Early Learning and Care

Early Learning and Care NL 12129 QQI Level 5


This Early Learning and Care course is designed to introduce learners to the key principles, theory, knowledge and skills relation to the areas of childcare and early education. Students can gain valuable knowledge and insights into all aspects of the most formative years of childhood development. The course is designed to prepare learners for work in creches, pre-schools and as Special Needs Assistants but can also act as a foundation for further studies in this area in higher education. The course provides both the theory and skills needed to enable learners to become qualified practitioners in the area. Students can progress to IOTS under the CAO and Higher Educations Links Scheme (HELS).

The course incorporates a work experience module for learners. Course participants will be required to undertake vetting by Donegal ETB.


One year full time

Minimum Entry Requirements

Learners should have at least five pass grades in the Leaving Certificate or at least a merit in the Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) programme. A full explanation of enrolment can be found in our policy here.

Course Overview


Code Credit

Early Childhood Growth and Development

5C1526 15

Children’s Rights, Legislation and Regulation

5C1524 15

Curriculum Play and Creative Studies

5C1537 15

Holistic Care of Children

5C21525 15

Understanding Children with Additional Needs

5C1528 15

Professional Practice Placement

5C21523 15

Total Credits



*Holders of ANY QQI Level 5 award can progress onto over 700 Level 6/7 courses at Institutes of Technology or directly enter employment as a childcare worker in crèches, play-schools, special needs schools or as a classroom assistant or Special Needs Assistant.

*Holders of a QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education (5M 2009) may progress to further studies in several Level 8 courses in particular those related to Early Childhood Care and Education in Maynooth and UCC


Dept of Education & Skills Course Participant Fee. Students with a medical card are exempt from paying this fee €200

Finn Valley College Student support services fee




Grant funding:

The SUSI Grant scheme is available to students for all PLC courses and this does not affect a learner’s entitlement to the grant upon progression to Higher Education provided that the learner progresses to a Level 6 course or higher on National Qualification Framework. Normal eligibility criteria apply for applications to SUSI.

Application Process

Just click on the link below and select “Donegal” followed by “Stranorlar” in the Location and Sub-Location fields