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Hi. After browsing for a few months now and finding your comments on all the different areas of our vocation a great help and interest, I now wish to join the forum and ask if there is any one on the NVQ 4 Early Years.

I am starting in November and feel a wee bit apprehensive. I haven't studied for a while and although I have a level 3 NVQ equivalent (preschool Diploma) I find (from mentoring students within the nursery) that NVQ's are a lot different from the essay based work I have been used to in the past. It would be great if there was someone to chat to about the course as I go along.

Great site :)

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Hi there and welcome to the forum. Sorry, I'm not doing the course either so can't give you any ideas but I am sure we will all support you in whatever way we can. Just ask away when you start-if we can help we will!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi, I am thinking of doing an NVQ 4 ( anyone who knows me will think I am mad!!! :o ) Can you give me some idea of what it envolves. I was going to put a post about it then saw yours :)

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Hi everybody i'm just reading about doing a NVQ4 i would love to do it but between keeping a nursery full and doing paperwork, staff and there NVQ's and also thinking about doing a Quality assurance scheme, just finished investors in people award and don't think i would have time. :(:oxD . i was speaking to a gentleman the other day who workd in the Dfes stastics and told him the same thing and he agreed that it was one of the problems that they were finding that the time factor for these courses is a problem.

Now if someone paid me to do it and got some one in to substitute for me 2 or 3 days a week while i did it then that would be another thing. Wait every one i just coming down from cloud nine!!!! :D:D:D:D:D

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Welcome from me too,

Like others I have not done the NVQ 4 but I did go from PPA foundation course ( only those with grey hair or a good colourist will know which course i mean) to doing the ADCE ( Advanced diploma in childcare & Education - sold as equivalent level 4 now I think recognised as level 3 - although it did entail a 9,000 word Research Dissertation).

What I am trying to say is experience really does count for a lot.

What made you choose NVQ route rather than say the Foundation degree?

Have you considered this?


I hope you find time to really enjoy this forum, we are a helpful bunch and a good listening ear in times of stress.

Good luck with the course and I look forward to hearing about it's content over the coming months.




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Thank you for all the welcomes.

I start the course on Thursday 10th and apart from a brief intro about the content and having a good feeling about this one, I know very little at the moment.

I did look at the Foundation Degree but felt the NVQ 4 was more relevant to where I see myself going. I hope I don't regret doing it, my last concentrated study time was 4 years ago! I have been lucky enough to find funding for 80% of the course (another deciding factor). I do wonder when I am going to fit it all in - I've decided to delegate more! :o

The full title of the course is:

NVQ 4 Level 4 Children's Care, Learning and Development.


I must go now and buy a Lever Arch File, dividers and plastic wallets.




A deputy

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Hi a deputy,

I am very interested in the NVQ 4. Where are you doing it. I have found it through the open university but am quite apprehensive as I have had no experience of OU.

In the future I would like to work as an assessor-eyrs dept, pre school advisor etc and thought that an NVQ4 was more beneficial for this path that foundation degree. If anyone knows different, please let me know.


Net x :)

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Hi Net

Not quite sure what you mean by finding NVQ 4 with the OU and wonder if, like me, you get confused by NVQ and NQF? :D


I am currently doing the foundation degree with the OU, just one more course to do :D However, en route to the degree I achieved the Certificate in Early Years Practice which is listed on the NQF as a level 4. As far as I am aware this is 'equivalent' to an NVQ level 4 unless I am very mistaken and if so hopefully someone will shout! Perhaps what I am trying to say is that on the NQF they list many qualifications, some are NVQ's and others are not!


I can recommend the OU and the Certificate consists of two courses (E123 and E124) - I was initially apprehensive as when I started E123 back in Feb 03 I had not so much as written an essay for 30 years :o but going back to study was great!


This is the blurb from the OU site, is this the one you mean? If so I would say go for it :D



The Certificate in Early Years Practice (NQF Level 4) is a vocationally-oriented qualification which will enhance your existing role and give your career a boost. It takes account of the training needs of a wide range of practitioners working in a variety of early years education and care settings. These include unqualified nursery teachers, nursery nurses, teaching assistants, playgroup workers/leaders, childminders, and others working voluntarily in schools, nurseries and out-of-school contexts.


