Early Learning and Care (Childcare) (Level 5)

The aim of the programme is to provide the learner with the opportunity to develop the required knowledge, skills and competence in childcare in order to meet the standards set by the awarding body in the award specification for Early Learning and Care. This course provides students with the Level 5 certificate which is required to work in the Childcare sector. QQI results may be used to progress to Third Level education.


Duration: 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)


NFQ Level 5 QQI certificate in Early Learning and Care (5M21473) (120 FET credits).

Career Options

This course prepares students for work in the area of childcare as a childcare worker in a crèche, Montessori, playschool or as a childminder or au pair.

Third Level Progression

Students have a wide range of options to study at Third Level on successful completion of this award.
This course allows progression to: 
  • Early Childhood Care and Education TU790 and TU989 or Applied Social Care TU997 in TU Dublin-Tallaght.
  • A large number of degrees in Maynooth University including Early Childhood- Teaching and Learning MH003 and Community and Youth Work MH116 & MH802.
  • Students may also apply for progression to DCU to study Education- Early Childhood Education DC001.
  • TU Dublin- City Centre Campus accept this course on their Early Childhood Education TU995 programme.
  • Applied Social Studies in Social Care TU791 and Community and Youth Development TU792 in TU Dublin- Blanchardstown
There are many more opportunities for college progression.
Please contact admin@greenhillscollege.ie with any queries.

Entry Requirements

  • Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied Programme, QQI Level 4 full major award or equivalent.
  • Work/life experience may be acceptable for mature students.
  • Students should be 17 years or over at the start of the course.
  • Aptitude: Applicants must have a motivation to learn, an interest in the subject area and the ability to acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies set out in the course.
  • Garda vetting clearance is required for all students taking this course.
  • CEFR B2 or higher competence in English for candidates whose first language is not English.


For details on our fees, please click here.

In Greenhills I found the college and the teachers very helpful and accommodating. The Special Needs module was very beneficial as it gave me information on different disabilities and the individual care and educational needs that different children may have. I hope to work as a Special Needs Assistant in schools and to also progress to college to qualify as a special needs teacher.

 Sarah Mahon (Class of 2021). Employed as a SNA in a second-level school. 

All modules were beneficial as there was always something new to learn but the Work Experience from my perspective was the best.  As a mature student who has been out of the workplace for 18 years, getting confidence to enter the workplace was an essential part of the course for me. This was not only for my confidence but also ensured I was entering a career that I was suited to. I would definitely recommend Greenhills College as the friendliness and attention I received from the teachers made my experience a very enjoyable one. The advice that was given was extremely important for me as I had also been out of the education system for quite some time and I was made to feel I could achieve everything that was being asked of me.    

Caroline Ryan (Class of 2021.