NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Baby and Child Care (Early Years Educator)

Course Availability: Part Time


Course start has been postponed to September 2020. For further inquiries please write to Chiara Carones This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A ground breaking course based on Steiner Waldorf with the Pikler approach to child development, play and care with a birth to three emphasis.

This Holistic Baby and Child Care qualification synthesises Steiner Waldorf international Birth to Three training guidelines, an introduction to the Pikler approach, and Early Years Foundation Stage requirements. Led by Dorothy Marlen and certified by Crossfields Institute and the national awarding body NCFE CACHE, the qualification has been designed to meet the requirements of the government’s criteria for Early Years Educator (Level 3) qualifications for carers of children from birth to five, released in July 2013, whilst uniquely offering a birth to three emphasis.


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 "A heartfelt thank-you for creating a truly holistic course, demonstrated in its content, teaching and social realms. The breadth of the curriculum has educated me across the whole range of skills required for working with children from birth to three; understanding the EYFS, experiencing the warming 'heart of care' and exploring the spiritual life of the young child. The course really focussed on nurturing my professionalism and self-development (a life-long gift!). You, your core tutors and skilled visiting specialists are all brilliant exponents of your chosen areas - congratulations on assembling such a group". Jack Cryer, Graduating student 2017.

An Introduction to the Baby and Child Care course

The programme covers the development and care of children up to five years old, with an emphasis on the crucial first three years. It provides depth of understanding and a practical foundation for those wishing to work in Steiner settings and mainstream. The course prepares parent and child group leaders, child-minders, play group leaders, parenting course leaders and carers of children up to three years old. The training provides a Level 3 Early Years Educator qualification for those wishing to care for children up to five years old in both Steiner and mainstream nurseries and kindergartens.


 Students and tutors on the last residential 2016.


How is this training different from other Early Years trainings?

As well as fully meeting the criteria required by DfE standards for Early Years Educator qualifications, the training uniquely provides:

  • An integrated and detailed understanding of the development and respectful care of children under three

  • An in depth understanding of how to enable natural and full gross and fine motor development in the first three years

  • An emphasis on the principles and practice of creating care environments that encourage play exploration from birth to five, as this is the way children predominantly learn

  • Hands-on experience in practical and artistic skills, as well as singing, storytelling, simple puppetry, celebration of festivals and how to create a calm, imitation-rich environment

  • “Home from home” and outdoor models of childcare

  • A journey in self-development that will confer skills and confidence for caring for children, as well as supporting parents in parent and child groups, parent and baby groups and in other forms of parent support


“A deep nourishing insight into Early Years Education. I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to enter this profession (journey)and to anyone who is already in Early Years Education at a mainstream setting.” Lorena Alina Cavalcanti, Graduating student 2017


If you are a childminder….

This training will provide you with confidence and practical skills to care for young children. There will be an emphasis on the care of children from birth to three. You will gain confidence to create “home from home” and outdoor settings which respect the young child’s need for warm relationships, a calm and rhythmical day and lots of play. It will give you tools for working with and supporting parents. You will gain an early years level 3 qualification.

If you are a carer in a nursery or day-care setting or wish to develop your own a holistic child care setting

In mainstream nurseries and day-care settings this Level 3 qualification will provide the necessary training required to care for children from birth to five. The advantage of this qualification is that you will bring to your setting a coherent body of awareness and skills based on Steiner pedagogy and the Pikler approach which will enhance your professional work. We introduce several holistic models for childcare including the “home from home” approach from Lifeways North America, Helle Heckmann’s Nokken, and Awhina from New Zealand. 

If you are a parent and child group leader…

As well as preparing you to work as a parent and child/baby group leader in Steiner and mainstream settings, the Level 3 qualification will give you the breadth and depth of skills and confidence to care for young children and support parents in Steiner and mainstream settings, if you so wish. We bring an understanding of pioneering parent and baby groups which have integrated the Pikler approach and outdoor groups.

“The HBCC course is empowering and enables the role-modelling of best practice. Far more fulfilling than the Label “level 3” would suggest. The tutors are incredibly professional, warm, enabling and encouraging. The breadth of the course is wonderful”. Jo Pearce, Graduating student 2017


What does the Holistic Baby and Child Care training include?

Caring for young children and supporting parents requires many skills – a thorough understanding of child development and respectful practical care; confidence in a variety of artistic, craft-making and home-making activities; observational and self-reflective abilities; a capacity for working sensitively with parents and other professionals, and a clear understanding of EYFS, effective child assessment and working with statutory requirements. The 12 units which cover these themes and more, weave together to provide a firm foundation for continued personal and professional growth and development.

Themes covered include:

  • An overview of Steiner Waldorf child development up to 21 years

  • An in-depth introduction to Rudolf Steiner’s view of child development for the first seven years, with an emphasis on the first three years

  • An in-depth introduction to the Pikler approach from Hungary, providing exemplary practical knowledge and skills for respectfully caring for children up to three and the natural unfolding of gross and fine motor skills

  • Practical skills including how to plan for play, how to set up indoor and outdoor environments, storytelling, puppetry and activities of all kinds for different ages, especially the under 3’s.

  • Comparative child development studies and contemporary educational issues

  • Preparation for working with statutory legislation, regulations and inspections

  • A journey of self-development, including how to be a good role model for children to imitate and how to deliver quality and respectful individual and group care in a variety of circumstances

  • Observation and assessment skills

  • Preparation for working with parents in parent and child and other situations

  • Preparation for working as a childminder


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Achievement and progression

Successful completion of the course and all assignments will lead to the NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Holistic Baby and Child Care (Early Years Educator) (VRQ) (601/5636/3) qualification, certified jointly by Crossfields Institute and NCFE CACHE. Learners completing this qualification may proceed directly to work in an early years setting, for example in the role of an early years educator, adult and child group leader, or childminder and carer of children under 3 years, in a Steiner Waldorf or mainstream setting.


Course structure

The course is 14 months long. There are monthly Saturday and Sunday courses at Rudolf Steiner House, London and two residentials at Emerson College in Sussex. It is planned to start the next course in September 2020.


The cost of the course is £3,500. This comprises £3,177 for course fee, £308 registration with Crossfields Institute for CACHE Diploma, £10 registration with Steiner Waldorf School Fellowship and £5 registration with the Association of Steiner Waldorf Teacher Educators. On being accepted on the course you will be asked to pay a deposit of £500 to secure your place on the course.  The remaining course costs are due by 21 July 2019 (two months before beginning of the course), unless a payment plan is agreed upon. These prices do not include Emerson College residential accommodation and meals, travel or course specific material. Information and booking accommodation and meals during the Emerson College residential is available on our website.