Castle Buildings, 3rd Floor, Tara Street, Tullamore, Co. Offaly R35 E9K8 | Tel: (057) 9349424 | Email:

Certificate in early learning and care (QQI Level 5)

The Certificate in Early Learning and Care is the professional award required for entry into the early learning and care sector. This programme through a balance of theory and practical opportunities enriches the personal and professional development of the learner in preparation of the Early Years Educator role (NFQ Level 5).

Throughout the course, learners will work under supervision demonstrating the required competencies, values and work practices to build reciprocal, responsive and respectful working relationships with all stakeholders in the best interest of babies, toddlers and young children.

  1. Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning and Care
  2. Children’s Rights,  Legislation and Regulation
  3. Holistic Care of Children 0-6 years
  4. Early Childhood Growth and Development
  5. Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies
  6. Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs

Modules subject to change

Prospective learners wishing to be accepted onto Stage 1 of the programme must meet the following minimum entry criteria:

  • Leaving Certificate including Leaving Certificate Applied or equivalent qualifications at NFQ level 4
  • English language – Minimum English language and literacy competence at entry to the programme for speakers of English as a second language is Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, B2 in writing, reading, listening and speaking. Evidence of achievement of this standard is necessary for entry to the programme.
  • Prospective students are required to complete an assessment and interview to determine placement on the Early Learning and Care Programme. Prospective learners will be expected to demonstrate:
  • a desire to work in the early learning care industry
  • an ability to act with responsibility and autonomy
  • an ability to take responsibility for their own learning while under supervision

Applications are welcome from mature students who will be assessed on their own merits and do not require the above qualifications.

Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Thurles

LC432    Early Childhood Care & Education (Level 7)

Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Athlone

AL764    Early Years Care & Education (Level 7)

AL864    Early Years Care & Education (Level 8)

Atlantic Technological University (ATU), Carlow

CW748    Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 8)

CW758    Professional Social Care Practice (Level 8)

South East Technological University (SETU), Waterford

WD149    Early Childhood Studies (Level 8)

WD188    Applied Health care (Level 7)

WD192    Social Care Practice (Level 8)

WD163    Psychology ( Level 8)

Maynooth University (MU)

MH101    Arts (Level8)

MH106    Psychology (Level 8)

MH003    Early Childhood Teaching & Learning             (Level 8)

St. Angela’s College, Sligo

AS001    Education Home Economics & Biology – Teaching

AS002    Education Home Economics & Religion – Teaching

AS054     Home Economics – Teaching

University of Limerick (UL)

LM002    Arts (Level 8)

For further information, contact Elaine  on 057 9349471 or email

€50 QQI Level 5 Certification Fee (The above exemptions apply, except SUSI Grant recipients who do not hold a medical card.)

VTOS: If you are over 21 years of age, are unemployed and have been getting certain social welfare payments for at least 6 months you can apply for the Vocational Training and Opportunities Scheme (VTOS). Successful applicants can receive a VTOS payment for the duration of the course, instead of their social welfare payment.  Small meal and travel allowances may also apply.


Course Details

Code: 5M21473

Award Title: QQI Level 5 – Certification in Early Learning and Care

Duration: One year, September 12th, 2022 to May  26th, 2023. 

Part-time Option: Contact Maura Burke on for further information.

Full-time Option: Contact Elaine Sheridan for further information.

Hotel & RestaurantThursday April 15th, available from 4pm onwards

SportsThursday April 15th, available from 4pm onwards

BusinessThursday April 15th, available from 4pm onwards

Applied Social Studies with SNAWednesday April 14th, available from 4pm onwards

Early Childhood Care & EducationWednesday April 14th, available from 4pm onwards

Nursing Wednesday April 14th, available from 4pm onwards

Healthcare SupportWednesday April 14th, available from 4pm onwards

Computer Networks with SoftwareTuesday April 13th, available from 4pm onwards

Sustainable Construction TechnologyTuesday April 13th, available from 4pm onwards

Engineering TechnologyTuesday April 13th, available from 4pm onwards

Applied ScienceTuesday April 13th, available from 4pm onwards