Working with young children and helping them learn essential skills for life is very rewarding and worthwhile.

The course is suited to applicants who already have some experience of working with children and certificated academic qualifications at SCQF level 4 or above.

This group award combines theory and practical work experience in an Early Years setting. While developing 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 placement in an approved 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

Assessments are scheduled across the year and are mainly National Assessment Bank Materials, you will also be required to complete a work placement portfolio of tasks to evidence your understanding of the role of a childcare worker.

  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Organisational skills
  • Good communicator
  • Confident
  • Self-aware
  • Reflective
  • Resilient
  • Full-time study is one academic year and days of study are different depending on campus
  • 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 4 Childcare programmes and or our Schools College Partnership courses
  • Whilst studying the foundations of Early Learning and Childcare, you will develop and prepare skills required for work within the Childcare industry. The course incorporates the SQA National Progression Award (NPA) Playwork and Childcare, which is an ideal first qualification for anyone who is interested in working with children in a variety of Childcare environments
  • This course combines theory and practical work experience in a childcare 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:

  • Development and wellbeing of children and young people
  • Working with children and young people
  • Children and young people: rights and protection
  • Children and young people: the process of play

You will take part in activities in and out of the classroom and undertake a short work placement. Patterns of placement may vary between campuses.

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

  • Four National 4s including English
  • Certificate: First Steps to a Career in Childcare including National 4: Early Learning and Childcare – Skills for Work
  • 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
  • National Certificate: Early Education and Childcare SCQF Level 6
  • SVQ: Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF Level 6
  • Advanced Certificate: Health and Social Care (Access to Nursing and Care HNCs) SCQF Level 6
  • Employment in the child, health and social care sector on further study and completion of registrable childcare qualifications
  • Students are required to purchase stationery and textbooks - approx. £40
  • 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 16 years of age at start of study
  • Eligibility for membership of the PVG scheme to attend the mandatory workplace experience