Skills for Work National 4
Early Education & Childcare SCQF Level 4

Learn about physical and emotional child development, and the importance of play in early education.


Why take this course?

This course will introduce you to physical and emotional child development and the importance of play in the early education of children. It will help you to develop fundamental good practice skills - essential for your progression towards further study or employment. You will:

  • Gain an understanding of the importance of play in working with children;
  • Gain an insight into child development and its value in working with children;
  • Develop an awareness of health and safety issues relevant to a range of activities;
  • Develop core and essential skills including communication and working with others;
  • Develop industry-related good practice.

What you will experience

The National 4 course is made up of the following four units:

  • Child Development & Health
  • Play in Early Education and Childcare
  • Working in Early Education and Childcare
  • Care of Children

You will be taught through a range of practical activities, as well as classroom-based theory.  Study will take the form of individual research, group activities, practical work, watching videos and reviewing course hand outs/text books.

Throughout the course you will be offered an opportunity to review and identify how your skills and knowledge are developing, and will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Regular attendance and good timekeeping;
  • A professional attitude and an interest in Early Education and Childcare;
  • A willingness and commitment to learning;
  • Planning, preparation and research skills;
  • An ability to establish/maintain good working relationships with others;
  • Problem solving skills.

To achieve the course award you must attend regularly and successfully complete the all units. Assessment will be based on test and case studies along with project work and a folio. This course will show on your final SQA certificate as a National 4 qualification.

three female students in classroom

Key facts

Subject area

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this course although good communication skills are important. 

All applicants for this course will be invited to attend an informal interview with the teaching team.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to always: 

  • Be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Eating and drinking are not permitted in the classroom. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you could consider Modern Apprenticeship opportunities or may be able to progress to one of the following full-time courses at North East Scotland College:

At University

Those with the qualifications to do so may choose to apply for further study at university level.


If you would like to progress directly to work upon completion of your course, you can pursue a range of entry-level positions in the early education and childcare sector.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.