National Certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education – Level 5

Early Childhood Care and Education – including special needs assisting (SNA) Level 5

Aim of the Course

This is a one year full-time Childcare Course designed to equip candidates to work as members of a professional team in the area of childcare. Graduates are also qualified to seek employment as Classroom Assistants (SNAs) in Primary and Secondary Schools.


QQI Level 5 Childcare 5M2009. Optional Certificate in First Responder.

Sample Course Content

This course introduces students to a general working knowledge and understanding of children in early childhood. Students attend college five days per week 8.55 am to 1:10 pm and gain first hand experience throughout the year by attending work placements in a variety of settings, on block release.

Participants will study the following modules:

  • child development
  • early care and education practice
  • early childhood education and play
  • child health and well-being
  • work experience
  • customer service
  • special needs assisting
  • creative arts for early childhood


One year full-time course from September to mid May. Classes are timetabled between 9:00 am and 1:15 pm Monday to Friday. Work experience takes place in blocks.

Work Experience

The work experience requirement for this programme is a minimum of 120 hours/16 days.

Entry Requirements

Applicants must possess the Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied or equivalent. If you are over twenty-one, you can apply to enroll as a mature student on the basis of your age and experience. The learner must be Garda vetted to participate fully on this programme.

Progression / Further Education

limited number of places are reserved on a competitive basis on ordinary degree and honours degree courses in third level colleges for students who successfully complete a QQI Level 5 Course. Please refer to the current guide to the Higher Education Links Scheme on and

Course Fees

Please see fees section.

Grants and Social Welfare:

Enquiries regarding maintenance grants: Please check the Student Universal Support System at and Social Welfare or the Back to Education Scheme, contact the Department of Family and Social Affairs, Ennis, Co. Clare.

It is imperative that recipients of Social Welfare payments contact the offices of the Department of Family and Social Affairs before commencing this course.

* All programmes are offered subject to sanction by DES and LCETB and minimum enrollment numbers.

About This Course

durationOne year full-time course from September to mid May
Course id5M2009
Start date13 Sep 2021
CertificationQQI LEVEL 5 Early Childhood Care and Education
LocationCollege of FET Ennis Campus

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