There are currently greatly increased opportunities to work with children and young people and this is a Scottish Social Services Council recognised practitioner level qualification for working in early years’ settings. It provides the opportunity for practical, real-life work experience through an extended work placement within an early years setting.

You will be expected to work independently both in and out of college, reflect on and critically evaluate your practice and take responsibility for your learning. Assessments include essay, research tasks, SVQ Observations, and a Graded Unit which is an independent project that requires you to work autonomously to examine an area of childhood practice.

There is a minimum mandatory 60 days’ work placement in an early years and in primary School setting. The College arrange this experience and PVG will be required to ensure your suitability for working with children. You will be assessed during your time in placement in the completion of SVQ units where an Assessor will visit you in placement.

  • Teamwork
  • leadership skills
  • good communicator
  • confident, adaptable, self-aware, reflective and resilient
  • Full-time study is one academic year and days of study are different depending on campus
  • Part-time study is offered on a Tuesday and Thursday evening at our Dunfermline Campus and takes up to two years to complete

This course is perfect for young people and adults who are looking to get back into education or those who are progressing on from our NC Early Education and Childcare course.

The award will allow you to work with children and young people aged between 0 and 18 years. You will learn about the values, principles and laws relevant to a career in the early years sector.

This course will teach a wide range of topics including leadership skills, child development, childcare theory, health and safety, and care in contemporary society.

You will participate in a minimum requirement of 60 days of practical experience where you will also undertake 3 SVQ (Vocational Qualification) units.

You should be 17 years of age or over when applying for the course and should have experience of working with children. You should also possess one of the following:

  • Two Highers at Grade C or above, including English at A or B
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Social Services and Healthcare SCQF Level 6 plus Higher English at Grade A or B
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Social Services: Children and Young People SCQF Level 6 plus Higher English at Grade A or B
  • National Certificate: Early Education and Childcare group award
  • SVQ: Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF Level 6
  • Other SCQF Level 6 qualifications and experience of working in childcare will be considered on an individual basis


  • If you are considering progression to Higher Education teacher training courses, you should note that you are likely to require two additional Highers, including English at Grade A or B, and National 5 Maths at Grade C or above to be considered by most HE institutions
  • You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course
  • Higher Education courses in childcare and social studies
  • HND: Additional Support Needs: Managing and Supporting the Services SCQF Level 8
  • BA Learning Difficulties/Disabilities SCQF Level 9
  • BA Childhood Practice Level 9
  • BA Primary Education Level 9
  • On completion you can apply for registration as an SSSC professional and go into employment in various childcare settings at Practitioner level
  • Students are required to purchase stationery and textbooks at an approximate total value of £75
  • You should also ensure that you have appropriate clothing and outdoor footwear as you will be expected to participate in outdoor learning activities whilst in college and on work placement
  • Evidence of interest in the childcare sector from a personal statement
  • Qualifications as detailed on application
  • You may be required to take part in an informal conversation as part of the application process. This group/individual conversation may be an information session, a portfolio discussion, or a skills based exercise
  • Reference to support application or school transition form where applicable
  • Must be 17 years of age at start of study
  • Eligibility for membership of the PVG scheme to attend the mandatory 60 days’ work placement