This certificate is for those who want a qualification in early years practice either in its own right or as an interim qualification towards the Foundation Degree in Early Years (G01) or BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies (B23) or any other degree that includes early years practice courses. On successfully completing the Foundation degree it is possible to progress to Qualified Teacher status through a Graduate or Registered Teacher Route or a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. You should check with your local training provider about their entry policy or contact the Teacher Training Agency for more information (www.useyourheadteach.gov.uk).


The Certificate in Early Years Practice (NQF Level 4) is a Qualifications and Curriculum Authority approved level 4 qualification. It is included in the National Qualifications Framework (Early years education, childcare and playwork: a framework of nationally accredited qualifications). Ofsted accepts for regulatory purposes all those qualifications listed on the DfES acceptable list and those qualifications at an appropriate level on the NQF that have relevant coverage of early years, childcare and play work.


The certificate is also part of the Open University Foundation Degree in Early Years which is recognised by the DfES as a SureStart Unit Recognised Early Years Sector-Endorsed Foundation Degree offering a new level of professional practice known as Senior Practitioner. The SureStart Recognised Foundation Degree is on the DfES website of acceptable qualifications recognised by OfSTED for regulatory purposes. To undertake the Open University Foundation Degree in Early Years you should, be a current practitioner with at least two years experience of working directly with young children in a relevant setting and normally qualified to National Qualifications Framework Level 3.

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quite a bit to take in. Yes, I believe it is a NVF I was looking at. I meet the criteria and have been a leader at a pre school for 4yrs(so far) but my qualification is a BTEC National in EYRS.

Looks like I will have to get in contact witht he OU again.

Did you have the support and accessibility to assistance if you need it with the OU


Net x

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Hi Net

In answer to your question about support and accessibility to assistance the answer is definitely YES! :D


You are assigned a personal tutor who marks your assignments and holds face to face tutorials. During each course the tutor will hold 3 or 4 tutorials and the venue and dates are issued at the start of the course.


I would recommend attending these tutorials if possible but they are not compulsory and many students never attend for various reasons. They are usually held on Saturdays and last for a couple of hours or so. Mine were held 30 miles away but it was well worth the journey and it is nice to meet your tutor and other students in your group. You can contact your tutor when you need to during the course with queries etc and most tutors will make it clear when is convenient for them. Some will prefer email contact, some prefer phone contact and are happy for you to phone any time, other may say 'I am available such and such evenings for student phone calls'


IN addition to the tutor support there is great support from fellow students through the on line conferencing. You have access to a main discussion site which is accessible to all students doing the course and also to your own tutor group conference which is only accessible to students in your group. You can pop on the conferences like you do here and shout help if you feel the need and it's not long before a reply appears!


I know that OU style study is not for everyone and some prefer brick universities but I needed the flexibility of OU study to fit in with work and family life. I did not want to commit myself to attending uni on the same day each week and the OU allowed me to study when I wanted to! They give you a study calendar and recommend that you follow it but if family/work needs take over and you end up playing catch up it is not the end of the world. During one course I was in hospital and not great when I came home - I didn't open the course material for two weeks but then caught up.


I do understand your apprehension but I can highly recommend E123 and 124 which results in the Certificate (very smart one it is too!) but I would say go for it! Prior to joining the OU I had an NNEB but it was an ancient version done in the 70's! With your BTEC I really don't think you will find it academically difficult :D


If you choose to go ahead you can always give me a shout, I have all my folders and assignments and am happy to help if I can.


Good luck with the decision making :D

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  • 9 months later...

Hi a deputy


I am looking into the NVQ4 CLLD, having decided to try and get on the Foundation Degree with a pre entry test next week.


I was just wondering how the course is going, how much support do you get and how much work is involved?


Hope your doing well.



Beth :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Beth

Sorry I have taken a long time to reply.

The course has been put on hold at the moment as I have had to have an operation over the summer and I am still recovering.

I have found the course challenging - I think most of our group of 22 have been struggling a little. It did not help knowing very little about the way nvq's work. It is very interesting and I am enjoying it, but it boils down to time time time.

We have a college afternoon once a week - which involves looking at a area with the group and discussions. Our assessor is on call and visits regularly. The support is there, which is good, it is just finding the time to complete the work!

Hope this helps you a little.



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