NCFE CACHE Level 1 Award in an Introduction to Early Years Settings

This qualification develops a basic knowledge of childcare in early years settings. It covers working with children up to the age of 5 years and 11 months old. The units include subjects such as the value of play, roles and responsibilities of carers and volunteers and the importance of developing links in the local community. As well as being a qualification in its own right, after achieving the Level 1 you can choose to progress to the Level 2 Certificate in an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care.



Course fee£475.00
Registration fee£50.00

Course requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course, but you will need to have a good command of basic English and be at least 16 years of age. This is an online course so you will also need easy access to the internet.

It is expected that you have a general interest in young children (you may be a volunteer in an Early Years setting, or part of a committee running an Early Years sector, or considering making a career move into the Early Years sector or wish to work in a school reception class). This is an introductory course which will give you the opportunity to become familiar with some central principles and concepts of working with children from birth to 5 years 11 months of age, but does not confer licence to practise where a full and relevant qualification is required.

To gain this qualification you will need to register with CACHE. We will take care of this process, but you will need to pay an additional registration fee which is not included in the price of your course.

If you are based overseas it is essential that you contact our course advice team before enrolling on this course.

Duration of study

As a guideline, you should allow for 60 hours' study time, plus additional time for completing assignments. You will have tutor support for a period of up to 6 months from the date of enrolment with the option of extending for a further 6 months (extension fee applies).

There are three units to complete, so each unit might be completed over 6-8 weeks. Each unit consists of 5-10 tasks, of varying length and complexity.


This course is accredited by CACHE, the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education.


Unit 1: The value of play for babies and young children (Mandatory unit)
  • The importance of play to a child's development
  • Different play types suitable for babies and young children from birth to 5 years 11 months
  • The role of the adult in providing play

Unit 2: Management and organisation in an early years setting (Mandatory unit)
  • What is involved in the management of an early years setting
  • How regulations and legislation affect early years settings
  • How early years settings help children to feel secure

Unit 3: Introduction to community development in early years settings (Option 1)
  • How to develop links with the local community that could enhance children's learning and development
  • The role of volunteers from the community
  • The procedure for involving volunteers in the early years setting

Unit 4: Roles and responsibilities in an early years setting (Option 2)
  • What is involved in the management structure of an early years setting
  • The role of the team in an early years setting
  • How to improve your own practice in the early years setting

Exams and assessment

You will create an online portfolio of evidence using written tasks.

To achieve this qualification you'll need to gain 6 credits: 5 credits by completing 2 mandatory units, and the remaining 1 credit by completing one unit out of a choice of two options.

NEC will register you for this qualification with the Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE). The £50 registration fee is not included in your course fee and will need to be paid in addition at the time of enrolment.

Set texts and resources

This course is entirely self-contained so no additional textbooks are required.

Using the NEC Laser

You’ll work through this course using the NEC Laser: an online learning system that makes completing your course – submitting your work, doing activities and getting feedback – straightforward and enjoyable. The system is easy to use and all the work you complete is recorded in your learner profile, forming an online portfolio.

As this course is delivered online, you will need a computer with an internet connection, word processing software, Flash Player and Acrobat Reader. You will need to be confident using the internet, sending and receiving emails with attachments and producing basic documents using a word processor.

How to enrol

For this course there are two ways to enrol with NEC:
  • Telephone us on 0800 389 2839 or +44(0)1223 400200 and speak to our course advice team.
  • Ask us to send you an enrolment form which you can complete and return by post.

You will also need to complete a pre-enrolment declaration form, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

Paying in instalments

It’s your choice: you can pay in full at the point of enrolment, or you can spread the cost over monthly instalments with our finance offer. To pay in instalments you will need to enrol by telephone.

Representative example:
Course fee:  
Amount of credit:  
Monthly payment:  
Duration of agreement:  
Total repayable:  
Rate of interest:  
0% APR representative.  
  6 months

The National Extension College (NEC) is the trading name of the Open School Trust, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (register number 676788). Finance is provided through the Deko platform by a number of lenders. You will be offered the best rate available based on your credit history and the lenders’ credit decision policies.

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