Certificate of Higher Education in Early Years Professional Practice

The Open University

Program Description

Certificate of Higher Education in Early Years Professional Practice

The Open University

Certificate of Higher Education in Early Years Professional Practice

If you work with young children and want to develop your practice and professional skills, this certificate could be what you’re looking for. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of early years provision and enable you to reflect on your practice across a range of public, private, voluntary and independent settings – addressing your work in relation to young children and other adults (including colleagues, other professionals, parents and carers).

Key features of the course

  • Combines professional practice with academic study
  • Develops your understanding of the role and expertise of a senior practitioner
  • Explores how children learn, and the impact your practice can have on their development
  • Builds a solid foundation for further study.

Educational aims

The Certificate of Higher Education in Early Years Professional Practice will:

  • develop and extend your knowledge and professional skills in supporting children’s care, learning and development
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of reflection and reflective practice
  • enable you to develop critical understanding of links between theory and practice in early years education and care
  • develop and extend your engagement with key issues in early years policy and practice
  • develop your communication and ICT skills for study and supporting children’s learning and development
  • enable you to develop your capacity to learn and to develop new skills and to provide a route for progression to further academic study or career enhancement

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding of early childhood education and care are developed through supported open learning modules. These include activities and materials such as module reading texts, audio-visual material, online discussion forums and directed reading. Summative assessment is by written tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and an end-of-module assessment (EMA). Tutors support your development through online support, tutorials and written feedback on assignments.

Cognitive skills are assessed by module assignments and include the ability to structure a clear and reasoned argument relating to module issues. The assignments and work-based reflective investigations offer you the opportunity to demonstrate: independent thinking skills, different approaches to problem solving; opportunities to demonstrate your understanding of current and emerging significant theories underpinning principles for early years practice in a work-based context; and to show evidence of reflective and ethical practice.

Key skills are promoted within learning materials and as part of continuous assessment including the ability to communicate effectively in writing and in online contexts. Learning skills are focused on planning, self-assessment, identifying strengths and weaknesses, setting priorities and targets and reviewing and reflecting. Teamwork is fostered through work-related activities and assignments.

Professional and practice skills are developed through an increased understanding of good practice in supporting children’s learning and development through teaching materials and work-related reflective practice. Practice skills are assessed via assignments, presentation and discussion of documented evidence, and work-based projects.


We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost. Fees for study commencing in academic year 2014/2015 are:

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification upfront.
  • If like most OU students studying part time, you study an average of 60 credits a year – you’ll study for six years to complete a degree. Our typical fee for 60 credits is £2,632.
  • Our current fee is £5,264 – based on 120 credits of study – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study.
  • The total cost of your chosen qualification currently starts from £2,632 based on our current fees.

NB: Prices are subject to change.

How long does it take?

  • Part time – 1 year
  • Time limit – 4 years

Career relevance

In England, this Certificate of Higher Education in Early Years Professional Practice is considered full and relevant for the purposes of registration and regulation but see note below for additional GCSE requirements for students entering in September 2014 without a previously achieved Level 3 Early Years qualification.

In Scotland, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) recognises the CertHE as an appropriate qualification for support workers and practitioners in day care of children services settings and in Wales for the Care Council for Wales (CCW) it is included as a required qualification for practitioners in full day care and crèche facilities. Discussions are ongoing about the recognition of the CertHE in Wales and Northern Ireland.

This CertHE is also appropriate if you are working in a British Forces school or an early years setting in Europe which follows a UK or Republic of Ireland curriculum, and which uses English as the language of tuition.

Note: from September 2014, entrants in England to the BA (Honours) Early Years without a previously achieved Level 3 Early Years qualification will additionally require GCSE passes at ‘C’ or above in English and Maths for their degree be considered a ‘full and relevant’ qualification and to be able to count in Level 3 ratios.

Read more about this programme on the Open University website here

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2018
1 - 4 years
Part time
Contact school
Contact school
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Start date: Aug. 2018
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school
Aug. 2018
United Kingdom - Milton Keynes, England
Application deadline Contact school
End date Contact school