Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care (Level 6) – Stage 2

  • This brand new online Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care (Level 6) programme is aimed at learners seeking to progress their professional career in the Early Years sector working directly with children from birth to six years. The programme will facilitate learners with the opportunity of gaining employment as a Lead Early Years Educator while also acting as a stepping stone for progression to other suitable higher education and training programmes.
  • What QQI award do I receive? On successful completion of this two year programme you will gain a QQI Level 6 Major award in Early Learning & Care (120 Credits).
  • How is it delivered? This one year programme will be delivered Online and you will be expected to attend approx. 3 hours of Live Online Lectures each week (Mon-Fri) with some additional Online Tutorials/Workshops to be held across some Saturdays over the duration of the programme.
  • Is there a placement required? Yes, you will complete 150 hours of professional practice placement in a minimum of two ELC settings. Further details noted below.
  • Do you cover insurance? Yes, we cover our Students work placement Insurance requirements and at no extra cost.
  • How long is this Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care? This programme will be completed over one year which equates to 40 weeks per year. You will undertake three semesters in each Year (12 weeks each) and there will be scheduled breaks in between each semester. New programme intakes will take place each quarter commencing May 2023*.
  • What does it cost? The full Advanced course fee is 1,450 and includes all documentation, lecturing, assessments, learner registration and QQI certification fees for the full award. No other hidden accreditation or certification fees to pay!
  • There are also Easy Payment options of – €125 per month over 12 months with our unrivaled Easy Payment Plans. Enrol using your Debit / Credit Card or call us on (+353) 1 206 1828 to avail of this offer.

*Pending QQI Validation.

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Course Description

 

Our brand new QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care has been designed to meet the professional award standards of Early Learning & Care at Level 6.

The programme is aimed at learners seeking to commence a professional career in the Early Years sector working directly with children from birth to six years. The programme will facilitate learners with the opportunity of gaining employment as a Lead Early Years Educator while also acting as a stepping stone for progression to other suitable higher education and training programmes.

The programme comprises of 4 modules to be completed over one year (full time) and aims to prepare learners for work as autonomous practitioners and to provide leadership in the provision of quality early childhood care and education in a variety of Early Years settings.

Learners will acquire the knowledge, skills, competence, and dispositions that contribute to a responsible, self-governing, and modern early years’ professional who is flexible, creative, and inclusive in their approach to promoting and supporting the holistic development of the child, from birth to six years.

The programme has been specifically developed to combine theory and practice-based training. Therefore, learners will be expected to apply all theoretical knowledge in practice which will be the focus of the practice placement module embedded across the programme.

Learners will complete a minimum of 150 hours of practice placement, working directly with children aged between 0 and 2 yrs. 8 mts. and/or working with children 2 yrs. 8 mts. – 6 years; with an appropriate balance between settings.

The programme offers employment opportunities as a Lead Early Years Educator for those who achieve the full Level (6) major award. Learners will also have the opportunity to progress to other suitable higher education and training programmes with a view to contributing to a proactive, professional, and graduate led workforce as lifelong learners.

The programme will cater for a variety of adult learners ranging from school leavers with no previous experience in the ELC sector to mature adults with some relevant life or work experience who may be seeking new career opportunities, be working in the home or currently working in the early years sector.

The online teaching and learning approach will be suited to those with responsibilities that do not enable them to undertake classroom-based training on a full-time basis and is intended to meet the needs of a diverse range of learner profiles and make accommodations for those who may already be working in the sector or in other vocations who wish to change career paths.

 

 

Course Details

 

Programme Objectives:

  • To enable the learner to apply supervision and leadership in their daily practice as an Early Years professional with links to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) perspectives and approaches.

  • To provide the learner with the knowledge, skills and competencies to lead, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of the policies, procedures and practices which supports the holistic development of the child/children, in accordance with national legislation and regulatory frameworks.

  • To equip learners with the knowledge, skills, and competencies to lead, assess, plan, implement and evaluate ECE curricula that are child-centred, inclusive, attuned and responsive to the individual learning and care needs of the child.

  • To develop ECEC practitioners who are active in promoting children’s rights and champion collaborative practice by respecting diversity, inclusion, equality and practicing clear communication with all stakeholders.

  • To develop autonomous, reflective practitioners who are committed to personal and professional development capable of demonstrating high quality practice.

  • To develop academic and digitally literate learners capable of confidently using a range of technologies to support their learning and practice and source employment opportunities.

