Early Education and Childcare

Follow your dreams and embark on a rewarding and satisfying career that will shape future generations.  

Pursue your passion and take the first steps to develop a career in Early Education and Childcare. In terms of human development, the significance of early childhood education cannot be overstated. Learn the relevant concepts, theories, principals, and practical skills to teach, nurture and care for children at the most sensitive and important stages of their lifelong learning journeys.

Early Education and Childcare explained

Studying early education and childcare can lead to an incredibly rewarding and enjoyable career path that ultimately carries the responsibility of shaping future generations. Early education and childcare settinigs offer education and childcare to children up to school age, they can be operated by the council, private businesses, or voluntary organisations.

There are many different career pathways available within Early Education and Childcare, from teaching and nursing, to becoming a specialist in a subject such as play therapy. Our courses are designed to introduce you to the world of early education and childcare and will enable you to understand children’s needs whilst encouraging them to thrive and prosper in life. 

Nina McLeod – Early Education & Childcare student

College prepared me well for employment in my chosen field. It gave me invaluable insight, knowledge and experience I wouldn’t have gained otherwise.

A person writes in a notepad while looking at a laptop and charts

Why pursue a career in Early Education and Childcare?

  • Fulfilment and job satisfaction – Early childhood educators have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young children by providing quality experiences that encourage positive outcomes for children’s health, learning and wellbeing. Positively helping children prepare for the transition to school and beyond leads to an incredibly rewarding career.  
  • Variety – If you begin a career in early education, you will soon realise that no two days are the same. Each day will bring its own new adventures, activities, and challenges. Planning activities for children can be exciting as it allows you get creative and see the world through a child’s eye.  
  • Job security – Now is a great time to consider a career in early education and childcare as the growth of the sector continues. There is also significant opportunity to advance and progress in your career as you learn more skills and gain experience.   
  • Flexibility – A career in early education and childcare can often give you flexibility over the time and days you work. There are a wide variety of paths you can take with some positions allowing hours that will fit around your family commitments.   

Where Early education and Childcare could take you 

Take a look where a qualification in Early Education and Childcare could take you. 

Career Options 

As more than 1 in 3 college leavers go on to find employment*, a qualification in Early Education and Childcare could lead to the following careers: 

  • Nursery workers – Look after children up to the age of five and help them learn numeracy and language skills often through play. Nursery workers plan and supervise activities that let children have fun and be creative in a safe and secure environment. Average starting salary between £14,000 – £21,000  
  • Early Years teacher – Work with children up to the age of five and focus on techniques to help children learn and provide a safe and positive environment, successfully setting children up for their all-important transition to primary school. Early years teachers will plan the curriculum, monitor children’s progress whilst supervising nursery workers and assistants.  Average starting salary between £16,000 – £20,000  
  • Children’s nurses – Children’s nurses have the knowledge and expertise to provide care to children of all ages who are suffering from long- or short-term illnesses and conditions. They are able to give injections, tend to wound’s and injuries and advise family members or carers about their child’s medical needs. Average starting salary between £24,000 – £25,000  
  • Play therapist – As a play therapist you will use play as a communication tool to help children understand their world and deal with emotional distress and trauma. Play therapists access each child and their individual needs and determine a suitable course of therapeutic treatment. Average starting salary £30,000 – £32,000 
Onward study  

As more than 1 in 3 college students who graduate with an HNC or above go on to university study*, a qualification in Early Education and Childcare could lead you to the following degree options:  

  • Degree in Early Childhood Education and Care  
  • Degree in Childhood Practice
  • Degree in Child Nursing  

*based on SFC College Leaver Destinations report 19-20 

Professional Membership  

Students studying and graduates with a qualification in Early Education and Childcare can become a member of professional associations such as The British Association for Early Childhood Education. Benefits of becoming a member include:  

  • Supportive network of professionals in the industry.
  • Access to expertise, resources, and support.
  • Guides, access to events, and competitions.  

Course Entry Requirements

The entry requirements to study on Early Education and Childcare courses vary depending on which course you select. Some courses such as our childhood practise HND require you to have already completed the HNC Childhood Practise course, however there are some entry level courses such as our Pathway to Early Learning and Childcare. The entry requirements for this course include having a National 4 level qualification in Math and English and have two additional national 5 qualifications at grade C or above. In addition to these entry requirements, we also ask that: 

  • You demonstrate a keen interest in the subject area 
  • You attend an entry interview and present yourself well 
  • You have a positive learner reference – if you’ve studied with us before.

For courses with formal academic entry requirements, we offer a number of routes in – from studying the qualifications that allow you to progress to offering alternative options.  

All Courses

Choose the course for you and click through to find out more and apply: 

*Courses listed above are available as at time of publishing. Availability is subject to demand and some courses may stop accepting applications or be withdrawn at any time.

Learning Environment

At Dumfries and Galloway College, we offer a fantastic learning environment to enable you to prosper whilst earning your qualifications. Facilities such as our playroom give you the hands-on experience and skills needed to excel in the sector and build your career.

The learning facilities paired with the support from our qualified staff members will give you the best opportunity to positively impact children’s lives and begin a rewarding career in Early Education and Childcare.