This course is designed for those who wish to work with children under the age of 6 and who have a particular interest in children with special needs. It is a nationally and internationally recognised qualification. Students get the opportunity to have hands-on experience and acquire the theory to support it. The course covers a child’s overall development from conception to 6 years. This Level 5 course is the minimum requirement for those wishing to work in the area and is the first year of a 2 year professional programme leading to the Advanced Certificate at Level 6. The Level 5 is an embedded award and students who leave after year one are qualified to work in the sector.
Students will undertake 150 hours of Professional Practice in a minimum of 2 early Years of Early Years settings per annum. The settings will include birth -2 yrs 8 months, and 2 yrs 8 months to 6 years. All Professional Practice placements must be carried out with an ELC provider currently registered with Tusla. Learners must be garda vetted before going on the placement.
Leaving Certificate, LCA or QQI Level 4. Mature students are exempt from Leaving Certificate requirement.
All applicants are interviewed and Garda vetted. Police clearance is required for non-Irish nationals. Minimum English language and literacy competence at entry to the programme for speakers of English as a second language would be B2 in writing, reading, listening and speaking.
An offer of a place on this course is contingent on the applicant meeting the entry requirements set out here and satisfactory presentation at interview.
September to May (1 Year).
€300 including QQI examination fees (Medical card holders exempt €50). See fees & payment for details.
Fees status currently being updated for 2024/2025.
- QQI Certificate in Early Learning and Care (5M21473). There is an embedded award, a Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care, which can be achieved if learners exit the programme after 1 year.
COURSE CONTENT (LEVEL 5 CERTIFICATE)
Professional Practice Placements in Early Learning and Care - 5C21523
The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with knowledge, skills and competence to work in a professional capacity under supervision, to understand the role of an Early Learning and Care professional and the importance of Personal and Professional Development in the ELC World. The learner will learn how to engage in Professional Development Planning, Research skills, Academic Writing skills, Digital skills and Interview skills. They will also work under supervision demonstrating the required competence, 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.
Children’s Rights, Legislation and Regulation - 5C21524
The purpose of this module is to introduce learners to Children’s Rights such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Essential Legislation and Constitutional Protections for Children, Regulations, as well as Frameworks such as Aistear and Siolta, enabling them to work effectively under direction with children, their families and all stakeholders within a range of ELC settings. The Learner will learn how to, for example, explore the rights of children and their families as underpinned by national and international developments in order to inform best practice, review of experiences that promote children’s holistic development, and identify current child protection legislation.
Early Childhood Growth and Development - 5C21526
The purpose of this module is to introduce learners to growth and development in early childhood, linking theory with practice to support holistic development and inclusive learning. Learners will learn how to explain the main stages and patterns of holistic child development from 0-6 years, outline a range of theories of child development and learning, describe factors that may influence or impact a child’s development and learning, explore the contribution of families and other adults to the development and learning of the child, carry out observations informed by principles of child development in consultation with stakeholders to support programme planning in line with current legislation guidelines and frameworks.
Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies - 5C21527
The purpose of this module is to equip the learner with knowledge, skills and competence to engage with curricular approaches, through mediums of play and creative opportunities, encompassing diversity, identity and cultural contexts within the world of Early Years Education. The learner will learn how to facilitate creative opportunities such as art, music and drama as well as plan experiences and activities with regard to the age and development of the child.
Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs - 5C21528
The purpose of this module is to provide the learner with an introduction to the knowledge and skills relevant to the theory and practice of inclusive education and care of children with additional needs in the early learning and care (ELC) setting, looking at the rights of children with additional needs and those of their families and relevant legislation and best practice guidelines. The Learner will learn how to create an accessible, inclusive experience for the child with additional needs in the ELC setting in line with best practice guidelines and framework, Explore the importance of working as part of a team, as well as engage in reflective practice.
Holistic Care of Children (birth to six yrs) - 5C21525
The purpose of this module is to provide the learner with knowledge, skills and competence required for the holistic care, wellbeing, safety and health of babies, toddlers and young children in the ELC setting, through a balance of theory and hands on practical skills needed for ELC. The Learner will learn how to explain the key care routines, Implement a range of practice skills to provide for the care, health, wellbeing and safety of babies, toddlers and young children in ELC as well as apply the relevant legislation, regulations, frameworks, policies and procedures which impact the holistic well-being of children in their care.
