Childcare: Certificate in Early Learning and Care Stage 1

Childcare: Certificate in Early Learning and Care Stage 1

About The Course

1 Year Full Time Childcare: Certificate in Early Learning and Care Stage 1 Course
QQI Level 5
Course Fees: €300

The Early Learning and Care Certificate course is led by our highly committed team of experienced childcare practitioners. The course will allow you to develop the knowledge, skills and competence to work as a childcare professional, promoting and supporting the holistic needs of children 0- 6 years.

Professional Practice Placement

Professional Practice Placements form a vital part of this course. You will be attending work placements in early year’s settings working with babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. There is one day per week in the timetable and three weeks block placement during the year.

Everyone is Garda Vetted before going on Professional Practice Placement and all of our
Early Learning and Care settings are registered with TUSLA.

European Project (Erasmus+)

Every year a number of students have the opportunity to travel to another European country for three weeks work experience. The students attend an early years setting in the host country and observe and participate in the day-to-day work of the setting, learning about how they deliver professional child care and education. View our European Work Experience page here.

Course Director: Amanda Boyne


Modules Year 1 (Stage 1)

  • Professional Practice Placement in Early Learning and Care
  • Children’s Rights, Legislation and Regulations
  • Holistic Care of Children 0 – 6 years
  • Early Childhood Growth and Development
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies
  • Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs

Course content may be revised for educational or organisational reasons.


Certificate in Early Learning and Care Stage 1 5M21473

Entry Requirements

Minimum Entry Requirements

Leaving Certificate: O6/H7 in 5 subjects
or Leaving Certificate Applied
or QQI Level 4
Equivalent qualifications will be accepted

Mature Applicants

Mature applicants who have relevant experience and may not meet the above requirements are welcome to apply.

English Language Proficiency

International applicants must have evidence of B2 proficiency in the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). Testing will be offered.

Applicant Interviews

All applicants will be invited to interview.

Progression and Career Prospects

Employment and Career Opportunities

There are employment opportunities for graduates of the programme as Early Years Assistants with opportunities to progress to Room Leader in a range of early learning and care settings, both private and community based.

Progression Opportunities

In order to progress to Year 2 of the course, you must successfully achieve all of programme learning outcomes associated with Year 1.

Graduate Profiles

“My experience throughout the ECCE course at ICFE was amazing. The tutors were truly inspirational and were always there for us when we needed them. Since completing my Level 5, I was offered a job as an AIM (Action and Inclusion Model) Support Worker in an outdoor Montessori in Dublin. It is absolutely amazing to work alongside children with the knowledge and new ideas that I learned within the course. Also, the course has highly inspired my dance school with new approaches and ideas.”

Serena Brady

“The course was great. The teachers were really helpful with course work and assignments. I went to Sweden as part of the international work experience. It was a great experience.”

Shauna Ryle

“I thought the course was brilliant. The modules were really interesting and the teachers were very helpful. I went to Sweden for three weeks work experience – it was an experience of a lifetime.”

Kayleigh Flood


I thought the course was brilliant. The modules were really interesting and the teachers were very helpful.