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Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

"Completing a range of placements as part of my course prepared me for my career. I now work with children with special educational needs."


Teaching Assistant, Sophie, enjoys working at Fox Wood School, where she supports children aged 7 to 8, with special educational needs.

Sophie always knew that she wanted to work with children but it wasn’t until she joined the level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) at St Helens College, that she realised she wanted to specialise in learning disabilities.

Over the last two years, Sophie has completed a range of placements as part of her course, from day nurseries and school nurseries to school settings, including her last placement at Chesnut Lodge Specialist School, where she spent over a year and a half, developing her skills and experience as a level 1 Support Assistant.

It was during this placement, that she spotted a higher level position at Fox Wood School, in which she secured a full-time position as a level 2 Teaching Assistant.

Commenting on her current employment, Sophie said, “I love working at the school and supporting children in an environment which enables them to grow and progress, despite their learning difficulties.”

She added, “My role is quite varied but at the start of the day, I usually provide support with ‘Ready to Learn’ sessions which help the children to relax or focus before lessons begin. I then provide lesson or playtime support in a one-to-one capacity or in small groups and also personal care support. It definitely keeps me on my toes, especially when I have to come up with different calm strategies!”

When Sophie isn’t working at the school, she’s volunteering at summer camps or providing personal assistant support to children with special needs.

Talking about the industry and her ambitions, Sophie commented, “A common misconception about working in the industry is that there is lack of career progression, but I’m a great example of how this is completely not true!

“Now that I have completed my course and have worked in a variety of settings, I am hoping to go to university to study a degree in special educational needs and then hopefully progress on to a PGCE.”

During her course at College, Sophie juggled part-time employment and work placements with her assignments, attributing her ability to do this, to the “fantastic support and guidance from her tutors”.

Childcare Tutor at St Helens College, Nicola Langton, said, “Sophie was a very bubbly and enthusiastic student that was always happy to help and support others. Her determination with her studies and passion for working with children, contributed to her being an excellent Early Years Practitioner.”

She added, “The quality of work that Sophie produced was incredible. She always had new and exciting activities that she was eager to explore with children on her placements.”

Upon completing the level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator), Sophie achieved an impressive D* grade, equivalent to A at A level, and is hoping to attend university next year to study a degree in learning disability nursing.

Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)

Level 2 Teaching Assistant, Fox Wood School

Joined us from
Great Sankey High School



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Why study Early Years, Youth Work and Education with us?

Work Experience

Gain valuable work experience within childcare settings such as nurseries and schools. 

Enrichment Activities

Get involved in community initiatives and activities to boost your CV and university application. 

Experienced Tutors

Lecturers and tutors have industry experience and a passion for the subjects they teach.


Our excellent progression routes can lead to an apprenticeship, university or employment.

Industry Links

We have excellent links with local primary schools and childcare providers.

Learning Experience

Develop your knowledge and skills in our interactive learning environment.