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L3 Award Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare

Child draws while childcarer assits.PACEY provides introductory training in home-based childcare through the L3 Award in Preparing to Work in Home-Based Childcare. This is also known as HBCA. It is PACEY's recommended preparatory course for prospective and new childminders in England and it also covers the requirements for nannies. If you live in Wales, please visit CYPOP5 in Wales.

Accessing the training

We would advise you to check with your local authority first to see if you are eligible for any funding towards the course, and then give our customer services team a call to secure your place. Call 0300 003 0005 Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.00pm. If you are under 18 years old and do not have a Sponsor, e.g. your college, you will also need to complete and return a Guarantor form.

Course delivery

The course can be delivered in a face-to-face setting over a number of sessions - ideal for groups of new and prospective childcare practitioners in a local authority. PACEY can deliver the course on behalf of local authorities so remember to contact your local authority early years team or local PACEY staff member to find out if funding is available for the training.

Individual learners can also access HBCA via e-learning, where they can undertake the course at times that suit them. Learners are given six months' membership with PACEY to be able to access all of the support materials including:

  • Factsheets
  • Practice guides
  • How-to videos
  • Online CPD learning

What does the course cover?

The award is made up of two units and, depending on the method of training taken, it is estimated that it will take 50 learner hours to complete.

Unit 1 (click to expand)

Provides learners with the knowledge required to work with children in a home-based childcare setting. It covers:

  • Legislation and regulation relating to home based childcare
  • Safeguarding and child protection
  • Health and safety in a home-based childcare environment
  • Promoting equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Day to day care routines for children
  • Working in partnership
  • Children’s learning and development
  • Play
  • The role of observation

Unit 2 (click to expand)

Prepares learners to set up a home based childcare business. It covers:

  • Leading and managing a home-based childcare setting
  • Financial and taxation requirements
  • Creating a business plan
  • Registration requirements for home-based childcarers

Find out more about

HBCA syllabus

Unit 1 Understand how to set up a home-based childcare service

Learning Outcome 1: Understand current legislation and regulation in relation to home-based childcare

Learning Outcome 2:Understand how to establish a safe and healthy home-based environment for children

Learning Outcome 3: Understand how to support the safeguarding, protection and welfare of children

Learning Outcome 4: Understand how to promote equality, diversity and inclusion

Learning Outcome 5: Understand how day-to-day care routines promote children’s well-being

Learning Outcome 6: Understand how to work in partnership to support children’s outcomes.

Learning Outcome 7: Understand children’s learning and behaviour in relation to sequence, rate and stage of development

Learning Outcome 8: Understand the value of play in promoting children’s learning and development

Learning Outcome 9: Understand the role of observation in promoting children’s learning and development

Unit 2: Understand how to set up a home-based childcare business

Learning Outcome 1: Understand how to lead and manage a home-based childcare setting

Learning Outcome 2: Understand how to comply with financial and taxation requirements when setting up a home based childcare setting

Learning Outcome 3: Understand how to create a business plan

Learning Outcome 4: Understand how to register with the appropriate regulatory body.

Assessments - What will you be assessed on?

The assessments are all linked to the full course syllabus.

You’ll need to produce a range of work for assessment, including:

  • Information sheets about childcare regulation
  • Written policies and procedures
  • Explanations of confidentiality and data protection
  • A business plan for your childcare service business
  • A leaflet for other carers about safety in the setting
  • A parents’ charter showing how parents and carers work in partnership
  • An explanation of your understanding of equality and diversity
  • Information about safeguarding and how to identify potential child protection issues
  • A report on children’s behaviour and how to encourage positive behaviour.

All the work is submitted and assessed online, and you’ll have the support of online learning materials and accompanying textbook when completing the work.


What does the new award cover?

The HBCA has been developed to equip learners looking to operate in a home-based childcare setting as a registered childminder, childminding assistant or nanny. Unit 1 provides learners with the knowledge required to work with children in a home-based childcare setting whilst Unit 2 prepares learners to set up a home-based childcare business.

Do I need approval from Ofsted or my Local Authority to do the course?

Ofsted do not approve courses. From September 2014, learners can choose to do any childcare course they wish as long as it contains content that helps them to understand and implement the EYFS.

Is it a recognised qualification?

Yes, the award has been developed in partnership with the awarding organisation CACHE and learners are issued with a full certificate on completion.

Is it replacing CYPOP5?

For Learners in England it will replace CYPOP5. For learners in Wales, CYPOP5 will remain the approved childcare course.

How long do I have to do the course?

Once you’ve signed up, you can access the course as and when you want to and you will have six months in which to complete it. It is difficult to say how long each assessment will take to complete as this will depend on your knowledge and early years experience, however the average time for completing the course is ten to twelve weeks. You must complete the course within six months. The online course will take approximately 50 learner hours to complete.

Will it be available as a face to face course?

It may be available in some areas. Check with your local authority.

I have done CYPOP5, does that mean I need to now do the award?

No CYPOP5 remains as a suitable introductory course.

What level is the award and can it be used towards a further qualification?

It is a level 3 award and although it is not a direct route to the Early Years Educator the subjects covered make a useful introduction to CACHE's Early Years Educator qualifications.

I have been working as a childminder for a number of years, is there any benefit in doing the course?

The award can be used as a refresher course for those childcare professionals who feel they would like to update their knowledge of legislation and regulation and to improve their current practices.

What is the assessment process?

Within five days of being sent your login details you will be allocated an assessor. You can start submitting your assignments as soon as you are ready to, and they will be assessed within five working days. If any work needs extra information, you will be provided with feedback to guide you. You can expect to receive an introductory message from your Tutor/Assessor within seven days of receiving your log in instructions. A copy of the message will be sent to your email inbox. You will not be able to reply to this message by email. To reply to messages from your Tutor/Assessor you will need to log in to the e-learning website and use the in-system messaging service. Once you have been marked competent in all your tasks your certificate will be ordered from our awarding body.

HBCA - what support is available to me?

You will be supported online by your PACEY tutor or assessor. Your PACEY Tutor/Assessor is committed to helping you to achieve your learning objectives. You will be able to message your assessor at any time through our e-learning platform with any questions you have about the course, its content, or your work and they will respond within five working days. Technical support is available from the PACEY administration team, either by emailing or calling 0800 003 0005 to speak to a member of staff.

How much will it cost?

The e-learning course costs £219.60.

The face to face course costs £306.92.

The blended course costs £281.72.

All prices include VAT

The above costs include all assessment and registration fees. Some local authorities will fund this course for prospective childminders. Contact your local Family Information Service to find out if you can access funding.

Refunds and cancellation period

Logging into your e-learning account indicates acceptance that your training (and our performance of the contract) is deemed to have begun and that you agree that if you cancel within the 14 day cancellation period we are still entitled to charge you for services we have provided from the date you were able to access the training until the point at which you cancel.

Please see our cancellation rights policy for more information about returns and refunds.

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