• Code: HD
  • Certification:QQI Level 5 Award in Early Childhood Care & Education (5M2009)
    • First Aid (BIFE)
  • Duration: One Year


This course investigates the development, learning and support required during the first 6 years of life. Successful learners are awarded a nationally and internationally recognised certificate in the theory and practice of Early Learning and Care. The learner will gain knowledge, skills and the competence to work under supervision and independently in a range of Early Learning and Care settings. Learners who successfully complete this award will progress to the Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care. This award provides a link to Early Childhood Care and Education Degree Programmes in Ireland through the CAO system.

Programme of Study
  • Professional Practice Placements in ELC 
  • Legislation, Regulations and Children’s Rights 
  • The Developing Child 
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies 
  • Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs 
  • Holistic Care of Children (birth to 6 Years)

Components subject to change

Professional Practice Placement - 150 hours in a minimum of 2 ELC settings (0-2yrs 8mths) and (2yrs 8mths -6years)

Entry Requirements
  • Leaving Certificate (minimum of five 06/H7’s or combination of five 06/ H7’s) or its equivalent. Extenuating circumstances may be considered.
  • Leaving Certificate Applied
  • Full FETAC Level 4 Award 
  • Mature Applicants - experience will beconsidered in lieu of formal qualifications

Places are offered following a successful interview. Garda vetting and 2 references are necessary prior to work experience placement.

Career Opportunities
  • ECCE workers in Pre-Schools & Crèches,
  • Classroom assistants,
  • Special needs assistants,
  • Nanny/Au pair
Higher Education Progression*

Examples of potential courses include:

Early Childhood Care & Education (QQI Level 6)

• TU Dublin:
Early Childhood Care and Education (DT572)

• IT Carlow:
Early Childhood Care and Education (CW748)

• WIT:
Early Childhood Studies (WD149)

• UCC:
Early Childhood Care and Education (CK111)

Course Co-Ordinator

Anne O'Malley

Where are they now?

Meet BIFE students who have graduated from this course...

 "I really have enjoyed my time studying in BIFE. My education journey through Early Childhood Care and Education began with the level 5 course. The subjects in level 5 lay the core knowledge that every practitioner needs to know. This course has helped me discover so many different career paths and opportunities that are within the ECCE sector. The dedicated teachers helped me to develop my love and knowledge for the ECCE sector throughout the year. This has brought me to my next step where I am currently studying Supervision in Early Childhood Care & Education Advanced, level 6 in BIFE. I hope to continue my educational journey to study for my degree in the Rathnew campus of Carlow IT." - Emer Ryan 

My studies in Bray Institute of Further Education was both enjoyable and challenging. Being around children and learning more about them has been my passion for a long time.  Thanks to Bray Institute and the teachers there, I had a great opportunity to gain this knowledge. As my native language is not English, support from teachers is remarkable and you can count on them all the time.

 During my year in BIFE I got more information about Early Childhood Education and Care that I could expect, I have gotten to know myself better and I made great friends. I am delighted to have completed such a great course with amazing people, which gave me the confidence to believe in myself and to continue further studies in ECCE. - Marleyn Cristin Kallas

I have just completed the Level 5 Early Childhood Care and Education course in BIFE.   All of the teachers in which our class and myself were involved with were very helpful and were always around to lend a hand if you were struggling. Also the social aspect of BIFE was brilliant, nerves about moving on from secondary school were quickly demolished as all of the people were so friendly and the small class sizes allowed everyone to become friends in the class. 

I hope to be accepted into the Level 8 Children’s Studies course in NUI Galway in September and without attending BIFE I would not have the opportunity to do this degree which I have longed to complete.  Roísín Olohan

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