If working with children under 6yrs is your dream then this is the course for you. Learn about the early years in a hands on practical environment supported by relevant theory that will give you a national and international qualifi cation. This course is a requirement for anyone working with children and is the first step on the ladder to a whole career.

  • Child Development 5N1764 – Learn to identify and respond appropriately to children’s developmental needs in the home and the early years setting. Recognise the contribution of adults and the role of observation as a learning tool for the childcare worker. Understand the importance of play in development.
  • Early Care & Education Practice 5N1770 – Learn to participate effectively in teamwork in an early years service using effective communication skills with families, children and colleagues. Understand daily logs, routines and record keeping in running the service efficiently.Explore the rules and regulations that govern the industry.
  • Early Childhood Education & Play 5N1773 – Understand how to select relevant play activities and materials appropriate to children’s interests and stage of development and cultural background. Use a range of reading and story telling techniques to suit different ages and cultural background. Asses the value of a toy, game or piece of play equipment. Explore the features of a supportive play environment.
  • Child Health & Well-being 5N1765 – Identify requirements for the promotion of healthy and safe indoor and outdoor environments for children. Learn about common childhood illness and devise balanced menus for babies, toddlers and children. Perform suitable care routines for babies and young children including the care of the child when unwell.
  • Infant & Toddler Years 5N1779 – Learn about the wonderful world of babies and toddlers , their development and learning. Evaluate your role and practice in supporting the development, learning, health and wellbeing of infants and toddlers. Explore ways to foster and enhance positive relationships with infants and toddlers, parents/guardians and colleagues.
  • Creative Arts for Early Childhood 5N1769 – Develop your own creative side, by experimenting through a practical fun filled, hands on approach with a variety of art materials. Learn to explore a range of materials to support creative activities for children, which include arts and crafts, music and drama.
    Communications 5N0690 – Acquire the writing skills needed for the workplace, learn to speak fluently and coherently in a professional setting, develop interpersonal skills and have an understanding of the impact of ICT on society.  
  • Work Experience 5N1356 – Planning, preparation and reflection on work placement. Job finding strategies, CV and personal statement preparation, interview skills. Practise employability skills with a view to future planning.

Leaving Certificate, LCA or QQI Level 4. Mature students are exempt from Leaving Certificate requirement. All applicants are interviewed and garda vetted. Police clearance is required for non-Irish nationals. An offer of a place is contingent on the applicant meeting the entry requirements set out here and satisfactory presentation at interview.

  • Childcare seminars and conferences
  • Child Protection training (TUSLA)
  • Professional Guest Lecturers
  • Educational Field Trips
  • One day a week work placement which students are required to source
  • CCOC Manual Handling Training and Certification (requirement for work experience)

Excellent progression opportunities including:

  • CIT: Early Years Education (CR620)
  • UCC: Early Years and Childhood Studies (CK111)
  • CCOC: QQI Level 6 Advanced Early Childhood Care and Education 6M2007
  • CCOC: QQI Level 6 Advanced Psychosocial Awareness & Training 6M2263

Excellent progression opportunities to UCC and other Higher Education colleges. Special arrangements in place with CIT (CCPS), Tralee IT and Waterford IT for preferential entry for College of Commerce students. Up to 390 CAO points for any Institute of Technology can be attained by successful completion of this course. See our Progressions for details.

Students are qualified as Assistant Early Childhood Practitioners in pre-schools and crèches, as Special Needs Assistants and can work as a Child Minder in the home. All students can access the Jobs Advice Hub. Graduates can subscribe to ‘CCOC college jobs register’ and CCOC LinkedIn alumni for up to date vacancies and networking.

Email: childcare@ccoc.ie          Tel: 0214222100 Ext 594

Or send us your contact details and your query.

Your name
Your email address
Select a course
Your message

1 year

QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education 5M2009

Manual handling training and certification (requirement for work experience)

QQI Component Maths 5N1833 and Statistics 5N2066 (available as option in evening for learners requiring Maths or Statistics for progression)

€500 including QQI examination fees. (Medical card holders exempt from €250). See Payment for details.


