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Coronavirus - view information for students, apprentices and employers
The principal’s end-of-academic year message to students and apprentices

Due to the closure of college, applications can only be made online.

If you are unable to make an online application, please call Freephone 0808 100 3626 to make your application over the phone.

Principles in Childcare and Education (PCE)


This a 10-week induction programme prior to attending the Level 3 programme of study to prepare you for working within a childcare setting/school and to assess the most appropriate progression route. Course attendance is on a Wednesday evening 6pm-8pm.

You will attend college at the Derby Road site to receive underpinning knowledge relating to a variety or units to prepare you for study and working with children.

This course is designed to recognise and develop the skills of those who work or volunteer with children and young people within an educational or childcare setting and to identify if they would like to continue with a career in childcare.

You may be volunteering as a classroom assistant, (Primary/Secondary or in colleges) special educational needs assistant or subject specialist teaching assistant.

You must be able to volunteer for a minimum of 6 hours a week in the school or college setting.

Entry requirements

The course is avaliable for 19 years and over 

You will need to undertake an interview, and complete a satisfactory DBS check to ensure your suitability for working with children.

Start dates and fees

Please ask at your interview or contact the person whose details are shown below for an explanation of payment methods and information about individual costs.

Start DateDay/TimeWksDurationCodeAnnual Fee (Age)Actions
16-18over 19
TBC - 20:00
101 yr(s)1193E102FREE£60.00Apply
TBC - 20:00
101 yr(s)1193E104FREE£60.00Apply

How long is the course?

This induction programme is for 10 weeks. 


How will I be assessed?

The PCE course consists of units which are a mixture of reflection on your work in the school/college setting. You will be expected to complete one research task.

There are no exams.

What does the course lead to?

This course leads to the Level 3 programme in Supporting for Teaching and Learning (Teaching Assistant/Special Needs Support Assistant/Support Worker/Family Support Worker/Emotional Literacy Support Assistant).

What will I study?

Best practice requirements around supporting children and young people's learning in an educational establishment/childcare setting, including:

  • Introduction to work based placement
  • Introduction to study
  • The importance of play
  • Prejudice and discrimination
  • Principles of childcare and education
  • Introduction to child development

Study programmes

It is an entry requirement for some courses to have gained GCSEs A*-C in English and maths (see entry requirements). If the entry requirements to a course do not require A*-C in these subjects, and you haven’t already gained GCSEs A*-C in English and maths before joining us, you will continue to study English and maths as part of your programme and take appropriate qualifications in these subjects with the aim of achieving A* to C grade. In addition, to help you gain essential skills for employment, every student aged under 19 and studying a full-time course at college will take part in our study programmes alongside their main subject qualification. Find out more.

What can I go on to study?

If appropriate you may progress onto the Level 3 programme for Teaching Assistant.

How do I apply?

   Download an application form

Contact us on 0808 100 3626 or email

Apply online


Next steps

Attend an open evening

View our upcoming open evenings

Call our enquiries line free on

0808 100 3626
Bus service Financial support How to apply Course guides

Why choose West Notts?

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98.8% A Level pass rate in 2019

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Best A Level provider in Mansfield and Ashfield for student progress*

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One of the top colleges in the UK for student satisfaction**

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An extensive bus service across Mansfield and the surrounding area

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£50m investment in our facilities since 2008

*Value added is a measure of a student’s progress against their starting point
**Learner Exit Survey 2017/18
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