Early Childhood Care & Education with Special Needs Assisting

Course Aim

It is now a requirement that all staff working directly with children must hold a minimum of QQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education (or equivalent). Throughout the course, students will gain experience in the childcare sector through work experience and class participation. On completion, opportunities may arise to work in the public and private sectors with children aged 0-6 years.


Course Modules

  • Early Care & Education Practice
  • Child Development
  • Child Health & Wellbeing
  • Communications
  • Work Experience
  • Early Childhood Education & Play
  • Creative Arts for Early Childhood
  • Children with Additional Needs
  • Special Needs Assisting
  • Occupational First Aid
  • Paediatric First Aid



5M2009 QQI Level 5 Early Childhood Care & Education


Entry Requirements

All our Level 5 PLC courses are open to school leavers (Leaving Cert/ Leaving Cert Applied Students/A Levels/GCSE or equivalent), QQI Level 4 graduates and mature applicants. A QQI Level 5 award is a prerequisite to access a Level 6 programme.

Progression To Degrees

DkIT | Early Childhood Studies | Level 8
DkIT | Social Care | Level 8
NUI Galway | Early Childhood Studies and Practice | Level 8
TU Dublin | Early Childhood Care and Education | Level 8
DCU | Early Childhood Education | Level 8
DCU | Education and Training | Level 8


Career Opportunities

Graduates progress to employment in range of early education settings across the public and private sector

Childcare Assistant | Special Needs Assistant | Classroom Assistant | Early Years Educator | Preschool Assistant | Child minding | Afterschool Assistant | Montessori Teacher


I carried out my work experience in Realt na Mara primary school which I really enjoyed. When I finished my course, I applied for an SNA job in the school and started in September. I plan to continue to study for my level 6 in Early Childhood Care and Education while working. I would definitely recommend doing this course if you are interested in working with children or with children with special needs. The teachers are very good and helpful throughout the course.

Amy Caul
Amy Caul
Early Childhood Care & Education Graduate, 2018

2020-21 Course Fees

  • Enrolment Fee
  • Student Registration
  • PLC Government Levy
  • Exam Fees
  • Specialist Course Fees


Note - Some courses may require the learner to purchase relevant industry-specific material for their own use which may not be included in the list of course fees.

€30 of Enrolment Fees are Non-Refundable. All fees subject to change.

Fee Exemptions

The following categories of participant are exempt from paying the PLC Government Levy:

  • Medical Card/SUSI Grant/Back to Education Allowance Holders may be exempted from PLC Government Levy. Documentary Evidence must be presented immediately to avail of such exemptions.

  • Medical Card/Back to Education Allowance Holders may be exempted from QQI Exam Fees. Documentary Evidence must be presented immediately to avail of such exemptions.

Fee Payments

All fees must be paid online with a Credit/Debit card in advance of course commencement on 7th September 2020. Fees are subject to change. Please note that no refunds will be made by OFI after Friday 2nd October 2020. All requests for refunds must be made by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



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