HNC: Childhood Practice is a practitioner level qualification for working in childcare settings across Scotland. This group award is made up of 12 SQA unit credits of which nine are HNC units and three are mandatory workplace vocational units, comprising of a minimum 96 SCQF credit points.

The Scottish Government has committed to increasing the early learning and childcare entitlement to 1140 hours per year by 2020; therefore, we need up to 11,000 new recruits working in Early Learning and Childcare across Scotland

HNC: Childhood Practice was launched as the replacement for HNC: Early Education and Childcare and as a practitioner level qualification for working in childcare settings across Scotland.

This part-time study option is aimed at applicants currently employed within early years settings looking to develop further qualifications within this field.

Units studied have a main focus on children up to the age of six years; you will learn about child development, the theory that supports child development, how to support children’s rights and protection and have an opportunity to plan and participate in various experiences to support your understanding of the value of play.

  • Leadership starts with me
  • Care in contemporary society
  • Health, wellbeing and safeguarding
  • Lifespan development theoretical approaches
  • Graded unit 1
  • Support for play learning and development
  • Working with children 3-6
  • Contemporary families
  • Supporting children's and young people's behaviour
  • Promote effective communication
  • Promote health, safety and security in the work setting
  • Develop your practice through reflection and learning

The part-time time course will offer you the opportunity to gain a recognisable qualification for working with children, through interactive classroom-based and on-line delivery in child-related topics, along with the opportunity to network and learn from your fellow students to build a supportive career network for years to come.

  • One year full-time
  • Two years part-time (evenings)
    • two evenings per week
    • 6.00pm-9.00pm

You should be 17 years of age or over when applying for the course and should have experience of working with children.

You should also possess one of the following:

  • Two Highers at Level C or above, including English at A or B
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Social Services and Healthcare SCQF Level 6 plus Higher English at Level A or B
  • Foundation Apprenticeship: Children and Young People SCQF Level 6 plus Higher English at Level A or B
  • National Certificate: Early Education and Childcare group award
  • SVQ: Social Services (Children and Young People) SCQF Level 6
  • Other SCQF Level 6 qualifications and experience of working in childcare will be considered on an individual basis

In addition, internal applicants will also require a positive Internal Learner Reference (ILR).

If you are considering progression to Higher Education teacher training courses, you should note that you are likely to require two additional Highers, including English at Level A or B, and National 5 Maths at Level C or above to be considered by most HE institutions.

You will also require a PVG check through Disclosure Scotland in order to go out on the placement(s) as part of this course (visit for more information). If you are concerned about any information that may affect your PVG, you can contact our Guidance team to discuss this before submitting your application.

  • Higher Education courses in childcare and social studies
  • HND: Additional Support Needs: Managing and Supporting the Services SCQF Level 8
  • Employment in local authority, private and voluntary childcare settings at practitioner level
  • Successful completion of this course allows you to register as a practitioner with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Please refer to the SSSC for further details on registration requirements.
    • Evidence of interest in the childcare sector from a personal statement
    • Qualifications as detailed on application
    • Information session
    • Written task
    • 1:1 conversation / interview
    • Reference to support application or school transition form where applicable
    • Must be 17 years of age at start of study
    • Eligibility for membership of the PVG scheme

You will be expected to have the required stationery and text books (approx. £45).