Early Learning & Care (1/2 Years Full-Time)

Childcare & Pre-School Education will introduce you to the theory and practice of the key areas of childcare. This is the ideal starting point if you wish to progress to further studies or gain employment in a variety of childcare settings e.g. community crèches or playgroups, Montessori educational organisations. This is a one or optional two year programme leading to stage 1 - Certificate in Early Learning and Care (Level 5) and stage 2 - Advanced Certificate (Level 6). Learners can progress to the ELC Level 6 award if they have achieved the ELC Level 5 award or if they have gone through an RPL (recognised prior learning) process. (At registration students will be requested to complete the necessary documentation in order to satisfy Garda Vetting before they commence Work Experience).

This course is designed to

  • Enable students explore Childhood Care and Education with a view to re-skilling / up-skilling and exploring concepts and subject areas that may interest the learner in future programmes or employment.

  • To facilitate the learner to acquire the knowledge, skill & competence to work independently and under supervision in a range of ECCE settings and or to progress to higher education and training.

Entry Requirements

  • Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Applied, or equivalent.

  • Interview

  • Mature applicants welcome.

  • Applicants whose first language is not English will require a competency as stated in our admissions policy here

Course Content (Year 1)

  • Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning & Care

  • Childrens rights, Legislation & Regulation

  • Early Childhood Growth & Development

  • Curriculum Play and Creative Studies

  • Understanding & Assisting Children with Additional Needs

  • Holistic Care of Children (0-6)

Course Content (Year 2)

  • Advanced Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning and Care
  • Sociology and Social Policy in Early Learning and Care
  • The Developing Child
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Inclusive Early Learning and Care
  • Supervision and Administration Skills in Early Learning and Care

Optional Module

Learners may also have the opportunity to study Maths as an extra module. Occupational First Aid (5N1207) will be provided to learners as an optional extra (Weekend Course).

Professional Practice Placement

A period of 150 hours work placement in two Tusla registered child care settings is required for each stage of the programme.  This will take the form of one day per week for the academic year and a block release.  The College will inform the students of the format in September. Childcare students also have the opportunity to complete their work experience in the beautiful city of Kempten, Germany or Fougerés, France through the Erasmus+ programme. This is a paid internship for three weeks with no expense to the student. This will give participants a unique opportunity to experience living in another culture, enjoy travelling, improve language skills, gain a Europass Qualification, add this experience to your CV and get that valuable job.

Progression to Higher Education

Students who successfully complete the course may gain entry to Third Level Institutes and Colleges through the QQI Higher Education Links Scheme.

Students on this course are eligible for the access to Post Primary (APT) programme in St. Angela's / NUIG. A limited number of places on their teaching courses are offered based on QQI PLC results.

The following are the most relevant courses;

SG Institute of Technology Sligo

Please note that all QQI Further Education graduates who hold a major Level 5 or Level 6 award are eligible to apply for any IT Sligo programme through the CAO system.

ALIT Athlone Institute of Technology

LYIT Letterkenny Institute of Technology

The most up-to-date information on Higher Education Links is located at the CAO website.

Click here for details of CAO QQI Requirements Lookup


  • Student Services Registration Fee: €250

  • DES Programme Participation Contribution: €200

  • QQI Examination Fees: €50

TOTAL: €500

(One of the following exemptions may apply: (1) Medical Card Holders - €250 (2) BTEA - €200 (3) Grant - €200)

Career Opportunities

Students who successfully complete the course may gain employment in a wide variety of organisations such as community childcare, Montessori and crèches.


Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care
Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care


This is a full-time one or optional two-year course and runs from September to May.

For more information

Phone 07191-45480 or email sligocfe@msletb.ie

Please Note

  • A new national Common Awards System (CAS) is being introduced by QQI for Further Education and Training programmes. Sligocfe reserves the right to make changes in any course, to limit the number of places available or to withdraw a course. No part of this information shall be deemed to form a contract between the Institute and a student or third party.










This course enables learners to complete their work experience abroad