Early Education and Childcare NQ Level 6

What is special about this course?

As a result of the Scottish Government’s and the Scottish Social Services Council’s commitment to high quality education and childcare, a skilled workforce is required.

This course will prepare you to work effectively in certain posts within the early education sector or to progress onto further study in this area. You will gain an understanding of the key issues, demands and responsibilities involved in caring for children.

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.

During your course, we introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills.  Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills.

Entry requirements

You should have at least 3 National 5s or equivalent 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.

We’ll be inviting you by email to attend course information sessions between now and the start of your course. We’d urge you to come along if at all possible.

  • safeguarding of children and young people
  • communication with children and young people
  • promote the wellbeing and safety of children and young people
  • play for children and young people
  • development of children and young people
  • child development/theory
  • services for children and young people
  • introduction to first aid
  • research in care
  • employment skills for childcare
  • child development and health
  • supporting children with additional support needs
  • experiential approaches to EECC or supporting children with additional support needs and supporting children's behaviour 
  • embedded development of core and essential skills

More than just your subject

Imagine coming out of college with your subject qualification PLUS a portfolio of skills endorsed by employers. That’s exactly what you will get with us. Our skills+ portfolio is part of your full-time course. You will develop skills in digital literacy, entrepreneurship, metaskills, work-readiness, net-zero, wellbeing, and the skills you need for your future aspirations. Our skills+ portfolio becomes your portfolio to take away with you. Whilst studying your subject you will build your skills+ portfolio and gain confidence and resilience along the way.


Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time
  • Online

You normally need to commit to 18 hours per week (2-3 days) of blended learning time consisting of timetabled learning and personal study.

Timetabled learning will take place in an online classroom where you connect and interact with your lecturer and classmates using with video, voice and text chat.  You will also complete regular and flexible personal study which most students choose to do from home. 

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed by means of a combination of practical tasks and open and closed book assessments throughout the year. You may have to attend a college centre or other exam centre for some of these – we can discuss this with you on application. 

Where can I study my course?

    Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study.

Start date

Late August/Early September


For the latest information on fees please see our Fees & Funding information pages.


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?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

This is now my second year having completed NC Child, Health, and Social Care last year. On the whole I have had so much fun, made a few good friends, and would definitely recommend it for those who are interested in early education and child care.  I have learned to look at myself and situations in a new light and self reflect: is what you believe right, wrong or both: not everything is black and white.  This course provides the basic knowledge for going forward: whether it’s in social care, nursing or early education. It’s good to see where your path leads. Next, I plan to study HNC Childhood Practice. I’d like to study in the college for as long as possible, with guidance from my course leader to steer me in the best direction for my future.  

Rachel Ormerod

After leaving school at a young age and not knowing what career I wanted, this course helped me with deciding I want to work with children. This course helped with learning about working with children and all that comes along with that - the good and how to deal with the bad. It also helped with boosting my confidence.   

There was extra training along the way. For example, I had a lecture with Safe Strong and Free. This was all offered through studying NQ Early Education and Childcare.  

Without this course I would not be going off to America in the summer to work with underprivileged children as it has given me the knowledge that I need for America. 

This course has taught me everything I need to know to give a child a helping hand. 

Amy Maclean

Apply for Early Education and Childcare NQ Level 6

I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI West Highland. Please note, UHI West Highland will be changing its name to UHI North, West and Hebrides in August 2023, subject to Scottish Government approval. This will not impact on your choice of course or how and where you will study. UHI West Highland 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.