Early Education and Childcare SCQF level 6 NC

What is special about this course?

As a result of more parents going out to work and a push for high quality education and childcare by the Scottish Government and the Scottish Social Services Council, a skilled workforce is required to deliver this education and care in a variety of settings for young people in Scotland.

This course integrates theory and practical work experience placement in an early years setting to enable you to work effectively in certain posts within the early education sector. You will gain an understanding of the key issues, demands and responsibilities involved in caring for children. This course will also give you the opportunity to gain the Early Education and Childcare Higher as part of your studies.

The programme will allow you to meet the professional standards required for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council as a Support Worker in any early education and childcare setting which provides for children aged between birth and 12 years.

You will be assessed throughout the year by means of closed book and open book assessments. Essays, presentations and case studies will be included. There is also a graded Play Project which is externally marked by SQA.

Core Skills are an integral part of the course and you will study ICT, Numeracy and Communication. These will be closely tied in with the other units you are studying and will enable you to move on with confidence to your next educational step or place of employment.

Entry requirements

You should have at least 3 Standard Grades at credit level or above/National 5 or have completed the NC Child, Health & Social Care course at SCQF level 5 or similar.

Applications are encouraged from mature students who do not possess formal qualifications but have appropriate understanding and skills and can demonstrate they have the potential to meet the academic demands of the course.

All applicants will attend an interview.

Please note that you are required to have a satisfactory Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check to enable participation in work placement. This will be provided as a mandatory part of your course. Further information can be found at www.disclosurescotland.co.uk

  • Child Development
  • Child Development Theory
  • Services for Children and Young People
  • Play in Early Education and Childcare
  • Play in Practice
  • Supporting ICT in an Early Education Setting
  • Developing an Understanding of Working with Children
  • Developing an Understanding of Working with Children: Workplace Practice
  • Supporting a Curriculum in an Early Education Setting
  • Supporting Children’s Rights and Entitlements
  • Supporting Children’s Behaviour
  • Prevention of Infection
  • Core Skills in Communication, Numeracy and ICT

Work placement is a crucial part of this course and you will complete a 2 week placement during the academic year.  This will enable you to gain direct experience of working with children allowing you to put the theory learnt in college, into practice.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

This course is accessible in any of our college centres using blended learning: a combination of video conferencing and virtual learning environments.

Theory and practical work experience placement.

How long will my course last?

34 Week

This full time course runs in various WHC UHI centres and you will study 3 days per week throughout the academic year.

How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed throughout the year by means of closed book and open book assessments. Essays, presentations and case studies will be included. There is also a graded Play Project which is externally marked by SQA.

Where can I study my course?

    • Auchtertyre
    • Broadford
    • Fort William
    • Gairloch
    • Kilchoan
    • Kinlochleven
    • Mallaig
    • Portree
    • Strontian
    • Ullapool

Start date



Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please contact your local college learning centre or Student Services for more information.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing.

If you are 18 and over and are eligible for a bursary, these costs will be met through your bursary. If you are not eligible for a bursary, you will need to fund these items yourself.

If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to EMA or not. However you must apply for EMA even if you know that you’re not entitled to EMA.

If in any doubt or if you want detailed information, please call student services on 01397 874321.


Students may qualify for bursary, EMA or childcare funding. Please contact your local college centre or Student Services for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Following successful completion of the NC Early Education and Childcare course, you could go on to study our HNC Childhood Practice or you may find employment as a Nursery Assistant, Playworker, Pupil Support Assistant or other posts in the early education and childcare sector. This may lead to further vocational training to enhance your career in this rewarding industry.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Early Education and Childcare SCQF level 6 NC

I want to start in 2019/20

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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