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 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
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).
During the course the students will learn values, skills and
knowledge to enable them to support children and young people. This will
- 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
- Learning how to ensure inclusion in everyday work practice.
- Critically evaluating your practice and being a reflective
- Developing a good working knowledge of current legislation, policy
We promote active learning and you will take part in
activities in and out of the classroom
- This course has a mandatory work placement of 60 days throughout the year.
- There are specific units of study in this course which must be achieved in the workplace.
- This can be in your usual workplace or in voluntary placement.
- 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
- If you do not have the formal entry requirements but you have significant experience of working with children you will also be considered: please detail this in your personal statement
- It is preferable, but not essential, that applicants have some experience of working in early learning or childcare settings
English Proficiency Requirements
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, PDA Level 8 Childhood Practice or BA Childhood Practice
- To progress to these qualifications, 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.
- 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
- Granton, Sighthill or Midlothian campus – 2 days per
- You will also do 2 days per week on a work placement
Course Cost And Funding Options
Fee: £777 Sighthill part-time (year 1)
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 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 through this course. It means a lot to me and without their positivity and encouragement I don’t know how I would have stayed motivated.”
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