Colaiste Ide College of Further Education

ELC - Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care

ELC - Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care QQI 5M21473
PLSS Code 413778 | Course Fees: Free | Registration Charge: €50

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This two-year professional programme enables you to develop the knowledge, skills and competence to work as autonomous practitioners, subject to practice supervision, promoting and supporting the holistic needs of children 0-6 years and facilitates suitable adults in acquiring the qualifications necessary for employment in the childcare sector and as Classroom Assistants or Special Needs Assistants.

Entry Requirements

In general you need to have a minimum of 5 passes at ordinary level in the Leaving Certificate or its equivalent.  Applications are welcome from students with Leaving Certificate Vocational, Leaving Certificate Applied or FETAC Level 4 qualifications.  Exceptions can be made where special circumstances apply on a case by case basis.  The Leaving Certificate is not a requirement for mature students and appropriate experience can be considered as meeting the entry requirement for most courses.

We also welcome applications from mature students on all our courses.

What Will I Study?

  • Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning and Care (5N21474) QQI
  • Children's Rights, Legislation and Regulation (5N21474) QQI
  • Holistic Care of Children, 0-6 Years (5N21474) QQI
  • Early Childhood Growth and Development (5N21474) QQI
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies (5N21474) QQI
  • Customer Service Level 5 (5N0972) QQI
  • Work Experience (5N1356) QQI

What Qualifications Will I Get When I Finish The Course?

QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care 5M21473

Career Opportunities and Progression

There are approximately forty Higher Education Institutions including Universities, Technological Universities and private colleges offering places on a range of courses to QQI full award certificate holders. QQI’s information page Going to higher education using my QQI Award provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions.

Intending applicants are advised at all times to confirm linked awards, any additional module requirements, applications processes and scoring systems with the Admission Offices of the participating Higher Education Institutions or visit visit

Full awards can also be used for graduates' progression to Further Education level 6 courses -  visit for further information. Full awards can also be used for entry to UK, European and International universities, on a case-by-case basis. Full information can be found here.

Graduates go on to secure employment in crèches, as Special Needs Assistants and as registered child minders. Some graduates are self-employed owners of childcare facilities. Others choose to progress to Higher Education and training.


This course will allow selected students to take advantage of a 3-week work experience programme in Italy. The opportunity to study abroad will enhance your college experience and boost your career opportunities. You will receive Erasmus + funding which will enable you to participate on the work experience programme.


2 Years


Coláiste Íde College of Further Education Cardiffsbridge Road, Finglas West, Dublin 11

T 01 834 2333 / 01 834 2450 F 01 834 7242 E W

Funded by the Irish Government and supported by the European Union.

Colaiste Ide College of Further Education European Regional Development Fund Ireland's EU Structural Funds Solas CDETB - City of Dublin Education & Training Board

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