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Course Code: 5M2009

Course Content:

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Education & Play
  • Child Health & Well Being
  • Early Care and Education Practice
  • Creative Arts for Early Childhood
  • Children with Additional Needs
  • Understanding Special Needs
  • Communications
  • Work Experience

Students are also given the opportunity to avail of additional courses for example:

  • People Handling
  • First Aid Response (PHECC)
  • Infection Control


QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education 




This is a one year full-time course designed to provide students with the knowledge, practical skills and qualifications required to pursue a career caring for children, particularly children with additional needs. This course qualifies participants to work as SNAs in primary and post-primary schools. The course is suitable for both school leavers and experienced or mature students seeking a formal qualification.

Entry Requirements:

Leaving Certificate, Leaving Cert Applied (LCA), Mature students or applicants with other equivalent qualifications
are welcome to apply.

Progression and Career Options:

Successful graduates can opt to go directly into the world of work in schools, crèches and residential settings as Special Needs Assistants. The qualification also allows graduates to work in nonspecial needs settings as Early Childhood Care & Education practitioners. Graduates may opt to continue to the QQI Level 6 course Early Childhood Care & Education within DIFE or progress to Degree courses in:

  • DCU                 
  • DIT     
  • DKIT
  • Maynooth
  • ITB  
  • UCC
  • Marino

early childhood s needs

Student Testimonial:

 'The Childcare with Special Needs course in DIFE has given me more than what is required to work in the Special Needs Sector. I am confident in the standards I have been trained to adhere to and have the confidence to raise the bar in any new work environment. I am currently working full-time as an SNA in a primary school and loving it!'- Mary Mc Carthy (past student)


Drogheda Institute of
Further Education,

The Twenties, Drogheda, Co.Louth.

Phone: 041 9837105
Fax: 041 9841653
Email: dife@lmetb.ie


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