The Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator) is delivered in schools and colleges and is expected to take around two years to complete. In addition to providing a licence to practice, it is planned that it will confer UCAS points.
CACHE is also well progressed with its work-based equivalent qualification, aimed at those over the age of 19 and in work.
While this will also take around two years to complete, candidates will have to undergo additional assessment to demonstrate higher study skills to earn UCAS points. Details for this are still being worked out.
Currently, those undertaking the Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People's Workforce (CYPW) have to take the Extended Level 3 Diploma in order to earn UCAS points.
Nick Cutland, director of portfolio development at CACHE, said his organisation is undertaking market research involving stakeholders to ensure that the new qualifications meet the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) criteria and the needs of learners and employers.
The qualifications also have to meet the Government's wider agenda for qualification reform on the back of More Great Childcare and the recommendations made in 2011's Wolf report for improving vocational qualifications.
Mr Cutland said, 'This is the first in a series of new Early Years Educator qualifications that CACHE is developing.
'We have been testing what we thought we knew and have arrived at two very distinct groups of learners, which is why we have designed separate classroom and work-based qualifications.
'The two qualifications will have parity but will relate to each other, in the sense that work-based learners will have the opportunity to develop higher quality study skills by undertaking some additional assessment.'
The new qualifications will be launched in September 2014 and will be denoted by the words Early Years Educator in brackets following the qualification name.
After a bewildering period of change, which has included the introduction of the Level 3 CYPW Diploma just three years ago, it is expected that the NCTL will aim to draw a line in the sand and expect all candidates to sign up for the new qualifications rather than their predecessors.
- View the units of the new qualification here