 

Module & Programme Structures:

Over the duration of this one year online Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care programme you will complete a range of modules which will link both theory and practice and will be assessed in a range of contexts. The full programme consists of 4 modules totalling 120 credits.

 

Overview of Modules for Stage 2: Learners will complete 4 compulsory modules (30 Credits each)

 

Four Compulsory Modules (120 Credits):

 

Module (1): The Early Years Professional (2) – 30 Credits

The aim of this module is to equip the learner with knowledge, skill and competence required to supervise and lead effective early childhood education and care, informed by current national guidelines, legislation, policy, procedures and practice. Learners will engage in effective and reflective supervision and leadership principles and practices, supporting their professional role of leading on compliance, quality practice, supervision, and community practice.

 

Module (2): The Early Years Pedagogical Leader – 30 Credits

The aim of this module is to extend knowledge, skill and competence relevant to child psychology, and child development theory, in order to develop a leadership role within pedagogy, curriculum, quality practice and provision. The learner will lead on supporting children’s holistic development and wellbeing, by providing in depth understanding of emergent led curricula, informed by National Curriculum Frameworks, and promoting quality teaching and learning experiences.

 

Module (3): Inclusive Practice in Early Years Education (2) – 30 Credits

The aim of this module is to extend in depth knowledge, skill and competence relevant to sociology and inclusive theory and practice, supporting the rights of each child, with and without additional needs, within inclusive pedagogical leadership, with a clear understanding of significance to practice. Each learner will promote participatory and antibias approaches, working within democratic partnerships facilitating the identity and belonging and voice of each child, through effective communications and interactions in line with all stakeholders.

 

Module (4): Professional Practice Placement (2) – 30 Credits

The aim of this module is to equip the learner with the knowledge and skills required of a competent Lead Early Year’s Educator who can work autonomously, supervise and lead quality practice in early years care and education. Learners will apply understanding of early childhood care and education theory through evidence-based practice and in accordance with the Early Learning & Care Professional Awards standards at Level (6).

 

Professional Practice Placement:

 

Practice placement learning:

 

The arrangements for Professional Practice Placement have been designed to meet the Professional Award Type Descriptors at NFQ Levels 5 -8: Annotated for QQI Early Learning and Care (ELC) Awards with specific attention to Section 3.0.

At each stage learners will complete 150 hours of professional practice placement in a minimum of two ELC settings: (1) working directly with children aged 0-2 years 8 months, and (2) working with children aged between 2 years 8 months and six years, with an appropriate balance between settings.

The placements must be with Tusla-registered ELC settings.

Learners will complete 150 hours of professional practice placement working directly with children aged 0-2 years 8 months, and/or working with children aged between 2 years 8 months and six years, with an appropriate balance between settings. The placements must be with Tusla-registered ELC settings.

This Level (6) Advanced Certificate will facilitate learners with the opportunity to explore beyond the role of an Early Years Educator and consider the role of leadership within settings. Learners are required to carry out mandatory activities while on placement which demonstrates the application of knowledge, know-how and competency that are relevant to meeting the professional standards of Early Learning at Level (6).

The specific arrangements for Professional Practice Placement will consider three blocks to be completed across three trimesters over a total of 37 weeks;

 

Block (1): Learners will complete a minimum of 50 hours across 8 Weeks (5-12).

Block (2): Learners will complete a minimum of 50 hours across 8 Weeks (19-26).

Block (3): Learners will complete a minimum of 50 hours across 8 Weeks (32-39).

 

  

Assessment Strategies:

 

Assessment Strategies:

The overall summative assessment strategy centres around using a combination of continuous assessment through coursework and final assessments. For the suitability of online learning final examinations have not been considered as part of the overall assessment strategy.

The continuous assessment portion will consist of a series of tasks that aim to evaluate learning progress continually over the teaching period of a module. The methods used to achieve these aims include but are not limited to the following examples; online quizzes, forum contributions, short papers and presentations.

Within each module, there is the opportunity to avail of group assessments when employing some or all of these methods. A collection of these tasks will make up the students’ portfolio assessment which has been embedded as a strategy across most of the modules to be completed over the three year programme. These tasks may be lecturer or systems graded depending on their nature. While the actual methods used to evaluate learning differ from module to module, all modules will contain an element of continuous assessment in the example of the portfolio task to be completed.

Final assessments contribute the majority of weighting and are generally longer assignments that aim to assess more learning outcomes. These assessments are lecturer graded and completed individually by each student. Academic integrity is preserved using Turnitin which is embedded in the online learning environment students will use to submit their assignments.

