HND in Early Childhood Education and Care – Level 5

Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care


Pearson (BTEC) Higher National qualifications are widely recognised by industry and higher education as the principal vocational qualification at Level 4 and Level 5. Pearson Higher National qualifications in Early Childhood Education and Care are developed in collaboration with a wide range of students, employers, and higher education providers, and fully reflect the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements.

There has been input from relevant professional bodies, to ensure alignment with recognised professional standards. There is a greater emphasis on employer engagement and work readiness. Higher National qualifications in Early Childhood Education and Care are designed to reflect this increasing need for high quality professional at Level 4 and Level 5, thereby providing students with a clear line of sight to employment and/or to progression to a degree at Level 6.

Higher Nationals in Early Childhood Education and Care have been developed to focus on providing a range of general and specialist units, both core and optional, each with a clear purpose, so there is something to suit each student’s choice of programme and future progression plans.

Course Content

The Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care offers students an in-depth introduction to the subject area via mandatory units, while also allowing for the acquisition of specific knowledge, skills and experience through specialist pathways and the selection of optional units across a range of occupationally-relevant subjects at Level 4 in year one and Level 5 in year two. Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in evidence-based practice, personal research, self-study, directed study and work-integrated learning and experience.  

The first year of the Higher National Diploma (Level 4) features eight (8) core Units valued at 120 credits. The second year (Level 5) has six units valued at 120 credits.

HND Core units

Year 1

Personal and Professional Development through Reflective Practice
Protecting Children in Early Education and Care Environments
Play and Learning in Early Childhood
Supporting and Promoting Children’s Development (Babies and Toddlers)
Supporting and Promoting Children’s Development (Young Children)
Promoting Healthy Living
Preparing for Research
Promoting Inclusive Early Education and Care Environments.

Year 2 

Investigating Childhood: Action Research for Early Childhood Practitioners
Improving Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care Environments
Innovative Approaches to Children’s Play and Learning in Practice
Managing Children’s Early Education and Care Environments
Child-centred Practice with Children, Families and Communities
Outdoor Play and Learning

Work placement requirements

A minimum requirement of 375 hours’ in year 1 and a further 150 in year 2, work placement or experience in early education and/or care settings. The mandatory elements of work placement/experience are as follows. A minimum of two different settings is required in the following age ranges:

From birth to one year, 11 months
From two years to four years, 11 months
Five years to seven years, 11 months

Course Aims

Students will gain a wide range of sector knowledge tied to practical skills gained in evidence-based practice, personal research, self-study, directed study and work-integrated learning and experience. 

Entry Requirements

Although Pearson does not specify formal entry requirements, as a centre we ensure that the students we recruit have a reasonable expectation of success on the programme.

For students who have recently been in education, the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • Must be 18 years and above;
  • BTEC Level 3 Early Years Educator (or related subject) qualification;


  • A GCE Advanced Level profile that demonstrates strong performance in a relevant subject or adequate performance in more than one GCE subject. This profile is likely to be supported by GCSE grades A* to C and/or 9 to 4 (or equivalent) in subjects such as maths and English;


  • A* to C grades and/or 9 to 4 in English Language and GCSE Maths (or equivalent) are strongly recommended;


  • Other related Level 3 qualifications;


  • An Access to Higher Education Diploma awarded by an approved further education institution;


  • Related work experience;


  • An international equivalent of the above;

English language requirements for Higher Nationals

As a Pearson centre delivering the new Pearson BTEC Higher National qualifications we are required to ensure that all students who are non-native English speakers and who have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English, can demonstrate capability in English at a standard equivalent to the levels identified below, before being recruited to the programme where the programme is both taught and assessed in English

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2

  • PTE 51
  • IELTS 5.5; Reading and Writing must be at 5.5
  • or equivalent. It is up to the centre to decide what proof will be necessary to evidence individual student proficiency

Mature applicants – a minimum of 5 years work experience at supervisory level and meet the English language requirement Recognition of prior learning will be considered with advice from Pearson.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Methods

The programme is taught through a variety of teaching methods including: lectures, small group seminars and group work with peers. All elements of the programme have specific learning outcomes with content designed to help students achieve these outcomes. Students are expected to learn through both directed and self-directed study.

The programme is assessed through individual unit assessments (which may include essays, other written coursework, group work, presentations and or other methods).


The Level 5 Higher National Diploma allows students to progress onto:
BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies
BA (Hons) in Early Education and Care
BA/BSc (Hons) in Child Psychology
BA (Hons) in Child and Family Studies
BA/BSc (Hons) Child Health and Wellbeing
BA (Hons) in Child and Youth Studies
BA (Hons) in Primary Education


2 Years – Full time

Awarding Body

Pearson Education Ltd


Centres are free to offer the qualifications using any mode of delivery (for example full time, part time, evening only, intensive, distance or blended learning) that meet their learners’ needs.
More information about course is available on Course Specification


The Pearson fee for HND registration is paid by the College at the time of student enrolment.


UK and EU students who wish to study on the Certificate in Education & Training, HND/HNC in Business and HND in Early Childhood Education and Care programmes may be entitled to student loans from Student Loans Company (SLC).
These loans are available to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, books and travel whilst studying (Maintenance Loan) and cover the costs of tuition fees (Tuition Fee Loan).
To find out about the eligibility criteria and what amount of tuition fee and maintenance loans you may be entitled to for the Student Finance in England go to: .
All students in receipt of Tuition fee loans and maintenance loans will need to pay back after their studies.


Please download the application form or apply online at .

Complete and return it to Stratford College with relevant qualification documents, one suitable reference, a copy of your passport and attached scanned document copies online or via email at: