National Extension College

The National Extension College (NEC) will be celebrating 50 years of providing distance learning opportunities in 2013, and continues to offer first class qualifications in Childcare, Early Years and Playwork. The Certificate and Diploma in Pre-school practice are still available and have been updated in line with the 2012 revisions to the EYFS. NEC also offers the Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce, Award in Transition to Playwork and Diploma in Playwork with flexible enrolment and payment options and no set start date – enrol at a time that suits you and remember, the right course at the right time can change your life!

The National Extension College (NEC) is a distance learning provider with 50 years’ experience delivering high quality education and training to more than three-quarters of a million learners.

Offering courses in areas including childcare, management, general education and counselling, NEC has built up an excellent reputation through both the quality of its course materials and the exceptional level of support it offers its learners.

Founded as an educational charity in 1963, NEC began life as a pilot for the Open University. We remain true to our original mission statement today: to widen learning opportunities, make education and training easily accessible to everyone and help learners achieve their goals.

For more information about NEC’s history, visit our Wikipedia page.

One of the principal areas NEC focuses on as a training provider is childcare. We provide a comprehensive range of level 2 and level 3 qualifications that can either prepare you for, or help you advance in, a rewarding career caring for children.

The full selection of childcare courses we provide is as follows:
Level 2 Certificate in an Introduction to Early Years Education and Care
Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (EYE)
Level 3 Award in Transition to Playwork
Level 3 Award in Induction to Playwork
Level 3 Certificate in Playwork
Level 3 Diploma in Playwork

All of our childcare courses lead to qualifications from CACHE, the leading awarding body for the care sector, providing you with the industry-standard knowledge and training you need to succeed in childcare. Alongside our professional courses we also provide a full range of GCSEs, IGCSEs and A levels, so you can work towards essential qualifications in areas such as maths and English.

We have specialised tutors with many years’ experience helping learners attain the qualifications they need to progress their careers. Having helped thousands of students, our tutors know what sort of issues learners are likely to encounter and have the knowledge and experience to help them overcome any obstacles.

When you enrol with us you’ll receive a welcome letter from your personal tutor letting you know the various ways you can get in touch and introducing some of the key elements of distance learning. You’ll also be assigned a course coordinator, who will provide an additional layer of support.

Our courses are delivered through blended learning. This means you’ll work in a variety of different ways: completing online projects, watching videos, working through assessment tasks and, in some cases, being directly observed in the workplace.

Each course typically takes a year or so to complete, but we know that sometimes things can get in the way of studying, so we offer every student up to 18 months’ support from the date they enrol. We’ll even organise registration with CACHE for you, meaning you can concentrate on completing the work you need to do to get qualified.
It all adds up to an unrivalled support package designed to maximise your chances of achieving your goals. Visit to find out more and download our Guide to Courses for 2012-13, to begin progressing your career today.



Telephone: 0800 389 2839