CACHE stands for Council for Awards in Children's Care and Education. A CACHE diploma can be received in the United Kingdom and allows the recipient to work on her own with children. It can also be a step towards furthering education in university.
CACHE is an organisation designed to provide education and security to the childcare industry in the United Kingdom. A CACHE diploma tells employers that a potential employee has the experience and knowledge necessary to work in the child care industry, and also guarantees that the candidate has been checked out and can safely work with children. A CACHE diploma does not take the place of a social work degree, but can be used in conjunction.
There are four qualification levels in CACHE. Level 1 has only one qualification and provides preparatory education for the higher levels. There are no level 1 diplomas. Level 2 has one diploma in child care and education. This is directed towards 16- to 18-year-old students at accredited institutions and prepares students specifically to deal with parents and children in many children's services situations. The diploma takes 480 hours to complete, with a recommended 390 hours of work experience.
Level 3 also offers a diploma in child care and education for students at least 16 years of age. Students are trained to work in either supervised or unsupervised situations with children and their families. The diploma requires 1,009 hours of work and a recommended 750 hours of work experience. There are also level 3 diplomas offered in home-based child care, which requires 132 hours, and preschool practice, which requires 600 hours.
Welsh Level 3 Diplomas
CACHE offers two specific Welsh diplomas at level 3. The first is in playgroup (kindergarten) practice and takes 180 hours plus 180 recommended work experience hours to complete. The second is in early years care and education, which takes 210 hours and another 210 recommended hours of work experience to complete. These diplomas are designed to cover the differences between the English curriculum and Welsh curriculum. Recipients of the Welsh diplomas are expected to work in Wales.
While a CACHE diploma is useful to child care workers in the United Kingdom, the qualification is not guaranteed to transfer to locations outside the United Kingdom, such as the United States. Also, a CACHE diploma only qualifies the recipient to work in child care; it is not a social work qualification.