We are  introducing the new Early Learning & Care award which is the milestone for the new professional standard award for the Early Years sector. This is a 2 year programme leading to the Advanced Certificate at Level 6, and learners can progress to the ELC Level 6 award if they have achieved the ELC Level 5 award or if they have gone through an RPL (recognised prior learning) process. There is a proposed embedded award, a Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care, which can be achieved if learners exit the programme after 1 year.

For the first time in the history of the ELC sector, the workforce will have access to a suite of professional awards from entry level qualifications at Level 5 to honours degree level, that recognise the value of professionals at all these levels working in ELC settings across the country.

It will prepare graduate for a profession which requires a strong commitment to lifelong learning and continuous professional development to meet the dynamic and evolving nature of the context and demands of professional practice in early childhood education and care.

Stage 1 (embedded Level 5 certificate)

  • Professional Practice Placements in Early Learning and Care
  • Children’s Rights, Legislation and Regulation
  • Early Childhood Growth and Development
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies
  • Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs
  • Holistic Care of Children (birth to six yrs)

Stage 2 (advanced certificate in ELC)

  • Advanced Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning and Care
  • Sociology and Social Policy in Early Learning and Care
  • The Developing Child
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Inclusive Early Learning and Care
  • Supervision and Administration Skills in Early Learning and Care

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 on this course is contingent on the applicant meeting the entry requirements set out here and satisfactory presentation at interview.

This proposed curriculum structure ensures there is a clear professional pathway to Level 7 & 8 on the NFQ (National Framework of Qualifications). See our progressions page for details.

After Year 1 students will have  a Professional Qualification in Early Learning Care Level 5.  After Year 2 students will have a Professional Qualification in Early Learning Care Level 6.  Students can work in pre-schools and crèches and can work as a Child Minder in the home.

  • Duration: 2 years.
  • Fees: €540 inluding QQI examination fees. Medical card holders exempt €250. See Payment for details.
  • Certification: Professional Award (2 year Level 6) in Early Learning and Care with embedded level 5 award after one year. Subject to validation by QQI.
  • Work Placement: Students will undertake 150 hours of Professional Practice in a minimum of 2 early Years  of Early Years settings per annum. The settings will include birth -2 yrs 8 months, and 2 yrs 8 months to 6 years. All Professional Practice placements must be carried out with an ELC provider currently registered with TUSLA. Learners must be garda vetted before going on the placement. Learners must complete the current Children First E-Learning programme before going on placement.
  • Click to view, print or download prosepctus page.

    Your name
    Your email address
    Select a course
    Your message