• Early Years

    Access to Childhood Practice (SWAP)

  • SCQF Level

    Comparable to Level 6

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full time

  • Start Date

    Aug 2022

Start Here


Dillan tells us why he recommends a career in Early Years, and why he loves going to work every day!

Early years provision has changed significantly over the years. Today effective early learning and childcare experiences are recognised as playing a key role in future life chances and achievement.

Access to Childhood Practice is part of the Scottish Widening Access Programme (SWAP) and is specifically for adults who have been out of full-time education for at least 5 years. SWAP programmes are designed to provide a supportive environment for adults returning to education and you don’t need any formal qualifications for entry.

For entry to this course you’ll need:

  • A real interest in children’s learning and development
  • An interview with us
  • A satisfactory reference
  • Eligible to be a member of the PVG scheme
  • To be out of full-time education for 5 years

What's Involved

On this course you’ll develop an understanding of how children learn and discover how to be in tune with children’s thinking. The course will equip candidates with professional values; practical skills and theoretical knowledge, to work effectively in the changing early learning and childcare sector with a variety of service users. Each week you will be in college 3 days and 1 day on placement in an early learning and childcare or primary school placement experience, working with children, young people and the staff team.

The course includes the PDA Social Services (children and young people) and offers an alternative entry to HNC Childhood Practice Award.

Here’s just some of what you’ll be doing:

  • You’ll look at child development from pre-birth to 16 years, including exploring child development theory. You’ll examine the holistic needs of children and young people, and factors that influence their development.
  • You’ll develop an understanding of working with children up to age 12 in an early education and childcare setting, and be able to contribute effectively to their care, learning and development.
  • You’ll look at the importance of play and how it benefits a developing child under 12 years. You’ll develop skills to support different types of children’s play, including creative, discovery, vigorous, books and technology.
  • Learning how to support the curriculum for early years and ensure children’s learning experiences are meaningful and engaging. Developing your skills to communicated in a variety of child-centered approaches.
  • You will also look at the important issues around safeguarding children and young people.
  • You’ll build transferable Essential Skills in meaningful contexts to help you become more effective in life, learning, and work. This could be communication, numeracy, ICT, working with others, and problem solving.

Go Anywhere

When you successfully complete this course, you’ll have the choice of:

  • Moving onto an HNC course such as HNC Childhood Practice, HNC Additional Support Needs, HNC Social Services or HNC Working with Communities

After achieving a related HNC qualification, possible careers include:

  • A breadth of Early Years Practitioner roles (age range 0-16)
  • Diverse roles working with children and families across the sector, including ASN support roles.

Candidates may also wish to consider a range of University degree options in the future. For example, Childhood Studies, Primary Education Teaching, Social Work, and Community Learning and Development.

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2022

Places available



Start Date

Aug 2022

Closed for Application



Register an Interest

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