What's Early Learning and Childcare like?

With a Graduate Apprenticeship in Early Learning and Childcare, you can build a rewarding career caring for children. You'll help them become happy, healthy, confident young adults, while you learn new skills and gain a degree.

We've worked with colleges, universities and industry employers to create this qualification. You'll gain the skills and knowledge the industry expects from a graduate - and earn yourself a degree.

What's the qualification?

You’ll gain a Graduate Apprenticeship BA in Early Learning and Childcare at SCQF Level 9.

SCQF qualification levels explained

What will I learn?

A GA is much more than getting a degree. As it’s work-based, you'll also gain a range of useful experience and skills such as:

  • managing relationships and understanding policies
  • using creativity and innovation to boost positive learning
  • promoting partnership and communication between children, parents, carers, colleagues and the community
  • understanding the law and policies on safeguarding and wellbeing
  • establishing fairness, respect and shared values
  • promoting inclusive relationships
  • choosing, preparing and using resources to engage, support and include each child
  • understanding the concepts of play and how it links to the curriculum
  • identifying next steps in a child’s development

Course content

The key content areas which make up the Early Learning and Childcare: SCQF Level 9 Graduate Apprenticeship are:

  • core and meta-skills
  • general skills for working in support of others
  • specific skills for Early Learning and Childcare 

Developing skills

Your Graduate Apprenticeship will also help you to develop meta-skills. Employers value these skills, which include:

  • communication
  • problem-solving
  • working with others
  • time management
  • being adaptable
  • leading teams

These skills are crucial for your future life and career as they help you to:

  • cope and excel during change
  • solve problems
  • collaborate with others

Where could it take me?

You could find employment in roles such as:

  • early years practitioner
  • nursery manager

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Graduate Apprenticeships vary by course and institution.

Each vacancy advert tells you what qualifications you need to start the apprenticeship. Or you can contact the university for guidance on entry requirements.


This is a Graduate Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 9 (Ordinary degree level) and will take up to 3 years to complete.

You might complete the apprenticeship in a shorter time. That’s because you might have prior learning or experience that can be taken into consideration. This means you don’t have to repeat some parts of the qualification.

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