Skills for Work: Early Education and Childcare National 4 (SCQF level 4)

Skills for Work: Early Education and Childcare National 4 (SCQF level 4)

Qualification Information

National 4 Skills for Work: Early Education and Childcare is an introductory qualification that will help learners to understand some of the demands and responsibilities of working in the early education and childcare sector.

At National 4, learners cover basic issues in each area and begin to develop relevant skills such as team working skills and helping to plan play experiences. They also develop transferable employability skills, including:

  • an understanding of the workplace and the employee’s responsibilities (eg time-keeping, appearance, customer care)
  •  self-evaluation skills
  • positive attitude to learning
  • flexible approaches to solving problems
  • adaptability and positive attitude to change
  • confidence to set goals, reflect and learn from experience
  • skills to become effective job-seekers and employees

At SCQF level 4, learners work alone or with others on straightforward tasks with support.

Why deliver this qualification

The structure of National 4 Skills for Work: Early Education and Childcare is consistent with the equivalent Course at National 5. This allows centres to choose activities and delivery methods which best suit their circumstances and candidates.

There is considerable flexibility of topics and contexts to facilitate personalisation and choice for learners and centres — and to allow new and stimulating contexts for learning to be built into the Course.

It is anticipated that the Course will build on existing partnerships between schools, colleges of further education, employers and other training providers. Such partnerships will enable the Course to be delivered in a variety of appropriate learning environments with access to relevant teaching expertise.

The development of children is influenced by many factors which are studied across the Units of this Course. The Units should therefore be delivered in an integrated way, where possible.

Who does this qualification suit

This qualification is suitable for a wide range of learners including:

  • pupils from mainstream schools or other education establishments
  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • learners in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • learners participating in 16+ programmes
  • college students wishing to develop their skills and knowledge in relation to Early Education and Childcare
  • trainees preparing to enter employment
  • individuals involved in voluntary activities


Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However centres should be aware that candidates should be working at SCQF level 4.


Successful learners may progress to:

  • Early Education and Childcare Course at National 5
  • Care Course at National 5
  • further education
  • vocational training
  • employment


Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

There is no external assessment for this Course. Learners must successfully complete each Unit to achieve the Course.

Unit specifications provide detailed information on the Evidence Requirements for each Unit. The Unit Support Notes provide information on approaches to assessment for each Unit.

The Units are internally assessed by centres and externally verified by SQA.

Qualification content and delivery tools

Qualification Structure

Group Award code C221 74 (24 SCQF credit points)

The Skills for Work Course in Early Education and Childcare at SCQF level 4 consists of three mandatory Units and three optional Units.

For further information on the structure and Units of this qualification please refer to the Course Specification document.

Course Specification

Internal Assessment Reports