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Understanding Early Years at QLS Level 4

Understanding Early Years at QLS Level 4
  • early-years3


This course is available in Paper format and also online.


Every child deserves the best possible start in life, and practitioners play a major role in the impact of their early years which mould their future opportunities. This course will ensure that practitioners deliver the EYFS effectively because children really do matter.


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Understanding Early Years at QLS Level 4

Course code: CLD13

Delivery method: Paper Based or Online

Course duration: 12 Months

Entry requirements: No prior qualification needed

Award achieved: ABC Awards and Certa Award Certificate of achievement at QLS Level 4

This home study Understanding Early Years Level 4 course provides guidance for practitioners on meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, and it aims to provide useful advice and detailed information for supporting and managing childrens learning and development.

Please note that this course is at a high level, Level 4, where considerable emphasis is on the management of an Early Years setting as well as being a practitioner in one. Therefore if you do not anticipate operating at this level of responsibility, then you should consider the level 3 course instead.


Unit 1

Becoming a Reflective Practitioner

  • Why is Reflection Important?
  • Developing a Reflective Environment
  • Reflective Writing & Action Planning
  • Models of Reflection

Unit 2

Listening to Children

  • Why Listen to Children at all?
  • Barriers to Listening to Children
  • Competence & Theory
  • Skills
  • Children as Individuals
  • The Childs Perspective
  • Conclusion

Unit 3


  • Methods of Communication
  • Oral or Verbal Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Computerised Communication
  • Special Methods of Communication
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Factors that Support and Inhibit Communication
  • Lack of a Common or Shared Language
  • Differences in Cultural Beliefs and Assumptions
  • Prejudice on the Part of the Practitioner or Others
  • Practitioners Lack of Confidence or Experience
  • Hostility
  • Physical Barriers
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Use of Body Orientation and Proximity
  • Use of Gesture, Posture and Other Body Movements
  • Use of Supporting Equipment
  • Factors Effecting Verbal Communication
  • Use of Humour
  • Use of Colloquialisms or Slang
  • Avoiding Ambiguity
  • Appropriate Use of Words
  • Factors Affecting Written Communication
  • Factors Affecting Oral Verbal Communication
  • Using an Appropriate Speed of Speech
  • Using an Appropriate Pitch, and Tone of Voice
  • Minimising Hesitations and Filled Pauses
  • Communication Difficulties
  • The Communication Cycle

Unit 4

Child Development

  • Patterns and Stages of Growth for Children from Birth to 5 Years, 11 Months
  • Rate of Development
  • Gross Motor Physical Development
  • Fine Motor Physical Development
  • Development of Communication Skills
  • Intellectual Development
  • First Cognitive Development Stage: Sensory Motor Period (0 – 24 Months)
  • Second Cognitive Development Stage: The preoperational Period (Two to Seven Years) Preoperational Phase (Two to Four Years)
  • Intuitive Phase (Four to Seven Years)
  • Social Development
  • Emotional and Behavioural Development
  • Factors Which Influence Development
  • Social
  • External Factors
  • Environment
  • Poverty and Depravation
  • Family and Society
  • Nutrition
  • Education
  • Looked After/Care Status
  • Personal Choices
  • The Importance of Diet and Exercise in Children’s Growth and Development
  • Intellectual Development and Diet
  • Know How to Support Growth and Development of Children
  • Activities which Promote Childrens Physical Development
  • Activities which Promote Childrens Language and Communication Skills
  • Ways to Encourage Children to Play Socially
  • Know the child

Unit 5

Respecting and Valuing Children   

  • How to Respect and Value Children as Individuals
  • Ways to Value Children as Individuals
  • Building Trust
  • Encourage Autonomy
  • Showing Pleasure in Achievements
  • Offering Choice
  • Self-Esteem and Learning
  • Reasons Why Children need to be Respected as Individuals
  • Uniqueness of the individual
  • Diversity
  • Dealing with Disagreements
  • Behaviour that Shows Respect and Value of Children
  • Behaviour and Interactions
  • Modelling Positive Behaviour
  • Fairness
  • Consistency
  • Respect
  • Calm Approach
  • Honesty
  • Negative Behaviours
  • Children Have Rights
  • Organisations that Promote the Rights of Children

