• August
  • Full-Time
  • 1 year
  • Part-Time Evening
  • Early Education and Childcare
  • HNC (SCQF Level 7)


Apply now

Intro to the course:

Are you looking for a career in the rewarding field of Early Learning and Childcare?

If so our Next Generation Higher National Certificate in Childhood Practice could be the ideal course for you! 

South Lanarkshire College is proud to be one of only two colleges in Scotland offering the new Next Generation HNC Childhood Practice qualification. Our professional lecturing team has been involved in the journey of creating this new qualification which will equip you to become a practitioner, supporting children to reach their full potential in the ever changing world in which we live. 

This qualification will replace the current HNC Childhood Practice qualification over the next few years and will become the industry standard for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Practitioners. 


Next Generation Higher National Qualifications will;

  • Be adaptable and flexible to respond to the needs of a constantly changing employment environment
  • Support life-long learning and multiple career options
  • Integrate essential meta-skills 
  • Develop critical industry and subject specific technical skills.

What is different about this qualification? 

  • Larger and fewer units of learning to encourage more integrated learning,
  • The opportunity to develop meta skills,
  • Significantly reduced assessment load, 
  • The opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of learning for sustainability. 

This award will equip you with an understanding of the values and principles of ELC and allow you to integrate these values with the essential skills and knowledge to support the learning and development of children and young people. 

The ELC Team at South Lanarkshire College are committed to supporting you to develop the skills we believe are essential for you to thrive in Scotland of the future. A strong focus on self-management, social intelligence and innovation (known as meta-skills) throughout your course will support you to succeed in life, study and employment. During your studies you will also be encouraged to become a sustainably aware practitioner through our commitment to embedding the principles of sustainability within all learning and teaching experiences. You will engage with the United Nations Sustainability Goals in a way that is relevant to your learning and future career. 

The Childcare sector in Scotland has seen huge expansion in recent years and is expected to recruit an additional 10,600 workers in the coming years with a higher than average need for new staff in the South Lanarkshire area. This need for new staff, along with with our relationships with our local authority, partnership and private childcare partners, means that on completion of the HNC Childhood Practice at South Lanarkshire College you will have excellent opportunities for securing employment or progressing to further study.  

This course is delivered over two days per week in college with a further two days spent on placement in an Early Years establishment where you will be given the opportunity to put all of your learning into practice. Classes in College are very ‘hands on’ and ‘active’. You will work in groups and will also work on an individual basis. 

HNC (SCQF Level 7)

Study mode
Multiple Available

Start date

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for anyone looking to begin a career in ELC or for anyone looking to progress in their current career.

What will I study?

Over the course of the academic year you will study a wide variety of topics including:

  • Pedagogy and how to develop your teaching practices, 
  • How to support children with Additional Support Needs,
  • The impact that trauma can have on children, 
  • Theories relating to child development, 
  • International approaches to learning,  
  • The Rights of Children and Young People
  • Reflective Practice. 

You will also gain three SVQ units during your studies. SVQ units relate mainly to your practical experience , You will also be observed in placement to gain this element of your qualification.  

Next step course options

  • HND Childhood Practice 
  • HND Additional Support Needs
  • BA (Hons) Primary Education 
  • Second year BA Childhood Studies 
  • BA/BSc Psychology 
  • BA/BSc Social Sciences 
  • Diploma in Social Work 
  • Degree in Health Studies 
  • Possible degrees with the Open University include Childhood and Youth Studies, Social Science, BA/Dip Education and Social Sciences (Strathclyde University)

How will I be assessed?

This course is assessed through a wide range of innovative methods including open book assessments, essays, reports, presentations, groupwork and podcasts. Assessments are kept to a minimum with a real focus on assessing your academic and practical ability equally.

Why should I choose this course?

This flexible course will equip you with the essential skills and knowledge to enable you to progress into employment or on to further study. Your lecturing team have a wealth of experience within the ELC sector as well as teaching in college. They will expertly guide and support you through your learning. 

Where can this course lead?

This course can lead to employment as an early years practitioner or you could choose to explore other employment opportunities in the voluntary, private or local authority sectors. This course meets the requirements for registration with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) as a Practitioner in the Day Care of Children. 

What are the entry requirements?

You will need one or more of the following to be considered for a place on this course;

  • Two Highers
  • Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services for Children and Young People
  • NC Early Education and Childcare
  • SWAP Access to Childhood Practice or equivalent 
  • SVQ level 2  
  • PDA Education Support Assistance
  • It is also desirable for you to have some experience of working with children (although this is not essential). 

What are the interview arrangements?

Applicants who meet the course criteria will be invited to attend an informal interview at South Lanarkshire College. 

Fees, finance and funding:

Fees and finances for full time:

There may be help available to assist with your study related costs. Impartial, confidential help and advice on financial matters is available from the Student Funding Team - including Bursaries, Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), Student Awards Agency for Scotland, Student Loans Company and student support funds.

Click here to find out more about fees, finance and funding options.

Other information:

For more information on this course and to speak to a member of our team email admissions@slc.ac.uk

Choose your study options

Study mode Full-Time Start date 26/08/2024 Duration 1 year
Study mode Part-Time Evening Start date 09/09/2024 Duration 1 year
Apply now