• Early Years

    Early Learning and Childcare (Level 6)

  • SCQF Level

    Level 6

  • Attendance/Duration

    Full-time, one year

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Be inspired!

Be inspired!

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

Early year’s 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. The current focus is very much on ‘meaningful play’ and how it can benefit a child’s physical, social and emotional, cognitive and language development, rather than simply being ‘all about fun’. At this level, there’s a significant amount of research and writing required, as you explore the theory and practices relevant to the early learning and childcare sector.

For entry to this course you’ll need:

  • A real interest in children’s learning and development
  • Five relevant National 5s or equivalent, including English and ideally Maths/Numeracy, OR a relevant course at SCQF Level 5 or equivalent, such as NC Early Education and Childcare
  • An interview with us
  • A satisfactory reference
  • Eligible to be a member of the PVG scheme
If you don’t have formal qualifications, but have relevant life experience and a clear understanding of the importance of the Early Years Practitioner role, we may consider you for a place, so please call us for a chat.

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. Each week you will be in college 3 days and 1 day volunteering opportunities across a range of early learning and childcare services with a 6 week placement near the end of your course in an early learning and childcare setting or primary school, working with children, young people and the staff team.

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.
  • You’ll look at how to manage and support children’s behaviour. You’ll explore why children aged 0-12 years behave the way they do and the factors that may influence their behaviour.
  • You’ll learn how to support language, literacy and numeracy for children and young people from birth to 18 years.
  • You’ll learn about children’s rights and entitlements to protection from abuse and exploitation. You’ll look at means of protection and how to equip children to assert their right to protection.

You’ll also have the chance to:

  • Learn from guest speakers who are early years practitioners such as Play Scotland, Bookbug, baby massage or outdoor play specialists.
  • Enjoy a lot of fun through your placement, going on educational trips and visits.

Go Anywhere

In this course you will have built 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.

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
  • Seeking to start your career in the care sector as a Support Worker in a range of early learning and childcare settings.

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.

Some candidates have also progressed to: Primary Education Teaching, Social Work, and Community Learning and Development.


Meet Early Learning and Childcare student Dawn McLean: She tells us about how she was inspired to come to college to study Early Years after taking her son to a Parents Early Education Partnership (PEEP) session.

Early Learning and Childcare (Level 6) student, Elizabeth Gill tells us about her enterprising new business helping with her dream career!

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