Unit 6

The Importance of Play

  • Understand the Importance of Creativity and Imagination for the Development of a Child
  • The Role of Creativity and Imagination in the Development of a Child
  • Different Activities Can Contribute to a Child’s Creative and Imaginative Development
  • The Role and Importance of Games with Rules in the Development of a Child
  • Games with Rules
  • Indoor and Outdoor Games
  • Tabletop Games
  • Organising a Cooking Activity for Children
  • The Benefits of Cooking with Young Children
  • Planning a Cooking Activity
  • Health, Safety and Hygiene
  • The Role of an Adult in a Cooking Activity
  • Creative Activities and Young Children
  • Planning Creative Activities
  • Keys to Unlocking Creativity
  • Stages of Art Development
  • Art Builds Self-Confidence
  • Art Teaches Task Analysis
  • Music and Drama
  • Music and Movement Go Hand-in-Hand
  • Books and Child Development
  • Criteria for Choosing Books
  • Talking and Listening Games
  • Factors Which Enhance Talking and Listening Activities
  • Mental and Physical State of the Child
  • Relevance
  • Talking, Listening and Development
  • The Role of the Adult in Talking and Listening
  • Signs of Active Listening
  • Non-Verbal Signs of Attentive or Active Listening
  • Verbal Signs of Attentive or Active Listening

Unit 7

Observation & Record Keeping

  • Introduction
  • Early Years Foundation Stage and Observation
  • Observation
  • Planning an Observation
  • Recording and Methodology
  • Self-Observation
  • Ethics
  • Observation and Its Limitations

Unit 8

Working with Parents or Guardians

  • What is a Family?
  • The Family System
  • Environmental Influences
  • Partnerships with Parents
  • The Value of Parental Partnerships
  • Achieving Partnerships
  • The Value of Partnerships to Children
  • The Value of Partnerships to Parents
  • The Value of Partnerships to Practitioners
  • The Policy Framework for Parental Partnerships
  • The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice (DfES, 2001)
  • Difficulties in Accessing Partnerships
  • Types of Partnership
  • Factors Supporting the Development of Parental Partnerships
  • Factors that may Inhibit the Development of Effective Partnerships
  • Practical Ideas for Developing Partnerships

Unit 9

Child Protection

  • Legislative Framework
  • The Children Act 1989
  • The Protection of Children Act 1999
  • The Children Act 2004
  • Every Child Matters
  • Childcare Act 2006
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
  • Further Legislation
  • The Sex Offenders Act 1997
  • The Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004
  • Guidance on Offences against Children
  • Hidden Harm
  • Recommendations
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children
  • Common Assessment Framework
  • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • Safeguarding Children and Child Protection
  • Possible Signs of Abuse: Bruising
  • What is Neglect?
  • Child Protection Plan
  • Model of Need
  • Children and Family Court Advisory Support Services (CAFCASS)
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Care and Supervision Orders
  • Social Policy and Social Exclusion
  • History
  • Child Poverty
  • Child Protection Issues
  • Safeguarding Children
  • Forms of Abuse
  • Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

Unit 10

Early Years Framework 2012

The Early Years Foundation Stage Framework has been updated in 2012. For your convenience, we have reproduced the text of the updated framework in the course.

Course Endorsement

At the end of this course successful learners will be given the option to receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme.  This means that Kendal Publishing Ltd has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Kendal Publishing Ltd to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications.   The Quality Licence Scheme endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met.  A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group also includes two nationally recognised awarding organisations; Skills and Education Group Awards and Skills and Education Group Access. Through our awarding organisations we have developed a reputation for providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sector. We are committed to helping employers, organisations and learners cultivate the relevant skills for learning, skills for employment, and skills for life.

Our knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables us to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

Method of Study

Paper Based Version

The course comes to you as a paper-based pack delivered by courier.

You will be given guidance through the Study Guide on the nuts and bolts of studying and submitting assignments.

Postal assignments cannot be accepted without prior permission from the tutor.

Online Version

Our online courses are fully digitised versions of the paper-courses, so you can study on any PC or smart device when connected to the internet.

As with the paper course, your online learning programme is completely flexible, so you can study at a pace that suits you.

All of our online course content is broken down into bite size chunks to make your learning more manageable and effective.

Method of Assessment

The course contains a number of assignments which your tutor will mark and give you valuable feedback on. We call these Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs). You need only send the TMAs to your tutor for comment, not the self-assessment exercises which are also part of the course to help you gauge your progress.

Course Length Information

This course can be taken over a 12 month period but you can complete it as fast or as slowly as you wish.

Tutor Support

You will have access to a tutor via email who will mark your work and guide you through the course and will assist you with any problems you may have. In addition you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process.