Disclaimer: I was given a product/service in return for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the company in anyway.
NCC Home Learning
Before I became a mummy I was a Primary School Teaching Assistant and I really want to go and do my teacher training once Mia starts school in a couple of year’s time. Over the past 2 years I have done a couple of online courses, partly to learn new things and partly to give me something to work towards, as well as being a stay-at-home mum. So when the opportunity to try out an NCC Home Learning course came about, I was really interested in trying out the new CACHE Level 3 Child Care Course. NCC is an international training provider offering a range of courses to individuals. They have been established for over 15 years and work with colleges and education establishments to ensure that standards are met. They cover a wide range of industry areas including; Health Care, Business, Teaching and Child Care.
I chose the Child Care course as this is what I’m mainly interested in and as a fully accredited CACHE course I thought it would give me a useful qualification to have in the future. There are no previous requirements for the course in terms of needing any child care knowledge or specific qualifications so you could do it as someone interested in getting into child care or someone who is already in child care and wants to further their knowledge.
When you sign up for the course you get your own personal login dashboard from which you can navigate the user guide, course content and exam once you are ready to take it. The course is completely online so you work through the content at your own pace. The Login dashboard is easy to use and straightforward with all of the content categories and sub-categories on the left hand side menu.
Before you start the course, it is advised by NCC to read through the introductory user guide provided. This gives all of the information needed on how to get started and the system requirements you need to view and interact with the course itself.
The course content is split up into 5 units. Unit 1 is about the key features of child development and developmental needs. Unit 2 is about providing for children’s physical needs inclusive of health and safety. Unit 3 is about learning through play. Unit 4 is about safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children. Unit 5 is about the legal responsibilities for the childminder and responsibilities for working together. Each unit is broken down into sections so it’s easy to follow and each unit has a number of pages to work through, which for one of the units was 60 pages. I found this a bit overwhelming at first glance as there isn’t an obvious way once you have started reading through the unit, to pause and come back to the content. I later found that if you come out of a unit part way through and go back into it, it asks you if you want to continue from where you left off. When you access a unit, the course content pops up on a separate screen, I would have preferred it a bit bigger personally as although you can maximise the window it still makes the text slightly small. The colours are nice and bright, making the information easy to take in and the content is clear and concise.
There is a lot in there and I felt it could have been cut into double the units which would have been easier to digest and work through. The course content is really good, I recognised a lot of it from when I worked as a teaching assistant which made me trust the course and I knew that it was accurate in the information provided. It’s up to date and uses the most recent guidelines and laws in use today. There isn’t anything I think it could add in terms of its content as it covers all of the important topics that are really useful when in a childcare setting. There is nowhere to show where you are along the course so the dashboard could do with a progress bar of some sort to keep track of how you’re getting on.
Each unit took me, on average, 2 hours to complete and once you have worked through all 5 units, the exam becomes available to take. There are 40 multiple choice questions to answer, with 4 possible answers to choose from. You need to achieve 75% or more for a pass and you can retake the exam if you fail. You receive your results straight away which is great as you don’t have to wait around to find out if you need to retake it and you can retake it straight away. The 40 questions are random and different each time. They were not set out in the unit order like I would have expected from experience with previous courses I have done with other company’s and so this made it quite tricky to recall the information. Also I found the questions extremely specific so I was not surprised when I failed my first 2 attempts at the exam. I ended up referring back to the course content more than I expected to and ended up getting a bit frustrated. Once you have passed the exam successfully, a certificate is then available to download to confirm your completion of the course or a copy can be ordered via the website and sent out to you at a cost of £10.
The Child Care course provided by NCC Home Learning I reviewed currently costs £495 but is on offer at £371.25 with the opportunity to pay in monthly instalments. I think this is an average cost compared to other online courses I have seen however I would want to use an offer if I was to take the course again. The course content is great and I couldn’t fault it as someone who has experience of working directly in a child care setting. It’s a useful course for those wanting to work with children in the future or wanting to find out if they are interested in working with children. The course is advertised as an 200 hour course which can be completed over as long as 12 months so would be money well spent as its a useful qualification to have. I would recommend the Child Care course as I was impressed by the level and detail of content available, it would just be the cost that would put me off.