Childcare and Teacher Training

Playwork Level 3 Apprenticeship

In Brief

Start Date / Duration

There are various start times throughout the year and this programme will take a minimum of 16-24 months to complete.

Entry requirements
  • Learners will need to be at least 18 years of age and some settings require four GCSEs at grade A*-D including English at grade 3 or above
  • It is desirable that you have English and maths at grade C or above but this is not essential as Functional Skills is delivered as part of the apprenticeship programme
  • You need to be employed within the childcare setting or have an employer in this area willing to take you on as an apprentice
  • Please see our Apprenticeship vacancies
  • As your programme may involve working with children, you will be required to undertake a satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check
You will achieve

You will achieve a Level 3 Diploma in Playwork.

Last updated: 12th December 2017

Course overview

As a playwork apprentice you will go through a structured training programme that teaches all aspects of play, working alongside experienced staff to learn the skills you require.

Course content

You will study all 13 mandatory units, totalling 46 credits, and two to three units totalling a minimum of 19 credits from the optional units, to achieve the 65 credits from the CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Playwork.
Learners must also achieve eight credits from the three mandatory units of the CACHE Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning.
The remaining 10 credits must be achieved through the completion of Level 2 Functional Skills in English and maths.
You will also study:

  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Playwork
  • CACHE Level 3 Award in Employment Awareness in Active Leisure and Learning
  • Personal Learning and Thinking Skills
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in Mathematics

Mandatory units

  • Understand Playwork Principles
  • Understand children and young people’s self-directed play
  • Understand how to safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people
  • Understand the organisational framework for play
  • Understand how to support positive outcomes for children and young people
  • Understand relationships in the play environment
  • Engage in personal development in health, social care or children’s and young people’s settings
  • Contribute to an organisational framework that reflects the needs and protects the rights of children and young people
  • Develop and maintain a healthy, safe and secure play environment for children and young people
  • Develop and promote positive relationships in the play environment
  • Plan for and support children and young people’s self-directed play
  • Understand health, safety and security in the play environment
  • Understand how to plan for and support children and young people’s self-directed play

Optional units

  • Work with colleagues in a playwork team
  • Engage with parents, carers and families in a play environment
  • Administer playwork provision
  • Inclusive play, working with disabled children and young people
  • Promote own organisation in the community
  • Contribute to evaluating, developing and promoting services
  • Organise and supervise travel
  • Manage a budget
  • Recruit, select and keep colleagues
  • Provide learning opportunities for colleagues
  • Allocate and monitor the progress and quality of work in own area of responsibility

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by using a portfolio of evidence, observations in the workplace and assessment tasks. You will be assessed both in college and in your place of work.

What equipment will I need?

The course is an E-portfolio using OneFile, access to a computer/laptop and the internet will be required. If this is not suitable, a paper- based portfolio could be accessed.

Where will I study?

Old Mill Lane campus
Church Street
S70 2AX

What can I do next?

Upon completion of the CACHE Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Playwork, learners can progress onto a variety of Further or Higher Education courses to study subjects related to the sector. Playworkers can work in a wide range of roles and environments including:

  • Assistant Managers/Managers in Playwork settings
  • Play Development Officers
  • Playwork-qualified Youth Workers
  • After School Clubs
  • Adventure Playgrounds
  • Soft Play Areas
  • Family Centres
  • Holiday Clubs
  • Hospitals (additional specialised qualifications may be required)

How much does the course cost?

There is no cost to being an apprentice. All costs associated with your apprenticeship, including the cost of training and your salary, will be paid by your employer.

Financial support

You may be eligible for assistance with expenses such as travel, books, equipment and childcare. For further information please contact the Student Services Team on +44 (0)1226 216 114.

Extra information

Contact the Apprenticeship Team

For further information please contact the team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email:



Want to join Barnsley Sports Academy and the Sports Village?

Barnsley College has a range of sports opportunities for all students to take part in, gain professional training and compete nationally and internationally. We also have a state-of-the-art fitness village, Honeywell Sports Village where students can make use of our fitness suite, spinning studio and classes for competitive rates. You don’t have to be studying sport to get involved in the Sports Academy.

Additional Learning Support

Our Additional Learning Support team can provide you with the support you need. Please contact them on +44 (0)1226 216 769.

English and Maths

Having good English and maths qualifications are important for most careers and we want to give you the help you need to succeed.

If you are aged 16 – 19 and don’t already have a grade C/4 or above in GCSE English and maths they will automatically be included in your study programme. If you want to work towards higher grades in English and maths or a higher level maths qualification we can help you do that too.

If you need any further information, please contact the Info Team.



Please note we reserve the right to change details without notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Playwork Level 3 Apprenticeship