Dean Loved his time at Cork College of Commerce and really enjoyed the lectures given and teachers’ attitude to early years and the key information and help given. Dean is now working at Blackwater Childcare Centre Fermoy – a job he got from work experience with the course and really enjoyed his time at the college.

Natasha now works in Little Stars Preschool, she loved her time at Cork College of Commerce and gave her the confidence to know she wants to go further in her studies for early childhood. She is currently doing Level 6 by night. She loved her time at the college and would do it all again!

Natasha O'Leary, Early Childhood Studies Cork College of Commerce, now working at Little Stars Preschool

Toni did level 5 Early Childhood Studies and loved every minute from her time in College of Commerce and now has furthered her studies by moving on to UCC, she couldn’t of got there without the support and help from the college. She loved and enjoyed her time here.

Toni Curtin O'Sullivan, Early Childhood Studies Cork College of Commerce, now studying in UCC

Lydia achieved her level 5 in Early Childhood Studies and now has moved on to Cork Institute of Technology. She thought College of Commerce was a brilliant experience with good teachers and guidance. She loved her time and learning here.

Lydia Cullen Anderson, Early Childhood Studies Level 5, now studying in CIT

Emma Coffey, and Thani Dorgan are working in, First steps childcare and Kindercare. Emma and Thani were offered these positions from their work experience placement.

Emma O’Driscoll: “After finishing this course, I applied for positions to work as a nanny. I am currently working now as a fulltime nanny in the U.K. This was a great course, and it definitely prepared me for getting this job, as I knew so much about activities for children and had a great awareness of caring for young babies”.

Emma Coffey,Thani Dorgan,and Emma O Driscoll, Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education

Alision Brady: “This was a fantastic course, really interesting. I got employment from my work placement, in Shrovagh Childcare, in Tower, so I am thrilled. All of the teachers really prepared me so well for working in the Early years sector, and I really love my job.”

Katelyn Collins: “I learned so much about every aspect of childcare. We gained so much experience in the class, and could do so many activities and games in the setting. I got a fulltime job in Childs Play Educare in Cloughdue, when I completed my course. I did my work experience placement there.”

Alision Brady, Katelyn Collins and Linda Cronin, Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education

Today I co-own & manage Model Farm Road Childcare, one of the largest crèches in Munster.  It is one of six crèches, which are located in Kerry, Tipperary & Cork, & together they form the Best Crèche Group.  I have been in my managerial role since August 2006 & I am passionate about Early Childhood Education & Care.  My journey, however, did not begin in the Early Years sector, initially I started out in the Alternative/Beauty Therapy arena.  I worked in that industry for four happy years & stumbled into the Early Years sector in my late 20s. I have never looked back.

My engagement with Cork College of Commerce is one that has extended over a decade.  I first walked through the doors in 1994 when I enrolled in the Repeat Leaving Certificate programme.  That experience was such a positive one that I returned in 2002 to complete a 1 Year Beauty Therapy course & I returned again in 2006 to enrol in the FETAC Level 5 in Childcare certificate.  Like many students nowadays, it took me some time before I found the right career path.  Fortunately the Cork College of Commerce afforded me the opportunity to explore different academic avenues, within a friendly, compact campus in the heart of Cork City.

Despite the huge diversity of the programmes with which I engaged, the elements that underpinned each of the three courses remained steadfast.  These elements included small class sizes, suitable learning environments &, most importantly, a team of skilled, knowledgeable, supportive educators.  On completing the courses at Cork College of Commerce, I was more confident, more experienced & I had discovered a new love of learning.  I continued my educational journey & acquired a BA in Early Childhood Studies & Practice in 2013.  I look back on my student days in the ‘College of Comm’ with great fondness & often wish that I could revisit those days again.

Elaine Bermingham, Best Crèche Group