QQI level 6 – Award in Early Learning & Care – Code 6M21471
2 years for a full award for those in employment at the commencement of the course


This two-year part time course offers students who are working full or part time the opportunity to up-skill in the area of Early Years. Dundrum are now accepting applications on this course for September and January.

Our flexible teaching staff and the design of the course ensures employers and students have flexibility of delivery through modes of onsite classroom and/or synchronous online face-to-face meetings.  Classes are also recorded so that students can review in their own time and frequent talks from guest speakers on various topics related to the module content are offered.
This award also provides students with the opportunity to progress on to  higher education and Training.  In addition to the Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care Students will be given the option of partaking in the level 6 Special Needs Assisting module (6N1957) which will give them an opportunity to apply for work as  an SNA in a primary school or in ELC settings and provided with training in introduction to Lamh PECS (SNA module).

Entry Requirements

Applicants must be in employment

What Our Students Say

“I studied my Level 6 in Early Learning & Care at DCFE and I can wholeheartedly say that this course is second to none! The tutors were extremely helpful and made the classes so interesting. This made my time on the course go fast due to their dedication and how hard they work with you to make sure to help you in any way they can. The modules were very informative and I found that I could put a lot of theory into practice. If you are deciding on what college to study childcare in I highly recommend this course to you!  I am now a Room Leader planning to do my level 7 in the future thanks to plenty of encouragement.” Natasha Daly, Early Years Educator and DCFE Early Learning & Care student 2021/22

“My time studying with DCFE was very enjoyable  and the added support from my tutors helped me to achieve my goals in gaining a Level 6 “In Early Childhood Care & Education”. I would encourage anyone wishing to return to education to take the opportunity to study and learn with this college. I loved my time and academia journey with DCFE.” Louise Cassidy, DCFE Early Childhood Care & Education student 2021/22

Programme of Study

Core Modules

  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • Inclusive Early Learning and Care
  • Sociology and Social Policy in ELC
  • Supervision and Administration in Early Learning & Care
  • The Developing Child
  • Advanced Professional Practice Placement
Modules offered may be subject to change due to resource demands.

Work Experience

150 hours of professional practice placement with children aged  0- 2 years 8 months, and 2 years 8 months – 6 years.

Career Opportunities

There are employment opportunities for graduates of the programme as Early Years Teachers and Room Leaders


This course will prepare graduates for a profession which requires a strong commitment to lifelong learning and continuous professional development to meet the dynamic and evolving nature of both the ELC context and demands of professional practice in Early Learning and Care settings.  Graduates who achieve the required standard may progress to further studies in:

  • DCU: DCOO1, Early Childhood Education
  • MIE: CM020, Early Childhood Education
  • TU Blanchardstown: BN118 BA (Honours) Early Childhood Care & Education
  • NUIM: MH801, Early Childhood Teaching and Learning (Part-time)
  • NCI: BA (Honours) Early Childhood Education and Care (Advanced Entry)