Stage 1 Early Learning and Care with Special Needs Assisting (Level 5)


This course provides students with the Level 5 certificate which is required to work in the Childcare sector.


One year, full time.


  • Professional Practice Placements in Early Learning and Care (25 Credits)
  • Children’s Rights, Legislation and Regulation (15 Credits)
  • Early Childhood Growth and Development (25 Credits)
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies (25 Credits)
  • Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs (15 Credits)
  • Holistic Care of Children (Birth to Six Years) (15 Credits)
  • Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)


NFQ Level 5 award made by QQI in Early Learning and Care (120 FET credits) (subject to validation).

Career Options:

This course prepares students for work in the area of childcare as a childcare worker in a crèche or as a childminder as well as employment as a Special Needs Assistant in a Primary or Second-level school.

Third Level Progression:

  • This course allows progression to a large number of Degrees in Maynooth University including Early Childhood Teaching MH801.
  • There are numerous Degrees that allow progression in UCD including Social Policy DN750 and Psychology DN720.
  • Students may also apply for progression to DCU to study Early Childhood Education or Social Care Practice TA025 in IT Tallaght.
  • DIT accept this course on their Early Childhood Education DT572 and Social Care DT571 programmes.

There are many more opportunities for college progression.

Please contact with any queries.

Entry Requirements:

  • Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, QQI Level 4 or equivalent.
  • Work/life experience is acceptable for mature students.

Students should be 16 years or over at the start of the course.

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