The level 2 qualification is an introduction to the primary aspects of working with children and young people between the ages of 4 to 16 in play environments. It provides an understanding of playwork values, and the importance of play and playwork in young people’s lives. The Diploma covers the knowledge and skills needed when working under supervision.

The level 3 qualification provides in-depth information about the role of the playworker when working with children and young people between the ages of 4 to 16. It provides an understanding of the management of the play environments and the line management of the other staff. The Diploma covers the knowledge and skills needed when working unsupervised.

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who is in paid employment or volunteering in a wide range of playwork environments such as before and after school provision, holiday clubs, open access play settings and the role of a play specialist working in hospitals.

Why study an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care?

On completion of the Level 2 Diploma in Playwork you can then progress onto the Level 3 Diploma in Playwork.

On Completion of the Level 3 Diploma you can then progress to a Degree in a related area. On completion of the qualifications the types of job roles you can apply for are:

Level 2 Qualified

Hospital Playwork Assistant
After-school Club Playwork Assistant
Soft Play Area Assistant
Adventure Centre Assistant

Level 3

Qualified Playwork Development Officer
Adventure Centre Supervisor
Hospital Playworker
Manager of any Playwork Provisions

Support in the workplace


How will you be assessed?

This is a work based qualification, you would be allocated an Assessor who will work with you on an individual basis in your work place. You will be assessed using a range of methods which include direct observation, a portfolio of evidence and written assignments.

Course Length

Up to 36 weeks for level 2 and up to 52 weeks for level 3.

Entry requirements 

  • Minimum age of 16 for level 2 and 18 for level 3
  • You must have an adult literacy qualification Level 2 and/or English GCSE Grade C or above to complete the level 3
  • You will need to be working or volunteering in a playwork setting for a minimum of 5 hours per week


Please contact the Admissions Team by calling 0161 666 8215 or emailing

Funding may be available.

If you are 24+ and interested in the level 3 Diploma then you can apply for a 24+Advanced Learning Loan to cover the cost of your course. Its easy to apply, your household income isn't taken into account and there's no credit check. For more information log onto