Course Description

Early Childhood Care & Education (QQI Level 5 Major Award)

This QQI Level 5 Childcare Major award programme is designed to prepare you to work in a supervised role, competently, safely and effectively with children aged 0 – 6 years. The Early Childhood Care & Education course is designed to emphasise the integrated nature of work with young children. It will also prepare you to work in a wide range of settings with different professionals and volunteers, recognising and valuing the importance of all of them in providing a service for children and their families. This childcare programme is also structured to provide Graduates with the opportunity to progress to specialised courses in higher education.

The Early Childhood Care & Education programme leads to the QQI Level 5 major award 5M2009 Early Childhood Care and Education and upon successful completion and QQI certification provides learners with the minimum qualifications required to work in Childcare. Learners will need complete a total of 8 modules to achieve the Major award.

This distance learning, QQI accredited course means that Students can study flexibly at home, or at any convenient place and time, and can gain a nationally accredited Qualification. Students receive a comprehensive Course Manual, Assignments, Efficient Studyguide, and unlimited one-to-one Tutor Support for the course duration.

The course documentation for this course is detailed and easy to read. If students require extra time to complete the course they can apply for an extension. Assignments may be emailed or posted to the College whichever is more convenient.

The programme duration is a combination of directed and self-directed learning activity including work placements and the total number of learning hours per week should be 20 hours on average.

Who should complete this course?

The programme will cater for a variety of adult learners ranging from school leavers with no previous experience in the ECCE sector to more mature adults with relevant life or work experience. Some of the latter will have previously had some education and training in childcare. More mature adults will frequently be seeking new career opportunities, be working in the home or currently working in the child care sector.

Requirement in Credit Value is 120

Students must complete 8 Modules at 15 Credits each.

Mandatory – All of the following components (90 Credits):

  • Child Development – 5N1764*
  • Child Health and Well Being (5N1765)*
  • Early Care and Education Practice (5N1770)
  • Early Childhood Education and Play (5N1773)
  • Work Experience (5N1356)
  • Communications (5N0690) or Personal Effectiveness (5N1390)

Choose Any Two of the following components (30 Credits):

  • Approaches to Early Childhood Education (5N1763)
  • Children with Additional Needs (5N2386)
  • Special Needs Assisting (5N1786)
  • School Age Childcare (5N1781)

*Students taking this module will have to sit an examination (€50.00) that is normally held in Dublin
but arrangements can be made in outside centres around the country. This can be paid before exam
dates and is not required upon enrolment. This exam fee is not covered in the course fee/registration fee.

All participants must have access to a professional Childcare environment to fulfill the assessment requirements of the course – which is at least 150 hours work experience.

  • Work Placements:


The Open College can facilitate work placement insurance for the duration of the course and is registered with the Garda vetting Unit and is in a position to offer students a Garda vetting service.

  • Assessments:

A combination of module appropriate assessment procedures will facilitate the assessment of learning outcomes of the course. These methods will include a combination of final written examinations and continuous assessment processes such as assignments, collection of work, learner records, projects and skills demonstration. All assignments will be designed to maximize the individual participant’s skills in their career development All work submitted must be your own work.


  • Easy Payment Plans are available with this QQI Level 5 Early Childhood Care & Education Major Award.
CollegeThe Open College
Course LocationLeopardstown, Dublin
Location PostcodeDublin 18
Course CategoryChildcare, Educational & Teacher Training
Course TypeDistance Learning
Course QualificationLevel 5 Certificate
Awarding Body DetailsQQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care & Education (5M2009).
Course Duration13 Months
Course TimeThis Early Childhood Care & Education – QQI Level 5 (5M2009) course is completed through Distance Learning and there are no lectures to attend. Students can complete this course within 13 months which is ample time and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient. If students need to extend this period for any reason during or near the end of the course they can request an extension through the college.
Course Fee1160
Entry RequirementsLeaving certificate, Level 4 certificate or equivalent in a relevant subject area (Healthcare/Childcare/Sports) and/or relevant practical experience (3 years minimum) – Please ask about our requirements surrounding Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for entry. Mature students (over 23 years) may be exempt from the above prerequisites. Learners will be required to undertake a practical supervised work placement (150 hours minimum) within the relevant vocational area. English Language Requirement: Students entering programmes leading to awards at Level 5 are expected to be able to: be proficient at reading, drafting, preparing and understanding information across a broad range of topics, including quantitative information. Garda Vetting is required for all Childcare placements and students can apply for this through The Open College. Please ask for details. Certain assessments require completion of work, which must be observed and evaluated by a Supervisor or Line manager. Learners undertaking this programme must have basic IT skills and access to the necessary equipment to enable them to undertake an online programme: computer, broadband, email, Microsoft, recording equipment necessary for some skills demonstration tasks, and where applicable any other specialised software/equipment. As this programme is delivered through distance learning or eLearning, students must be capable of studying on their own initiative. Be competent in both written and spoken English. If you take this course by eLearning you will need basic IT skills and have access to broadband.
Carear PathProgression to further Studies: - This course leads to a level 5 award on the National Framework of Qualifications. - Students who successfully complete this programme may use this Level 5 award towards completing the QQI Level 6 Advanced Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education – 6M2007. In 2015, the then Minister for Children & Youth Affairs – Frances Fitzgerald TD, announced that from September 2016 all staff in existing childcare services must have a level 5 qualification in early childhood care and education, and team leaders will have to have a Level 6 qualification (or equivalent).
Phone01 2061828
Course Code5M2009
For information about The Open College, please visit their college page on by clicking here.

Course Provider

The Open College

Unit 9, Leopardstown Business Centre,, Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Leopardstown, Dublin, Ireland. Eircode: D18KX34

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The Open College
Unit 9, Leopardstown Business Centre,
Ballyogan Road, Leopardstown, Leopardstown, Dublin
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