South Devon College

Inspiring our community through learning for all

Contact us on: 08000 380123


Working with young children leads to a rewarding and fulfilling career, and a Childcare course at South Devon College is the perfect way to equip you with the knowledge and skills to make a lasting, positive difference in a young person's life.

All of our courses are delivered by professional and enthusiastic practitioners, who offer outstanding support and guidance and draw upon their own industry experience to provide you with a learning environment that will enable you to succeed. In addition to the skills you develop, our courses also offer recognised qualifications that will help you to gain employment in settings such as nurseries, pre-schools and children's centres.

Our Childcare courses cover engaging themes, such as child health, theories of play and learning, safeguarding and early literacy and numeracy. To help you develop the qualities and skills employers seek, you will undertake a placement that complements your theoretical studies, and provides valuable experience in a real working environment.

We also deliver Childcare at a Higher Education level through our university provision, comprising of the FdA Early Years Care and Education degree and the BA (Hons) Child Development and Education 1 Year Top-up degree. This means that you can continue your studies at Higher Education, should you wish to refine your skills before searching for a job in the industry. Whatever your goals or ambitions, you can achieve them by studying Childcare at South Devon College. So apply now and start making a difference today.

Why South Devon College?

South Devon College is an outstanding place to learn, and the perfect place for your education and development. In 2014, we were delighted to be recognised as the top Further Education and Tertiary College in England, in results published by the Skills Funding Agency for 2012-13. We were also graded as 'Outstanding' in our most recent Ofsted inspection.

We are proud to promote a culture of success within the College, with fantastic results across the entirety of our provision. With an exceptional learning environment and our inspirational teaching team, we know that together, you will enjoy the same success in your studies and achieve your goals, whatever they may be.

Personalised Learning Programmes

Every student at South Devon College has a Personalised Learning Programme; a custom plan tailored to you as an individual that ensures you gain the academic, vocational and employability skills necessary to achieve your goals and find employment upon the completion of your studies.

Oli Masters: Childcare student

The tutors at South Devon College were very passionate. They provided me with a solid grounding of teamwork and communication. The nature of the course allowed me to better understand my future clients such as lone parents and gave me an excellent foundation for my future career development.

I now work for the National Careers Service supporting learners with guidance about their future career.

Stefanie Crinks: Childcare lecturer

I completed my BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies at Plymouth University, where I developed a broad range of skills relating to Early Years Education and Childcare, before gaining various teaching qualifications. I really enjoy passing my knowledge on to our learners, and have found teaching and assessing extremely rewarding during my time with South Devon College. It's fantastic to support learners in achieving their qualifications, and helping them gain employment in this rewarding industry.

We have 3 fulltime courses in Childcare:

Introduction to Childcare - Level 1 Diploma

This course develops your confidence and personal skills as well as an awareness of what a career in childcare involves. You will complete 3 days in college and study child development, play and creative activities for children as well. There will be opportunities to volunteer with children and attend work experience at the end of your course to prepare you for further study.

What will I learn?

  • Child development
  • Play and learning
  • Creative activities for children
  • Developing your own personal skills
Introduction to Childcare Level 1 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to be working towards achieving Maths at Level 1
  • You will be required to be working towards achieving English at Level 1
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject
  • You will need to complete a DBS Check

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Child Development and Care - Level 2

This course is designed to develop your skills to enable you to progress on to the Early Years Educator programme. You will study child development, outdoor learning and professional skills in employment for 3 days per week in college, with an additional option to apply your knowledge in a work placement for 1-2 days per week. The course is designed to enhance employability in early years, and to help to achieve essential Maths and English skills that are required by the industry.

What will I learn?

  • Child development and care
  • Level 1 Introduction to forest school
  • Level 2 Preparing for work
  • Creative activities for children
Child Development and Care Level 2

Entry Requirements

  • You must have a GCSE Grade D in Maths
  • You must have a GCSE Grade D in English
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade D or above
  • You will need to complete a DBS Check

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Childcare and Education - Level 3 Diploma

This course is suitable for people who have a passion for working with children, and aspire to work at an unsupervised level. The course balances theory and practical study, giving you all the tools to succeed in this rewarding sector. You will be based in College for three days a week, with a placement for two days a week in an early years setting, where you apply your knowledge of theories relating to child development and educational practice. Upon completion, you could consider employment or apply to the FdA Early Years Care and Education degree at the College.

What will I learn?

  • Child development from conception to seven years
  • Children's health and wellbeing
  • Working with young children
  • Child health
  • Play and learning
  • Supporting children with additional needs
  • Observation, assessment and planning
  • Emergent literacy
  • Emergent mathematics
  • Preparing for school readiness
  • International perspectives
Childcare and Education Level 3 Diploma

Entry Requirements

  • You will be required to have achieved Maths at Level 2
  • You will be required to have achieved English at Level 2
  • You will need to have achieved a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths and English
  • You will need to complete a DBS Check
  • You should have a genuine interest in this subject

Locations available

  • Paignton Campus

Apprenticeships with South Devon College

Could an Apprenticeship be the right path for you?

South Devon College is a leading provider of apprenticeships, offering nearly 40 different types of apprenticeships and we work with over 1000 apprentices and 500 employers a year. Our apprenticeship are the perfect option for you if you want to study towards a qualification and increase your employability whilst getting paid.

By working in your chosen trade or sector, you'll be developing vocational experience that employers look for and putting the skills you learn at the College into practice, giving you the ideal preparation for starting a career.

We offer a wide variety of apprenticeship frameworks, working at a range of levels across different industries and job roles, so we are confident that we can find the right course to help you achieve your goals. To find out more about South Devon College's apprenticeship programmes, click here:

My future with South Devon College

Careers: I want to be...

Our courses at South Devon College have been designed to provide you with the skills and knowledge employers seek, enabling you to find employment and take the first steps towards a successful career. Our Childcare courses will help you gain employment in the following industries:

Improve the lives of others

Some people find no greater reward than helping others, taking immense satisfaction in putting a smile on someone's face. If that sounds like you, then we have the courses that could help you make a difference and lead to a rewarding career as:

Nursery Practitioner