Special Needs Assisting - 5N1786
This module explores the role and responsibilities, qualities and skills of the Special Needs Assistant (SNA) and examines the relevant legislation in relation to disability. It explores the rights of children in relation to personal autonomy, participation and decision making and enables the learner to maintain appropriate relationships with children, parents, primary carers, teachers and other members of the multi-disciplinary team, whilst working effectively with children who present with disabilities under the direction of the classroom teacher. Learners will learn how to outline the role and responsibilities of the Special Needs Assistant, relate effectively and appropriately to children who present with additional need, as well as assist these children in a range of activities, ensuring equality of opportunity through working in a safe and professional manner.
ADDITIONAL TRAINING / WORKSHOPS
- Manual Handling Training and Certification (requirement for work experience) – Manual handling training is required under Regulation 13 of the 1993 (General Application Regulations) and 1993 Manual Handling Regulations. This training programme is aimed at providing all persons at work with proper techniques when lifting, carrying, loading, pushing and supporting. It provides employees with good work practices such as proper lift Manual Handling Techniques. The course includes being aware of the necessity for safe methods of manual handling to reduce the risk of injury and understanding the need to avoid manual handling by using mechanical aids where possible. Furthermore, assessing the task using the TILE criteria (task, individual, load, environment) and implementing the correct method of lifting ensuring minimal risk to self and co-workers will also be included. Finally, knowing how to safely execute all relevant workplace manual handling tasks will be demonstrated. A certificate will be issued to learners who successfully complete the course.
What hours are involved?
The course is full time and runs Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday potentially from 9-5pm and on Fridays from 9-2pm. You may have a late morning or an early evening in the week and time off during the day for study/working on assignments. There will be days during the week given for your Professional Practice Placements in Early Learning and Care.
How is the course assessed?
The course is assessed through a combination of coursework (projects, assignments, learner records and portfolios) which is done throughout the year and one written exam held at the at the end of the year in Holistic care of Children 0-6years.
How much does the course cost?
The course fees are €300 (€250 if you have a medical card).
Students will undertake 150 hours of Professional Practice in a minimum of 2 early Years of Early Years settings per annum. The settings will include birth -2 yrs 8 months, and 2 yrs 8 months to 6 years. All Professional Practice placements must be carried out with an ELC provider currently registered with TUSLA. Learners must be garda vetted before going on the placement. Learners must complete the current Children First E-Learning programme before going on placement. Yes, you get your own placement.
Am I qualified to work as an SNA?
Yes, once you have completed and passed the course.
QQI Certificate in Early Learning and Care 5M21473. There is an embedded award, a Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care, which can be achieved if learners exit the programme after 1 year.
WORK PLACEMENT / EXPERIENCE
Students will undertake 150 hours of Professional Practice in a minimum of 2 early Years of Early Years settings per annum. The settings will include birth -2 yrs 8 months, and 2 yrs 8 months to 6 years. All Professional Practice placements must be carried out with an ELC provider currently registered with TUSLA. Learners must be garda vetted before going on the placement. Learners must complete the current Children First E-Learning programme before going on placement.
EDUCATION PROGRESSION OPPORTUNITIES
Excellent progressions opportunities including:
Morrison’s Island Campus: Early Learning and Care, Advanced Certificate Stage 2.
UCC: Early Years & Childhood Studies (CK111).
MTU Cork: Early Childhood Education & Care (MT972).
MTU Cork: Montessori Education (MT970).
- SETU (Waterford): Early Childhood Care & Education (SE911).
Excellent progression opportunities to UCC and other Higher Education colleges. Special arrangements in place with MTU Cork (CCPS), MTU Kerry and SETU(Waterford & Carlow) for preferential entry for students of Morrisons Island locations. Go to our progressions database for exact requirements on progressions for this course.
After Year 1 students will have a Professional Qualification in Early Learning Care Level 5. After Year 2 students will have a Professional Qualification in Early Learning Care Level 6. Students can work in pre-schools and crèches and can work as a Child Minder in the home.