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

1,449.00 895.00

  • Course Fee: Special Offer price Now only: €895.00
  • Award: QQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care & Education (5M2009).
  • NFQ Credit Value: 120 credits.
  • Format: Distance Learning course supported with fully qualified tutors & accredited by QQI.
  • Sector Requirements: 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).
  • Students can complete this course within 12 months which is ample time and can start it at any time of the year that is convenient.
  • Easy Payments: Only €125 per month over 10 months with our unrivalled Easy Payment Plans. No other fees to pay! Call us on 01 2061828 to avail of this offer.
  • Customise your own Major award – 4 elective Modules to choose from!
  • Garda Vetting Provided.
  • Students work placement Insurance is covered by The Open College at no extra cost.


Course Description

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 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.

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).

This 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.


Course Details

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):


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


*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:

If students are not able to secure a Work Placement or provide Insurance for the duration required please contact us to discuss further as we may be able to assist students with placements and work place insurance in certain circumstances.

The Open College is also registered with the Garda vetting Unit and is in a position to offer students a Garda vetting service. There may be a delay in processing applications with the Garda Vetting Unit due to high demand so we advise you to complete the form on registration.


Entry Requirements / Prerequisites:

  • Level 4 Certificate, or Leaving Cert, or equivalent, or relevant life and work experience.
  • 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.
  • If you take this course by distance learning the course material will be posted to you.  You can complete and return assignments/projects which must be typed rather than handwritten either by post or by email.
  • As this programme is delivered through distance learning or eLearning, students must be capable of studying on their own initiative.
  • If you take this course by eLearning you will need basic IT skills and have access to broadband.
  • For more details on participation suitability of this course click here».


Progression to further Studies:



  • 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.
  • As part of our quality assurance, student assessment work will be marked by an Internal Assessor, validated by a Verifier with an independent QQI External Authenticator to complete the process.


Protection for Learners on this Childcare Level 5 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 Bank Guarantee.

If we cease trading those learners who have not finished their programme will be fully protected by this Bank Guarantee which will be automatically triggered and the fund that covers all Fees paid by learners will be transferred to FETAC by our Bank to enable FETAC 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.


  • Following successful completion you will receive a  Level 5 Major award in Early Childhood Care & Education - 5M2009 from QQI.
  • 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.
  • There is a €165.00 registration fee payable to include administration, moderation and QQI accreditation.

QQI Distance Learning Courses

Location & Dates

This 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 12 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.

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