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Understanding Early Years - QLS Level 4 Course

Course Format:Paper Based Materials (With Optional Online Course Notes)
Self-Study Time:Approximately 140 Hours (Self-Study)
Delivery Time:1-2 Working Days (Courier Service)
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Course Description

The Understanding Early Years - QLS Level 4 Course provides guidance for practitioners on meeting the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, and aims to provide useful advice and detailed information for supporting and managing children’s learning and development.

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.

This course is set 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.

Please Note: This course alone will not give the qualification required to work in this sector. This course provides underpinning knowledge, but you would most likely require an RQF qualification with practical experience to work with children. If you are looking to gain a RQF Qualification then please review the courses on our website which have (RQF) within the course title.

On successful completion of this course students will receive a QLS Level 4 Endorsed Certificate of Achievement.

The Understanding Early Years - QLS Level 4 Course includes the following units:
The following topics are included: Why is Reflection Important?; Developing a Reflective Environment; Reflective Writing & Action Planning; and Models of Reflection.
The following topics are included: Why Listen to Children at all?; Barriers to Listening to Children; Competence & Theory; Skills; Children as Individuals; The Childs Perspective; and Conclusion.
The following topics are included: 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; and The Communication Cycle.
The following topics are included: 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 Childrens 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; and Know the child.
The following topics are included: 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; and Organisations that Promote the Rights of Children.
The following topics are included: 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; and Verbal Signs of Attentive or Active Listening.
The following topics are included: Introduction; Early Years Foundation Stage and Observation; Observation; Planning an Observation; Recording and Methodology; Self-Observation; Ethics; and Observation and Its Limitations.
The following topics are included: 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; and Practical Ideas for Developing Partnerships.
The following topics are included: 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; and Effects of Domestic Violence on Children.
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.

As this is a Level 4 course, learners should have previously studied to a Level 3 standard or equivalentA good level of literacy is also a requirement if the extended assignment work is to be completed successfully.

Course Duration & Online Support

You can start this course at any time, and you would be registered for a one-year period. You also have access to a personal tutor who can be contacted by email. Your tutor is available to assist with any queries and to mark your assignments for the Awarding Body.

As the course is self-study, you can complete it as quickly as you like. Support extensions are available if students do not complete the course within the one-year period.

Course Format & Delivery

This course is supplied as hard copy paper-based materials. You will receive an A4 ring bound course folder which will include all of your course notes and assignments and there is a separate study guide which should be read before starting the course and explains about support, the required format of assignments and how to submit assignments for assessment. We find this format works well for this particular course as you don't have to be on a computer to work through the notes and you get to keep the course materials after you have completed your study if you need to refer back to them.

We do also offer the option of an online version of the course notes which can be purchased for an additional £36.00 for learners who prefer computer-based learning or are travelling and need access to their course notes. This option is available at the checkout when ordering the course.

The hard-copy course materials are dispatched using a next working day courier service where available and the online course notes are usually issued within 24 hours of processing an application.

If learners would prefer an online only version of the course notes then please contact us for information on how to order this.


You will be assessed on TMAs (Tutor Marked Assignments). Most TMAs consists of short paragraph answers, although some TMAs may have a specific word count. The main criteria to pass as assignment is to prove to the tutor that you have fully understood the question and have answered it sufficiently.

If the assignment is not of the required level or needs an amendment it will be detailed in your tutor feedback so you can make any required changes. The course tutor will be happy to give guidance as to how you might improve you answers. Your work can be sent back to your course tutor by email or by post.

QLS Endorsed Certification

At the end of this course, successful learners will receive a QLS Level 4 Endorsed 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 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.

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Kendal Publishing 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 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.

You can find more information on level descriptors from our Certification Overview Page.

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

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Understanding Early Years - QLS Level 4 Course
Understanding Early Years - QLS Level 4 Course
From as little as £38.16 per month