SCQF Level 7
Childhood Practice & SVQ Provision

Course Overview

The HNC Childhood Practice is for applicants interested in a career in the early education, childcare or playwork sectors or for those wishing to pursue further study for example, within Childhood Practice or Primary Education. This qualification is accepted by the Scottish Social Services Council for registration as a practitioner in the daycare of children service.

This is a nationally recognised qualification and valued award for people who want to work in a variety of settings, supporting children and young people with varying needs.

This course will give you a deep understanding of working with children and young people and will help you to integrate knowledge and theory into practice, including the importance of the National Care Standards and Scottish Social Services Council Codes of Practice.

This course will teach the importance of play to children's development, leadership skills, a thorough understanding of child development theories, strategies to support children with additional support needs, how to understand and support children's behaviour, contemporary family issues, collaborative working and the importance of health, wellbeing and safeguarding.

From this course, you can apply for registration as a Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) professional and go into employment within nurseries, playgroups, after school clubs and other play schemes. A career in childhood practice is more than just a job. With plenty of opportunities for progression, each day can be different, full of variety and full of adventures. Take your next step towards changing your life and the lives of children.  

For part-time courses, the fees are payable at the start of each year (2-year course).

What You Will Learn

During the course, the students will learn values, skills and knowledge to enable them to support children and young people. This will include:

  • Developing an understanding of the values and principles that underpin work in childhood practice settings.
  • Understanding how the National Care Standards and SSSC Codes of Practice inform working practices in the childhood practice sector.
  • Developing an understanding of the variety of childhood practice settings in the sector.
  • Developing skills appropriate for working with and supporting a wide range of individuals in childhood practice settings.
  • Having an individual and child-centred focus in your practice.
  • Learning how to ensure inclusion in everyday work practice.
  • Critically evaluating your practice and being a reflective practitioner.
  • Developing a good working knowledge of current legislation, policy and guidance.
  • We promote active learning and you will take part in activities in and out of the classroom
Placement Information
  • This course has a mandatory work placement of 60 days throughout the year.
  • There are specific units of study in this course that must be achieved in the workplace.  
  • This can be in your usual workplace or involuntary placement.


Entry Requirements
  • A minimum of two Highers one of which should be English  
  • Or pass a relevant NC at SCQF Level 6 or SVQ Level 2 Children’s Care Learning and Development/Social Services Children and Young People 
  • Or a pass in a different subject at SCQF 6. 
  • If you do not have the formal entry requirements but you have significant experience of working with children you may also be considered if spaces remain: please give full details of this in your personal statement 
  • Applicants should have some experience of working in early learning or childcare settings in a paid or voluntary role. 
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 6.0
How the course is assessed
  • You will be continually assessed through a combination of project work, essays, closed book assessments and presentations. 
Progression And Articulation Routes
  • This course is intended to enable registration with the SSSC as a practitioner 
  • Successful completion could enable progression to HND Childhood Practice (Higher English is required for HND), PDA Level 8 Childhood Practice or BA Childhood Practice 
  • To progress to these qualifications, the experience of working in a childcare setting is essential and there will also be a requirement to be working or on placement in a leadership role. 
  • Successful students who have also achieved National 5 Biology and level 5 numeracy (or equivalent) are eligible to apply for the 3-year pre-registration Nursing programme (BN) at Edinburgh Napier University.
  • BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies, year 2 entry at University of the Highlands and Islands 
  • BA (Hons) Childhood Practice, year 2 entry at University of the Highlands and Islands  
Number Of Days Per Week

Part-time options: 

  • Sighthill Campus - Tuesdays 10 am-2 pm over 2 years  
  • Granton Campus - Thursdays 10 am-2 pm over 2 years 
  • You will also do 1 day per week on a work placement 

Full-time options: 

  • Granton, Sighthill or Midlothian campus – 2 days per week  
  • You will also do 2 days per week on a work placement  
Course Cost And Funding Options
Student Stories

Student Nicola Brown attended College to take her career in a new direction – swapping hairdressing for a career in childcare. Nicola was the winner of the Childhood Practice Academic Excellence award at the College’s Prize Giving ceremony last month, and we caught up with her to find out about her College journey: 

I am very happy about being recognised at Prize Giving. I have loved meeting so many new people whilst being on this course, and I have made lots of new friends. 

A couple of months after starting the course I found out I was pregnant and I thought that I would really struggle to complete everything in the course due to taking time off for appointments and working two days as well as being at College. To keep on track, I stuck to a plan and made sure I handed everything in on time and studied regularly. This helped me stay motivated and focused to finish the course before the baby came. 

My plan for the future is to take this year off on maternity leave with my new baby and then return next August to complete my HNC in Childcare. My end goal is to become a Childhood Practitioner and work with children. 

I would just like to say thank you to my lecturers for their help and support throughout this course. It means a lot to me and without their positivity and encouragement I don’t know how I would have stayed motivated.” 

Start Date and Time

Full Time

This course will start week commencing...
  • Monday 30/08/2021

Part Time

This course will start on…
  • Monday 30/08/2021
End Date

Full Time

This course will end on...
  • Friday 17/06/2022

Part Time

This course will end on...
  • Friday 17/06/2022
Course Delivery
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MILTON RD x x x x x
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OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

It's not just making play-dough!
Gavin tells us why he studies childcare

​Read his story

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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