Think you’ve got what it takes to shape someone’s world? But what about your career? Here’s some information regarding qualifications and work experience, plus some advice on how you could develop a successful and fulfilling career in Early Learning and Childcare.

Qualifications: everything you need to know

The qualifications you need depend on the job you’re interested in. For some roles (such as Early Learning and Childcare Practitioner) you don’t need any formal qualifications to start with and can do all your training on the job. It’s not essential, but it would be beneficial to have some work experience with young children.

If you’re already qualified in childcare, you’ll have more opportunities open to you. And, if you want to progress into management level you’ll need some advanced qualifications – as well as the relevant experience.

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Qualifications can be accessed in a workplace and at a variety of training providers, including colleges and universities. Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs) are usually taken in the workplace over 12-18 months.

Introductory qualifications you can study

Support Worker

Any of the following qualifications allow you to work as a Support Worker:

  • NC in Early Learning and Childcare at SCQF level 6
  • SVQ Social Service (Children and Young People) at SCQF level 6


  • HNC Childhood Practice (at SCQF level 7)
  • SVQ Social Services Children and Young People at SCQF level 7

You could be also be eligible for the Modern Apprenticeship programme in Early Years Care and Education. These are work-based training leading to SVQ level 2 or 3 in Early Years Care and Education.

Find details about the training providers and qualifications available near you

Getting some work experience

Have you got any recent experience working with young children? It could be a good idea to take some time to volunteer at a local nursery, pre-school or community children’s group. This way you can be absolutely sure that Early Learning and Childcare is right for you.

A career that can go wherever you want

No matter where you’ve worked before, you can really make a career for yourself in Early Learning and Childcare. With a wide number of roles and qualifications available, you can build your career according to your preferences and circumstances.

You might start as an Early Learning and Childcare Practitioner then become a Manager later down the line. It all depends on where you are now, what your goals are and where you see yourself in the future.

There’s no set career path in Early Learning and Childcare. So, if you start working in one particular area, you can always change direction if your interests and situation change.

And, you’ll always have the option to move on to degree level studies too. Degree level courses are available in a number of colleges and universities, as well as other training providers. These courses are often aimed at people who would like to mix high-level study with work.

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