Stage 1 - Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care (5M21473)

Stage one in Early Learning and Care, 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
  • Ukranian applicants should have a certificate of complete secondary education (after grade 11) or higher Click Here

Course Content - 5M21473

  • Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning & Care 5C21523

  • Childrens rights, Legislation & Regulation 5C21524

  • Early Childhood Growth & Development 5C21526

  • Curriculum Play and Creative Studies 5C21527

  • Understanding & Assisting Children with Additional Needs 5C21528

  • Holistic Care of Children (0-6) 5C21525

Optional Module

Learners may also have the opportunity to study Maths as an extra module.

Professional Practice Placement

Each learner is expected to complete 150 hours of professional practice placement in a minimum of two settings. One setting must involve working with children aged between 2 years 8 months and the other setting working with children aged between 2 years 8 months and 6 years. A “setting” in this context, refers to the age of the children. Therefore, a single childcare provider can have a room for babies and another room for older children; this would count as two settings. Work Experience will take the form of one day per week for the academic year and a block release.

Childcare students also have the opportunity to complete their work experience abraod in Germany, France or Spain, 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;

ATU - 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 ATU Sligo programme through the CAO system.

TUS - Athlone

ATU - Letterkenny

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


  • There are no fees to study this course

Career Opportunities

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


Stage One Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care 5M21473


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

For more information

Phone 07191-45480 or email [email protected]

Please Note

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 college and a student or third party.










This course enables learners to complete their work experience abroad