If you would like to be an SNA then this is the course for you. If children with specific needs are close to your heart then you can learn about their diverse needs in a hands on practical environment supported by relevant theory that will give you a national and international qualification. This course is a requirement for anyone working with children and is the first step on the ladder to a whole career. Students participate in seminars, conferences and educational field trips.

  • 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.
  • Understanding Special Needs 5N1709 – Develop an ideal of good practice when relating to individuals with special needs. Outline the range of special needs, conditions and impairments, cause, diagnosis, prognosis and epistemology. Describe the different learning and therapy programmes provided by professionals in the area of special needs. Discuss current policy in relation to special needs.
  • 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.
  • Children with Additional Needs 5N2396 – Learn to interact in a range of ways with children with special needs. Identify common conditions and disabilities relating to children and plan developmentally appropriate activities mindful of the safety, welfare and wellbeing of all children. Learn to work responsibly as part of a team.

Additional Training/Workshops

  • Manual Handling Training and Certification (requirement for work experience): Manual handling training is required under Regulation 13 of the 1993 (General Application Regulations) and 1993 Manual Handling Regulations. This training programme is aimed at providing all persons at work with proper techniques when lifting, carrying, loading, pushing and supporting. It provides employees with good work practices such as proper lift Manual Handling Techniques. The course includes being aware of the necessity for safe methods of manual handling to reduce the risk of injury and understanding the need to avoid manual handling by using mechanical aids where possible. Furthermore, assessing the task using the TILE criteria (task, individual, load, environment) and implementing the correct method of lifting ensuring minimal risk to self and co-workers will also be included.  Finally, knowing how to safely execute all relevant workplace manual handling tasks will be demonstrated. A certificate will be issued to learners who successfully complete the course.
  • Child Protection training (TUSLA): This workshop is an introduction to Children First is based on Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children and the Children First Act 2015.  The content includes recognising and reporting child abuse, the role of mandated persons, the responsibilities of organisations working with children to safeguard children. Furthermore, learners will be informed of the role of designated liaison persons. A certificate of completion will be awarded on completion of the course.

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.

Excellent progression opportunities including:

Excellent progression opportunities to 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, 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.

  • Duration: September to May
  • Fees: €540 including QQI examination fees. (Medical card holders exempt from €250). See Payment for details.
  • Certification:
    • QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education (5M2009)
    • QQI Component Maths (5N1833) and Statistics (5N2066) (available as option in evening for learners requiring Maths or Statistics for progression).
  • Work Experience: Students will undertake placement one day per week for the duration of the course for a minimum of 120 hours in a registered TUSLA Early Years’ Service. Garda vetting is an integral part of the application procedure for this course.
  • Click to view, print or download prospectus page.

Email: childcare@ccoc.ie          Tel: (021) 4222100 Ext 594

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For me, returning to education was a very daunting prospect. It had been 17 years since I sat the leaving cert and now I was applying for college for the first time! With two children of my own, I wondered how I would get through the year at all. My fears were short-lived because the moment I stepped through the doors of Cork College of Commerce I knew I had made the right choice. The Early Years is an area that I have always wanted to study, gain more knowledge and understanding of the sector and eventually work with children, helping to improve their learning and development experiences. For this reason, I chose to apply for the Early Childhood Studies level 5 course. My experience in the college was amazing from the start. Everything from classes, classmates, day trips and work placement contributed to the learning experience. I even sat on the Board of Management as a student representative for the year, which was an amazing educational experience. Teachers and staff at the college are so helpful and supportive. They are all extremely approachable and always ready to help students. They strive to get the best out of every student and I can honestly say that without them, I wouldn’t have had such a successful year. I finished my QQI level 5 with all distinctions. These results exceeded my expectations and because of this I decided to return here for a second year to complete a level 6 course in Early Childhood Care and Education. I am still loving life at the college and couldn’t recommend College of Commerce highly enough! The opportunities that arose from my time at the college are endless. There are so many doors open to me now, the only trouble is choosing which path I want to take!

Harriet Cotter

I had pondered and researched for years whether to go back to the classroom and do a course for myself in childcare. Being a mum of three I thought I knew it all but nothing could have been further from the truth. I absolutely adored my time in the college of commerce and rave about the place a lot to family and friends and am always trying to encourage those who have completely given up on upskilling or looking for a complete career change, I am that example. I got involved in open days, in the debating marketing speech and spoke about modern day love versus the old “quiet man “version and even won a prize. I dressed up for Christmas and found myself hungry for knowledge as the debates in class will stay with me forever as we all some very personal stories My inner child and the other inner children were let out for a while and artistically and socially we began to scaffold one another. The teacher was amazing and many of my colleagues have gone back this term to do the next level. And I am so proud of them all. How blessed are we here in cork to have such an incredible facility that is co committed and focused on the development and upskilling of all ages.

Hillary Real

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