Social Services: Children and Young People

Foundation Apprenticeship



This Foundation Apprenticeship gives pupils skills to prepare for a social services career. It helps pupils understand:

  • how children develop, learn and play

  • child protection

Apprentices would help to look after young children, support them and their families and do fun activities. They could prepare for roles such as:

  • social worker

  • nanny

  • nursery worker

  • childminder

  • playworker

Examples of course units include:

National Progression Award (NPA)

  • Safeguarding of children and young people

  • Communication with children and young people


  • Develop your own knowledge and practice

  • Support the safeguarding of children

Apprenticeship framework(s)

Successful candidates will achieve a Foundation Apprenticeship in Social Services (Children and Young People) at SCQF Level 6. This is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher.

SCQF qualification levels explained

Select Level 6 to see the framework document and qualification at that level.

Entry requirements

Pupils don't need formal qualifications for entry, but should have:

  • a good level of written and spoken English

  • the ability to work with others

  • communication skills

  • problem-solving skills

  • a commitment to the appropriate values

The pupil would select a Foundation Apprenticeship as a school subject choice. Then they'd go through a recruitment process arranged by the college, or other learning provider. It's great if you can get involved, too. 

Pupils need to register with the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme before placement.

Progression and development

Pupils will get the skills, knowledge and competence to help them move on to:

  • a Modern Apprenticeship

  • more vocational training

  • further study at school or college

These will help them to prepare for working in a social services subject.

If you're looking to hire, Foundation Apprenticeships help you spot talented pupils. You can assess their skills on a longer term than a regular interview process would allow.

early education childcare framework 432 x 288

How does it work?

In S5 pupils may complete an industry challenge project based on a children’s care practice issue. They could spend up to 10 days learning about children's daycare and care practice.

In S6 each pupil must complete a work placement of about 1 day a week. That helps them build the evidence needed to complete the units from the SVQ.

It's possible for pupils to get more chances to work in daycare settings in the summer holidays. This will add to their understanding of children’s needs.

Cost and funding

There’s no financial cost to you as an employer because the learner is still at school. But investing your time can bring rewards, with access to talented young people in your workplace.

How long will it take?

It can take 1 year or 2 years. Pupils study a Level 6 Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their school subjects, usually over S5 and/or S6.

What's next

Fill out our contact form and we'll connect you with your local learning provider who can talk to you about working with Foundation Apprenticeships.