6M2007 Early Childhood Care and Education
Major Award in Childcare

Major Award in Early Childhood Education/Childcare. What level should I do?

Do I need to study Early Childhood Education and Childcare at Level 5 before Level 6?

This is a very interesting question. It is important to have the answer to so that you can choose the course that is right for you.

Minimum Qualification or Room Leader Qualification?

If you wish to work as a practitioner in the early childhood care and education sector, then you are required under current legislation to hold a minimum of a Level 5 Major Award in Childcare. With the Level 5 qualification you can work in a registered early childhood care and education or childcare setting.  However, if you wish to work in a supervisory role as an ECCE room leader, then you will need to obtain a Level 6 Major Award Childcare.  

Do I need to complete the Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Education and Childcare before I start the Level 6 course?

QQI Level 5 is the equivalent of the Leaving Certificate in the Republic of Ireland. Therefore if you do not hold a Leaving Certificate or another QQI Level 5 qualification, you will need to do the Level 5 course before doing the Level 6 course.

If you have already completed the Leaving Certificate or another QQI Level 5 qualification or above, then you can enrol directly onto the Level 6 childcare course.

Will I miss out on content by just doing the Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Education and Childcare?

In short, no. In fact, as the Level 6 Major Award syllabus is more advanced, it may be of more benefit to you, and your workplace.

On both courses you will cover the Aistear Curriculum and Síolta Quality Framework. There are some modules with the same titles at both levels, such as Child Development. The main difference is that at Level 6 you will delve deeper into each subject. Therefore, you will not miss out on any important content from the Level 5 course. Because at Level 6 you will cover all of it and more in greater detail!

The modules at both Level 5 and Level 6 cover everything you need to know for a rewarding career as an early childhood professional/childcare practitioner working in the early childhood care and education sector in Ireland.

What about my employment prospects from gaining a Major Award in Early Childhood Education and Childcare?

If you want to work with the younger age groups or after school children you can obtain employment with the Level 5.

However, if you want to work with the preschool age/ECCE children or if you wish to be a supervisor or ECCE room leader or perhaps an owner of an ECCE service, you will need to complete Level 6.

You can also work as an AIM support worker in a preschool/ECCE room with the Level 5 qualification.

What is an AIM support worker?

This is a qualified childcare practitioner who provides support and assistance to the children and staff  in an preschool/ECCE setting where there is a child with additional needs attending.

What Forus Training recommends:

Enrol in our Level 6 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education, if you hold a Leaving Cert or any Level 5 Major Award and want to work in an ECCE/preschool setting, as a supervisor/room leader or indeed, if you wish to open your own ECCE preschool.

Enrol in our Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education, if you do not hold a Leaving Cert or any Level 5 Major Award and wish to work in the baby/wobbler/toddler/after school room or as an assistant childcare practitioner in an ECCE/preschool room.

Once you complete the Level 5 Major Award in Childcare you may then progress to Level 6 Childcare course. Following completion of the Level 6 Major Award , you can further progress to higher education in a University or Institute of Technology.

If you’re still unsure or have any questions, please contact us.