Early Learning & Care (Stage One)

Award Title: QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning & Care
Programme Co-ordinator: Deirdre Dowling
Award Code: 5M21473
Course Code: 414185

Programme Description:

This is the first stage of a two-year, industry-developed programme leading to the Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care.  The course has been designed to provide learners with an insight and understanding of the developing child and an opportunity to develop skills for working with young children in a variety of settings.  Upon completing Stage 1 learners have the option of moving directly into working in the Early Years Sector as this is the QQI minimum qualification for working in the sector.

Component Awards:

  • Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning and Care (5C21523)
  • Children’s Rights Legislation and Regulation (5C21524)
  • Early Childhood Growth and Development (5C21526)
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies (5C21527)
  • Understanding & Assisting Children with Additional Needs (5C21528)
  • Holistic Care of Children (0-6 Years) (5C21525)

Special Entry Requirements:

  • Garda clearance is a requirement
  • Relevant work experience desirable
  • Applicants will be required to demonstrate a proficiency in communication in English
  • Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to achieve a competency rating to Level B2 on the CEFRLO framework.

Professional Practice Placement:

Learners are required to complete 150 hours of practice placement in a TUSLA registered childcare setting over the duration of this course.  This will be scheduled as a blend of one day per week and block placement.  Information on placement will be provided at interview and induction. 


  • Direct entry to employment in Early Learning and Care settings such as crèches, nurseries, playgroups.
  • Opportunities to progress to further and higher education in the fields of Early Childhood Education.
  • Progression to the Stage Two course in Early Learning and Care (Level 6) at College of Further Education and Training, Kilkenny

Additional Activities:

Additional short courses may be offered in First Aid Responder programmes with Paediatrics and Drama and Art workshops.

“I really enjoyed my time at College of FET Kilkenny. I found the course very interesting and all the things we covered in class I was able to put into practice out on work placement. The teachers couldn’t do enough for you and were always there to help. I had a great time completing this course.”

Michaela – Early Learning & Care (Stage One)