Ashford College - Early Years
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Early Years


Pathways are made up of courses focused on future careers or further education opportunities

With the current focus on high quality, professional early years education and care, this is a fast growing sector in the UK. Practitioners working with children in their early years are expected to be literate, numerate and function at a high level in a wide range of skills. They need a comprehensive understanding of young children's development, the importance of safeguarding, the need for appropriate health and safety at all times, as well as how to plan challenging, developmentally appropriate activities to support young children's play and learning and how to support young children with a wide range of additional needs and behaviours. And that's just for starters!

In Early Years, we offer one T Level which is in Education and Childcare. The T Level consists of 80% classroom based learning and 20% on the job learning (in a 45 day work placement). We also have excellent working relationships with early years settings across our local area, enabling us to place learners with a range of high quality providers close to their home for their practical workplace experience. Learn more about T Levels here.

With courses at various levels, no matter what your starting point is, we have a course to suit you. You will be taught by qualified lecturers with a passion for early years education and care, all of whom have practical knowledge and experience of working in the sector.

Student Progression

Studying Early Years at Ashford College will allow you to gain an internationally recognised qualification and develop your career. Whether your future is progressing to a higher level course with us, joining the workforce in a variety of roles, or moving on to University, our Ashford College Early Years team can help you achieve your goals.

Careers in this industry include...

  • Nursery Assistant
  • Play Worker
  • Teaching Assistant
  • Au Pair
  • Children’s Holiday Rep


On our Early Years pathway, we have worked with lots of external partners over the years so that our students can see what happens in this industry in great detail. This also allows our students to ask questions and be given great advice by those with years of experience. We are also able to place our learners with a range of high quality providers close to their home for their practical workplace experience.

We are improving our relationship with these partners significantly with our T Level course in Education and Childcare. Students will take part in a 45 day work placement with a local employer, really giving them the experience they need to break into the industry. Learn more about T Levels in general here.


Career Prospects

Example: Nursery nurses and assistants

 Annual pay
£7,800 - £21,840
Annual pay is per year, based on full-time employment and on the South East region.

Across the UK the workforce is projected to expand by 42% over the period to 2027, adding 72,748 jobs. In the same period, 73% of the workforce is projected to retire, creating 125,640 job openings.

Role description

Nursery nurses and assistants care for children from birth up to seven years of age in day or residential nurseries, children’s homes, maternity units and similar establishments.

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Are you?


Entry requirements

Our entry requirements allow any student to apply enrol and progress in their studies with us to achieve their full potential.

You will apply for your chosen pathway and at the interview you can discuss what entry criteria you need for each level.

Once you have your GCSEs we can ensure you are enrolled on the best level for you to progress and succeed at College.

Please see our Group entry requirements

What's next?

Step 1 - Apply

Once you apply, you will have an interview to discuss your chosen pathway

Step 2 - Interview

We will contact you with appropriate options for conducting your interview, either online or in person.

At your interview, we will discuss the entry requirements for each level and course. It is also your opportunity to make sure that the pathway meets your goals and ambitions.

Courses at Ashford College

If you know exactly which course and level you need to apply for, or want more information, please select from the options below:

Need more help?

Our advice and guidance team can be contacted to help you understand your next steps at College.

Courses at Ashford College

If you know exactly which course and level you need to apply for, or want more information, please select from the options below:

Why people love Early Years

Wide range of tools

Wide range of tools

At Ashford, we have a wide range of tools for Early Years students to use, including our realistic baby dolls, sensory play sets, changing tables and many more. We are also investing in brand new T Level facilities to go alongside our Education and Childcare T Level. 

Training from Industry Experts

Training from Industry Experts

Our Early Years students get to experience training all year round from external companies and partners, meaning they boost their skills. In June, we had R&R Training come in to teach our Level 3 students First Aid when working with children and toddlers. 

Learning made fun!

Learning made fun!

Early Years at Ashford isn't all just about theory work, there are also lots of fun activities that go on throughout the year. Lectures are also made fun and engaging by our Early Years team with a variety of tools and equipment that you would expect to find at an Early Years setting.

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you

Elwick Road
TN23 1NN

01233 743100