Early Education and Childcare NC

What is special about this course?

If you want to work with children and young people, this course will give you a broad understanding of all aspects of child development.  

It is an excellent course to allow you to explore the many different specialities and career paths open to you in this sector. 

This NC will help you gain entry to Higher Education courses, degrees and teacher training.   

You will spend two days a week in a work placement in a nursery or early years class. You’ll get a truly hands-on learning experience, working with professionals to understand the links between theory and practice. 

Entry requirements

  • Four National 5s (or equivalent), one of which should be English

If you don't meet our entry requirements, your previous experience may still qualify you for this course. Mature students will be considered on merit. Please get in touch with us to discuss how suitable this course is for you. 

PVG Scheme membership is required to successfully achieve this qualification, where there is guaranteed contact with vulnerable groups in key elements of the course. For further information visit this webpage.

  • Child Development 
  • Child Development: Theory  
  • Services for Children and Young People  
  • Play in Early Education and Childcare  
  • Developing an Understanding of Working with Children  
  • Developing an Understanding of Working with Children (Workplace) 
  • Play in Practice  
  • Supporting Children’s Rights and Entitlements  
  • Experiential Approaches to Early Education and Childcare  
  • Prevention of Infection  
  • Supporting Language, Literacy and Numeracy in an Early Education and Childcare Setting  
  • Supporting Children with Additional Support Needs Supporting a Curriculum in an Early Education and Childcare setting (Workplace) 

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

Your course will generally be a mix of scheduled connected learning time, and flexible learning time. You need to commit to both, but you can choose when to complete flexible learning to fit around work, caring and personal commitments. 

When we talk about ‘Connected Learning’ we mean that you will learn together with your lecturers and fellow classmates at a scheduled time in an online classroom. This will include a combination of video conferencing (like a Zoom call), interactive chat and sharing of presentation slides and other visuals. Online-classrooms provide you with real time interaction, contact and discussion with your lecturer and fellow students, so it’s a much richer experience than purely online learning. 

In 2022-23 we fully expect all courses to be taught in our learning centres, where you will still take part in a virtual classroom, connecting with a few of our other locations, but you may have fellow students with you in your learning centre. 

Practical learning will be carried out at a workplace environment for two days each week, lasting the duration of the course.  

Find out more about how you will learn with us.

How long will my course last?

9 Months

Where can I study my course?

    • Arran Learning Centre
    • Campbeltown Hazelburn Learning Centre
    • Dunoon Learning Centre
    • Helensburgh Learning Centre
    • Islay Learning Centre
    • Lochgilphead Learning Centre
    • Oban Learning Centre
    • Rothesay Learning Centre
    • Tobermory Learning Centre

Start date

Late August


Most full-time students will automatically have their course fees paid for this course.   

If you have recently moved to, or do not normally live in Scotland, you may need to pay £5,970 in course fees, these can be paid in instalments. Families of Armed Services personnel are subject to different fees regulations and may also have to pay course fees. If you think this may apply to you, please contact us and we can advise you. 

This course is not available to students who require a Tier 4 Home Office visa to study in Scotland (international or EU). 

Part-time FE students who are on low incomes or in receipt of certain benefits may also have their course fees paid for them. Please refer to page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide to see if you are eligible.  

Each single SQA unit costs £90. You may be able to apply for an Individual Training Account (ITA) to cover up to £200 of part time fees. 


Bursary for Living Costs 

If you are 18 years of age or over on the start date of your course, and will be studying full-time you may be eligible for bursary funding, depending on your household income. Our bursary fund is finite and is allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis so it’s important to make your application for bursary as soon as the application process opens in July. You will need to have accepted our offer before you apply. 

If you are under 18 you may be eligible for EMA. EMA is paid at a rate of £30 per week dependent on your total household income.  

Please see page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide for full details of Bursary and EMA.  

You may also be eligible for assistance with travel and childcare, and we have discretionary funds for those students in need. You can find all the information you need in our funding pages

What can I do on completion of my course?

When you’ve successfully completed this course, you can move on to study at a higher level with courses such as: 

  • HNC Childhood Practice  
  • SVQ3 Social Services (Children and Young People) (Work based) 

Successful completion of this course will enable you to register with Scottish Social Services Council as a Support Worker in a day care of children service. 

Is there more information available online?

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

Going into this course I had no idea quite how much I would enjoy it! Early Education and Childcare is such an interesting and complex subject, it is a really worthwhile course to study. My lecturers could not have been more encouraging and helpful, the level of support I received is something I have never experienced before. I am so excited to be continuing with Childcare'. 

Islay - 2020/21

Apply for Early Education and Childcare NC

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll 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.