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Certificate in early learning and care STAGE 1 (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

Technological University of the Shannon (TUS), Athlone

US926    Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 8)

US780    Early Childhood Education & Care (Level 7)

South East Technological University (SETU), Carlow 



South East Technological University (SETU), Waterford

SE913    Early Childhood Education & Practice (Level 8)

SE918    Professional Social Care Practice (Level 8)


SE927    Applied Social Care (Level 7)

SE919     Social Care practice (Level 8)

SE205    Psychology (Level 8)

University of Limerick (UL)
LM002    Arts (Level 8)

For further information, contact Elaine  on 057 9349424 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 2024 to May  2025