This NC Childhood Practice award combines theory and practical work experience in an early year setting and will develop an awareness and understanding of all aspects of children’s growth and development from birth to 16 years, along with providing the practical skills needed to recognise and meet the needs of the developing child. 

You will undertake a two-day work placement in an approved nursery and/or primary school setting selected by the College. This will enable you to gain direct experience of working with children; linking theory to practice along with enhancing communication and interpersonal skills. Placements can be physically demanding and fitness to practice will be discussed before any placement commences. 
Assessments are scheduled across the year and are National Assessment Bank Materials and include project work along with the more traditional assessments. You will also be required to complete a work placement portfolio of tasks whilst in the childcare settings to evidence your understanding of the role of a childcare professional.


Leadership skills 
Communication skills
Reflective skills

Full-time study is one academic year and days of study are different depending on campus and all include a mandatory work placement across the full year of study 

  • 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 Level 5 Intermediate Certificate: Childhood Studies and or School College Partnership courses 
  • On successful completion the NC Childhood Practice Award will allow you to work with children and young people as a support worker on seeking registration with the SSSC. 
  • This course combines theory and practical work experience in an early year setting
  • You will gain an understanding of the key issues involved in caring for young children, including their needs and how to provide for development and education from birth onwards

Some of the units you will study include: 

  • Child development 
  • Child development: theory 
  • Sociology of Childhood 
  • Understanding Mental Health Issues 
  • Supporting the behaviour of children and young people 
You will undertake a work placement within a nursery and/or primary school setting. This will enable you to gain direct experience of working with children, linking theory to practice. Patterns of placement may vary between campuses, but tend to be one day per week from October to June along with weekly college attendance. 

You must be 16 years of age at the start of the course of study and possess one of the following: 

  • Five National 5s at Grade C or above including English at Grade A or B 
  • Completion of an SCQF Level 5 course, such as Intermediate Certificate: Early Learning and Childcare incorporating National Progression Award: Playwork and Childcare with 12 assessed credits including Maths/Numeracy, IT, and Communication at SCQF Level 5 
  • Alternative equivalent qualifications will be considered on an individual basis 
  • You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course
  • HNC: Childhood Practice SCQF Level 7 
  • HNC: Social Services SCQF Level 7 
  • HNC: Additional Support Needs: Supporting the Individual SCQF Level 7

There are many careers available including working as a Support Worker in early years settings/day care services (like nurseries), out of school care (like after school and holiday clubs), classroom assistants, childminding.

  • Students are required to purchase stationery and textbooks at an approximate value of £50 
  • You will also require access to the internet to support learning via online delivery which forms part of the NC early Education & Childcare Award 
  • 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
  • Please complete an online application form 
  • 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 16 years of age at start of study 
  • Eligibility for membership of the PVG scheme to attend the mandatory workplace experience