Childcare at SCFE

Early Learning and Care with Special Needs Assisting

QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Learning and Care
Accredited Training in Lámh Sign Language
Child Protection Training
Occupational First Aid
Certificate in Manual Handling

Duration: One Year Full-Time – September to May
Coordinator: Caroline Regan

The Early Learning Care and Education with Additional Needs course equips the learner with the knowledge, experience and practical skills necessary to work in a range of childcare and early years services, promoting and supporting the holistic needs of children 0-6 years. This award also provides the learner with the opportunity to progress into the Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care and into higher education and training.

Professional practice placement

Learners must complete 150 hours of professional practice placement in a minimum of two settings:
(1) working directly with children aged between 0- 2 years 8 months, and
(2) working directly with children aged 2 years 8 months – 6 years. Learners must be Garda vetted before going on professional practice placement.

Employment Opportunities

Learners exiting the programme after completing Stage 1 with a QQI Level 5 award in Early Learning Care can progress to employment in a range of early years settings such as;

  • Montessori Pre Schools and Schools
  • Private Crèches
  • Community Playgroups
  • Primary Schools – Early Start Schools
  • Centres offering ECCE free pre-school years


My journey in Sallynoggin College of Further Education began in 2012. In the beginning my goal was simply to gain my FETAC Level five and go out and work. This soon quickly changed. Through hard work, constant support and help from incredible teachers I realised that I was capable of much more.

I went on to complete my FETAC Level 6 and decided to continue on my studies and progress to third level. I have just completed my second year of my level 8 and will be beginning my 3rd year in September. I would without a doubt recommend anyone and everyone who has an interest in childcare to study at SCFE. It is not just a college, it is a place where students are given constant support whether it is academically or personally. It gives people who were not the best in school a second chance to achieve goals they never in a million years thought would be possible. You also gain friendships that will last a lifetime. The course itself offers students a variety of modules with relation to the child care sector. It also gives students a chance to gain hands on experience within the field through going on placement.

I graduated in 2014 and still to this day have support from the teachers regarding any help I may need with assignments or presentations. Before starting in SCFE education was never something I had an interest in and now it is something I’m extremely passionate about” 

Hi all my name is Charlotte and I would like to talk about my time studying at Sallynoggin College. I started SCFE commencing on a Fetac 5 Childcare course with advancing in to the Fetac 6. When starting SCFE I had no idea how I was going to juggle being a single parent and completing the course but due to such fabulous support and guidance from the teachers they not only helped me finish my Fetac 6 in Childcare Management but gave me the confidence to progress  into 3rd level education as I’m currently studying at Trinity College Dublin completing a level 8 Bachelors degree in Nursing currently entering into my 3rd year.

My journey through education started with SCFE and I truly believe my life would have been in a different direction without  my time spent there. Sallynoggin College was so much more than a childcare course it was the start of the rest of my life.

I really enjoyed my experience studying childcare at Sallynoggin College. At the beginning, I wasn’t really sure if childcare was the career for me. Upon starting this course I knew straight away that this was the right course choice for me with so many interesting modules, it really was an enjoyable experience.

The lecturers shared their funds of knowledge and experiences within each module, making it a very interesting and beneficial learning experience. The combination of theory and practical based learning was fantastic. This enabled me to develop my knowledge and improve my skills in many areas, which I have implemented into my current practice as a childcare professional. I really enjoyed my time studying here as it had a great atmosphere with friendly staff and students. This course encouraged me to participate in continuous professional development, as I have recently completed the BA Early Childhood Teaching and Learning Level 8 Degree in Maynooth University.

This was a fantastic opportunity for me as it was a part time degree for three years; alongside this I was able to work full time while completing my level 8 honours degree in the Early Years. Sally Noggin College provided me with the confidence and relevant experience to further my career and to be the childcare professional which I am today.

Last year I completed a QQI Level 5 course in Early Childhood Education and Care in Sallynoggin College which gave me the opportunity to continue my studies in IT Tallaght where I’m presently attending an Honours Degree in Social Care Practice.

Sallynoggin college is a gem of a place. Upon entering the doors, you are greeted with a welcoming vibe. I found the teachers to be extremely supportive, encouraging, knowledgeable and could not do enough for each student. Trips were organised for us and different learning strategies were applied. I gained valuable skills during my time there as well as making lifelong friends. I spent two years in this college graduating with a QQI Level 6 in Childcare Management. I was then able to gain advanced entry into Dublin Institute of Technology where I am completing a Degree in Early Childhood Education.


  • Professional Practice Placements in Early Learning and Care
  • Children’s Rights, Legislation and Regulation
  • Holistic Care of Children 0-6 years
  • Early Childhood Growth and Development
  • Curriculum, Play and Creative Studies
  • Understanding and Assisting Children with Additional Needs
  • Special Needs Assisting

Related Courses

Course Features and Facilities

  • Use of specialised equipment and materials as required by the Maria Montessori approach in an Early Learning Environment
  • Workshops in the five main Montessori disciplines: Practical Life, Mathematics, Language, Sensorial and Cultural
  • Practical Workshops in Síolta and Aistear
  • Interactive sessions using art, drama and music
  • Mindfulness in the classroom
  • Practical demonstrations in care routines and use of early childhood materials
  • Educational outings, field trips and guest speakers
  • Fully equipped childhood Care and Education (ECCE) suite
  • Access to fully equipped IT suites and library Course Content • Wifi and MS 365

Work Experience

Learners will undertake organised work experience one day a week at a supervisory level in a variety of Health Service Executive (Tulsa) approved services including the Free Preschool Year services.

Career and Progression Opportunities

Employment in:

Learners exiting the programme after completing Stage 1 with a QQI Level 5 award in Early Learning Care can progress to employment in a range of early years settings such as;

  • Montessori Pre Schools and Schools
  • Private Crèches
  • Community Playgroups
  • Primary Schools – Early Start Schools
  • Centres offering ECCE free pre-school years

Entry Requirements

  • Leaving Cert, including Leaving Cert Applied or an NFQ level 4 major award or equivalent
    Applicants whose first language is not English require proficiency at B2 (CEFRL) Interview
  • Mature applicants welcome
  • Applicants may be accepted without meeting formal entry requirements.