What’s it like to study childcare?

We asked students, Lizzie and Emma, some questions about their time studying childcare at Edinburgh College. They are both studying HNC Childhood Practice part-time at our Granton campus.

Image of nursery rhymes book with a quote that reads "In the HNC Childhood Practice course I'm learning skills to help me move forward in my career."

What have you enjoyed about the course?

Lizzie: I have really enjoyed studying childcare. The evening course fits in around work and looking after my son and I really feel I’m learning the skills to help me move forward in my career. I can see a lot of options for myself in the future, which is great.

Emma: I have enjoyed learning again, about something which I do as a job and love. I have loved getting to know new people and made a nice group of friends from the course. 

What personal benefits have you gained from this learning experience?

Lizzie: The classes have been well-paced and interesting, and I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to discuss what we’ve learned with other students. Being new to childcare (and parenting!) it’s been really helpful to learn from others who have more experience. 

The College adapted well to the coronavirus pandemic. We have had access to classes via Zoom, all the information on Moodle and the same opportunities to ask questions and get feedback. The online systems haven’t been too difficult to navigate at all and there are even some benefits to doing more of the course online! I’m really looking forward to continuing next year and have no concerns about using blended learning.

Emma: I feel I am a different mum to my own children. I step back more and let them lead and choose their own play. I think they experience more independence and are becoming more resilient when dealing with testing situations. I think this is because they are learning how to work things out and solve problems. I feel happier now that I have this studying for myself. It is my thing and I love learning about it. If I believe in myself, want to succeed and am positive, it rubs off on others around me and creates a happier more positive environment.  

What has inspired you while studying childcare?

Lizzie: I’ve particularly enjoyed learning about the value of play and child development. I feel this has given me much greater insight into what’s going on for the children I work with and given me the skills to better support them. 

Emma: The play unit was brilliant and all the different approaches to play, principles, intervention styles and theories have inspired me and the way I approach my interactions with my own children and the children I look after. I look at all different situations differently. My son was playing on the beach the other day making a moat and was intrigued by it, watching the water come in and out for such a long time. I just observed him playing and could see how this simple activity was helping him learn, he was exploring nature, solving problems and experimenting all at the same time. 

How has your learning impacted the children and families you work with?

Emma: I provide a home from home childminding service and believe I can give the children a safe place to be where they can achieve their best, feel nurtured, be respected and included and are active and healthy. I try to give them a vast range of experiences and give them the same level of love and support they would get at home. One of the parents of a younger child I look after often tells me about how she plays ‘when we are at Emma’s’ and how she asks for me and my children often when she is at home. The family have said often how happy they are that their children feel so at home with me. It has given them peace of mind that they can go out to work and know their children will be safe, happy and loved. 

Our HNC Childhood Practice can be studied as a full-time, part-time or evening class, giving you the flexibility to fit your studies around your lifestyle. Apply now for HNC Childhood Practice starting in September 2020. 

Image of nursery rhymes book with text that reads Childhood Practice.