learning and development and the importance of early years environments.

Your understanding of the requirements of local and national frameworks (both statutory and non-statutory), that guide the education and care provision of early years settings and the work of children’s services in safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare will be extended and you will develop your awareness of the structure and nature of the wide range of provision for children from birth to seven years.

You will explore these areas through studying printed study materials, audio and video recordings (on DVD and online), and two course readers, and by carrying out activities linked to your work with young children.

After successfully completing this course you will have developed a clear awareness of your own role in working effectively in the care and education of young children. You will be aware of the conditions and contexts which support young children’s learning and development and will be confident of your ability to provide and/or support the provision of an appropriate and effective care and learning environment for children.

Vocational relevance

This course is for practitioners working with young children and their families in a wide range of early years settings across the UK, and its content is directly relevant to practice. The course is the first module of the Foundation Degree in Early Years, Diploma of Higher Education in Childhood Practice and BA/BA (Hons) Early Years and will meet the needs of adults seeking to become highly qualified and experienced early years practitioners, including those who aspire to achieve the graduate Early Years Teacher Status (EYTS) in England.

If you are an experienced practitioner there is an accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) route The early years:developing practice (APEL route) (EZL100) that enables you to demonstrate core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning to help you to progress to courses at Level 2 (SCQF Levels 8 and 9). Please note that this route is not available for standalone study - it can only be studied as a module of the qualifications listed above.

Entry

This is a key introductory Level 1 course. Level 1 courses provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning to help you to progress to courses at Level 2.

To study this course you must have been working with young children aged from birth to seven years in a registered early years setting prior to starting the course for six months if full time or 12 months if part time for at least five hours per week. You may have been working in a paid or a voluntary capacity. During the course, you will need to be working in the setting for a minimum of five hours a week in order to carry out the practical activities.

If you are a Nanny/Foster Carer working with a child (birth to six years), you must be able to undertake 3–5 hours paid or voluntary work each week in a registered early years setting where you have access to groups of children and support from experienced professional colleagues. The home of a parent/foster carer or nanny is not – on its own – an acceptable setting.

You must be over the age of eighteen years at course start date.

To work in an early years setting you will need to meet the ‘fit person’ criteria for doing so, including obtaining the necessary criminal record clearance required for the setting and country in which you are working. It is the responsibility of you and your employer to ensure you meet these requirements, and not the OU. You should contact the relevant agency in your country for more information if you are in doubt about your eligibility, or to find out more. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Outside the UK

This course is available in the UK and to students working in English-medium early years settings which teach a UK or Republic of Ireland curriculum (e.g. Early Years Foundation Stage or Key Stage 1) in Europe and British Forces schools.

Preparatory work

To undertake the course you must be working in either a paid or a voluntary capacity with young children and have the support of your employer. You will need to present a Permission Agreement Form with your registration application. This form gives further information about the course pre-requisites, and advice for the employer before signing the agreement forms. 

You must also ensure you meet the ‘fit person’ criteria as noted in the Entry section, above. There is no essential preparatory work before the course starts, but it is suggested that you locate and become familiar with the policy and curriculum documents for the early years setting in which you work. Reading practitioner journals such as Nursery World will allow you to acquaint yourself with current issues in the early years sector.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Please note that this course makes substantial use of audio and visual materials. Written transcripts are available for the audio-visual material. The course materials are available in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader and mathematical, scientific, or foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

You will need to spend considerable amounts of time using a personal computer and the internet. If you have concerns about taking this course please contact your regional or national centre for advice. The Open University also provides a range of sources to support students in developing their study skills and you will be able to access these from the Student website.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

Three volumes of print materials, two course readers, other printed materials, DVD and website.

You will need

A DVD player.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. We also offer tutorial support online through online forums and sometimes via group tutorials that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. 

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system. The end-of-module assessment (EMA) is a project.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2014. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept online registrations for this course. Instead, please read the Entry section of this course description and contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Student Reviews

“I loved this course! The materials were excellent and I found myself wanting to read more chapters than the course ...”
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“I found this course brilliant. The materials are very thought provoking and easy to read. The Assignments felt large but ...”
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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code E100
Credits 60
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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