Early Childhood Care and Education

QQI Award (Level 5 & Level 6) Early Childhood Care & Education

This Early Childhood Care course is designed to equip the learner with the personal skills, knowledge and competence required for working with children in a professional manner, within Early Childhood Care and Education, Primary Education and Social Care settings. The course aims to equip the learner with the necessary skills required for assisting children with General Learning Difficulties (GLD) and Specific Learning Difficulties (SPLD). This course promotes the highest standards of good practice, equality of opportunity, an inclusive approach to curriculum development and respect for diversity in lifestyle, religion and culture.

Early Childhood Care and Education at Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education

Entry Requirements

Students are expected to have an academic ability which will allow them to engage in a meaningful way with a QQI Level 5 course of this type. This may include:

– A QQI Level 4 qualification,
– A minimum of 5 Pass grades in the Leaving Cert, one of which should be a 06 grade in Leaving Cert English
– An overall Merit Grade in LCA.
– Exceptions may be made for mature students returning to education. However, a basic level of IT skills is required, for e.g., familiarity with Microsoft Word.
– Students undertaking Social Care & Childcare work placements are also required to meet the conditions of our Fitness to Practice policy along with statutory Garda Vetting requirements

Course Content

Year 1 

Child Development, Child Health & Well – Being, Early Childhood Education and Play, Early Childhood Education and Practice, Children with Additional Needs, Irish for Pre-School Services, Communications, Work Experience, Creative Arts

Year 2

Childhood Social Legal & Health Studies, Child Development, Early Childhood Curriculum, Work Experience, Team Leadership, Early Childhood Arts and Culture, Supervision in Early Childhood Care, Special Needs Assisting

Early Childhood Care and Education at Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education


QQI Level 5 (5M2009) Year 1
QQI Level 6 (6M2007) Year 2


2 Years

Career Opportunities/Progression

Upon successful completion of this course, students are qualified for employment as Child Care workers in Early Childhood Care and Education settings. On successful completion of the two years students will have the qualifications necessary for employment as pre-school leader and room leader rolls in Early Childhood settings.

Graduates from this course may gain entry to Year 2 in National College of Ireland’s BA in Early Childhood Education and also to Degree Programmes in a number of Institutes of Technology with related courses through the Higher Education Links Scheme.


ITB BA Early Childhood Care and Education (L7& L8)
DIT BA Early Childhood Education
NCI BA Early Childhood Education (Part – Time)

Early Childhood Care and Education at Coláiste Dhúlaigh College of Further Education

Work Placement

Garda vetting is a mandatory requirement for this course. Students are required to carry out 120 practice placement hours in any of the following settings:

  • A Registered ECCE setting as recognised by the HSE
  • A recognised Primary School as per the Department of Education and Skills
  • A recognised Montessori school, see here

Course Charges

Year 1: €370

Year 2 €300