• Code:5M2009
  • Certification: QQI Level 5 Certificate in Childhood Studies with Special Needs Assistant 
  • Duration: One Year, September to May


This course is designed to develop the communication, intellectual, practical and caring skills essential for people working with children (0-6 years). This course offers the opportunity to gain a childcare and Special Needs Assistant qualification.

Students will be given an opportunity to complete the following short courses during the academic year:

  • Patient Manual Handling
  • First Aid Responder (QQI Level 5 module)

Programme of Study*
  • Child Development
  • Early Care and Education Practice
  • Early Childhood Education and Play
  • Child Health and Well Being
  • Work Experience
  • Customer Service
  • Creative Arts for Early Childhood
  • Special Needs Assisting
  • Word Processing

* Modules subject to change

Entry Requirements

It is desirable that students should be of Leaving Certificate Standard or have achieved an Applied Leaving Certificate with Distinction. Portlaoise Institute welcomes applications from mature students. Mature students are assessed on their merits and do not require the above qualifications. 

All students are required to complete an assessment before commencing a Further Education course in Portlaoise Institute. This assessment confirms if the student has the required level of English and Maths (if applicable) to complete a Level 5 course. 

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

Here are examples of courses students can progress to based on successful completion: 

Examples of courses you can progress to:

CAO Code Course Title College NFQ Level
LC432 Early Childhood Care and Education         Limerick IT (Thurles) 7
AL764 Early Years Care and Education    Athlone IT 7
CW748 Early Childhood Education and Care         IT Carlow 8
CW758 Applied Social Studies - Professional Social Care        IT Carlow 8
WD149 Early Childhood Studies       Waterford IT 8

*Places are not guaranteed in these institutes and are subject to students meeting certain criteria. Please consult the individual college websites for more information on application. Information available also at www.cao.ie

Course Coordinator

Sandra Duggan, sduggan@portlaoisecollege.ie

Share with your Friends