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HNC Early Childhood Education & Care

Subject Area


Student Type

Students aged 16-18 | Adults

Study Mode

Full Time

Course Type

Higher Education

What is the course about?

The HNC in Early Childhood Education & Care is a programme developed to support the journey of individuals wanting to pursue a career within the children’s services sector.

The course will develop you as a professional, self-reflecting individual and enable you to meet the demands of employers in the early education and care sector as well as adapt to a constantly changing world. This qualification aims to widen access to higher education and enhance the career prospects of those who undertake it.

Why should I choose the course?

This course is delivered by highly specialised staff who have a wealth of sector experience. The projects and assignments you will undertake will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to progress in your career and help to support you on your placement. The course is delivered within a highly supportive learning environment and has extensive links with sector employers such as local nurseries.

This course is designed for individuals that are looking to develop their knowledge within the early years sector. Perhaps you are a progressing student looking to go on to higher education and complete an early years degree, or maybe you are already in employment and would like to boost your skills and knowledge further to secure a managerial role. Whatever your goal, this course will expand your skills and help you advance in your career.

What will I learn?

The purpose of this HNC qualification is to develop your skills in order the meet the requirements of employers within the early education and care sector. The qualification aims to boost your career prospects and allow you to progress on to higher education for further study.

The units for this course include:

  • Unit 1: Personal and professional development through reflective practice
  • Unit 2: Protecting children in early education and care environments
  • Unit 3: Play and learning in early childhood
  • Unit 4: Supporting and promoting children's development (babies and toddlers)
  • Unit 5: Supporting and promoting children's development (young children)
  • Unit 6: Promoting healthy living
  • Unit 7: Preparing for research
  • Unit 8: Promoting inclusive early education and care environments.

You will also complete a PREP module, which is achieved with evidence from the workplace and observation in the workplace.

As part of your course, you will also achieve the minimum requirement of 375 hours' work placement/experience in early education and/or care settings.

The mandatory elements of work placement/experience are as follows.

  • A minimum of two different settings
  • A minimum of 75 practice hours with each of the following age ranges:
    • From birth to one year, 11 months
    • From two years to four years, 11 months
    • Five years to seven years, 11 months.

If you undertake work placement/experience in two settings only, at least one of these settings must enable you to meet the practice hours requirements for at least two of the age ranges specified above.

What will the course lead on to?

Upon completion of this course, you could progress on to a degree in a childcare related subject such as early childhood and care, or progress within the early years sector into roles such as management.

The HNC provides a solid grounding in early education and care practice, which you can build on should you decide to continue your studies beyond the certificate stage.

Other options include:

  • Entering employment
  • Continuing existing employment
  • Committing to continuing professional development (CPD)
  • Progressing to university.

Progression to education and care degree programmes in subject specialisms including:

  • BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) in Early Education and Care
  • BA/BSc (Hons) in Child Psychology
  • BA (Hons) in Child and Family Studies
  • BA/BSc (Hons) Child Health and Wellbeing
  • BA (Hons) in Child and Youth Studies

BA (Hons) in Primary Education.

Are there any links with industry and university?

We work closely with the University of Chester and all local childcare providers that provide placements and job opportunities for our students.

What support is available?

All HE students receive termly one-to-one tutorials with their programme leader to support them with their progress on programme. You will also have access to an online tutorial programme which provides guidance on a wide range of topics such as mental health, managing finances, support for single parents, and working online. In addition, you can access a programme of workshops throughout the year to support with topics such as study skills, academic writing, and time management.

We have a team of staff dedicated to providing learning support if it is required, and a Welfare Team that is on hand to offer guidance, support, and help when needed. All HE students have access to a designated progress coach who can also provide welfare support.

For further information on HE student support please visit:

Additionally, eligible students can access a wide range of finance and funding support to help them during their time at college. The college offers a HE Hardship Fund that students can apply to access.

For further information on HE funding support please visit

Why should I choose to study the course at Warrington & Vale Royal College?

The college offers a very high-quality education for HE students. HE student feedback is strong, and students are highly complimentary of their learning experience. HE students have access to specialist facilities and resources to support their programme of study as well as designated HE learning spaces to support independent study.

Here at Warrington & Vale Royal College we have a team of dedicated, experienced staff who can share their extensive knowledge and skills with you. Learning in a friendly and inclusive environment, you will be fully supported to achieve your goals.

What are the entry requirements?

You will typically have one of the following:

  • A BTEC level 3 or other level 3 qualification in a related subject, minimum MPP or MM
  • T Level with overall grade Pass
  • A minimum of two A-Levels (A2) with one in a related subject at grade C or above
  • Access to HE with relevant options
  • Appropriate relevant work experience – mature students who have appropriate work experience in a related sector or role and/or have professional qualifications in a related industry are welcome to apply.


  • A* to C grade and/or 9 to 4 in GCSE English (language or literature)
  • A* to C grade and/or 9 to 4 in GCSE Maths

Non-native English speakers who have not undertaken their final two years of schooling in English need to demonstrate capability in English at a standard equivalent to the levels identified below. This is necessary before being recruited to the programme, as the programme is both taught and assessed in English:

  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) level B2
  • IELTS 5.5; reading and writing must be 5.5.

All HNC/HND programmes require the completion of a personal statement prior to an admissions interview being offered. You will also be required to provide a reference from one of the following options:

  • A previous course leader/teacher (if progressing from a recently attended further or higher education course)
  • A recent or current employer
  • An appropriate professional who can provide a character reference (if you have not been in recent education or employment).

What are my funding options?

Students applying to study on a Higher Education course can apply for a HE student loan at

For further finance support and enquiries please visit

Are there any additional costs associated with the course?

All students require a DBS enhanced check prior to beginning the course- this can be related to the job role if already in a workplace.

Other costs my include textbooks. Although there are specific textbooks for this course, you may also wish to buy recommended ones.

The college provides all students with £3 print credit, any further printing will incur a cost.

Careers Information

Course options

Starts Sep 2023

33 Weeks
Class Times
08:45 - 16:00
Warrington Campus
Wed, Fri
Adult Fee
16-18 Fee

Course Enquiry

Please complete this form if you would like any other information about this course

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