Throughout the course, lecturers have opportunities to informally assess students and provide formative feedback through live online lectures and tutorials as well as through ongoing communications with students. Students may also avail of the opportunity of submitting a draft assessment that is also intended as another outlet for formative assessment and feedback.

 

Semester Timetable:

 

Semester Timetable:

Please Note: this a Sample timetable only and may be subject to change.

 

Year (1): Commencing May 2023

 

Semester (1): Weeks 1-13

(There will be a break in Week 14)

Semester (2): Weeks 15-26

(There will be a break in Week 27)

Semester (3): Week 28-39 

(The Final Week 40 will be dedicated to Final Assessment Preparation and Submission).

 

 

 

 

Transfer and Progression to Further Studies:

  • This Advanced Level 6 Certificate in Early Learning & Care is listed on the Higher Education Links Scheme, and, on successful completion, may be used to obtain access to a course at a higher level (e.g Level 7 or 8 on the National Framework). »Click here for further details.

 

Protection for Learners on this Advanced Level 6 Major Award:

As a course provider our policy on the protection for learners is subject to Section 43 of the Qualifications Act. This means that if, for whatever reason, we cease to provide the programme that is over 3 months in duration which you enrolled for, we have specific and legally binding arrangements in place to finish out that programme for you at no extra cost. All course fees for programmes over 3 months in duration are fully protected and secured by a Bond.

If we cease trading those learners who have not finished their programme will be fully protected by this Bond which will be automatically triggered and the fund that covers all Fees paid by learners will be transferred to QQI by our Bond Management firm to enable QQI provide further study options for these learners or the refund of fees most recently paid so that they can complete their programme and all of this will be at no extra cost to the learners affected.

 

 

Accreditation

 
  • Following successful completion, you will receive a QQI Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care.
  • QQI (Quality & Qualifications Ireland) is the national awarding body for further education and training in Ireland. The Open College is registered with QQI to offer programmes leading to QQI awards in the National Framework of Qualifications in Ireland. Click here for details of the National Framework of Qualifications.
  • Click here for more detailed Accreditation information.
  • All Registration & Certification Fees are included in the course price.

QQI Distance Learning Courses

Delivery Format

 

How does our online learning work?

This QQI Advanced Certificate in Early Learning & Care programme will be delivered fully online using a combination of suitable online teaching and learning activities consisting of a range of synchronous and asynchronous directed and self-directed study. These methods will be guided and supported through online lectures, tutorials, discussions, collaborative and independent learning.

Professional Practice Placement is a mandatory requirement, with a total of 150 hours (minimum) to be completed.

Over the duration of this two year programme all learners will engage in approx. 20-30 hours of study each week which considers a mix of directed, independent and work-based learning.

Suitable teaching methods will compromise a range of teaching and learning activities which includes Live Online Lectures that are intended for the direct teaching of core module topics, to support the learning process and to assist in the understanding of the module content while also encouraging peer to peer engagement and interactions.

Additionally, learners will engage in a series of online activities which will include pre-recorded video content, written content, discussion forums, presentations, uploaded readings, quizzes and exercises, all of which will all be hosted in the colleges eLearning system.

 

Entry Requirements

 

Entry Requirements / Prerequisites:

The pre-requisites for entry will consider each of the following:

  • Level 5 certificate or equivalent in a relevant subject area and/or relevant practical experience. Mature students (over 23 years) may be exempt.
  • Learners must be a based in Ireland and hold an Irish or UK PPS number.
  • Learners will be required to undertake a practical supervised work placement (150 hours minimum) across a range of ELC settings.
  • Be competent in both written and spoken English.
  • English Language Requirement: Students entering programmes leading to awards at Level 6 are expected to be able to: fluently read, draft, prepare and understand complex information, including quantitative information, that is personally relevant and reflecting a broad knowledge base. Any applicant whose first language is not English may also be required to demonstrate their level of English proficiency by completion of an appropriate recognised test such as IELTS achieving a score of 5.5 or higher.
  • Garda Vetting is required for all Early Years placements and learners can apply for this through The Open College. Please check our FAQ’s page for more information on Garda Vetting and International Vetting if you have lived outside Ireland for 6 months or more.
  • Certain assessments require completion of work, which must be observed and evaluated by a suitably qualified Supervisor or Line manager.
  • Digital Literacy: as the programme will be delivered online, learners undertaking this programme must have basic IT skills and access to the necessary equipment which will enable them to successfully participate in the online activities i.e., computer, broadband, email, recording equipment necessary for some skills demonstration tasks, and where applicable any other specialised software/equipment.