Education Options


Level 5 / Level 6

This course/programme prepares students to work with young children aged 0 – 6 in a variety of childcare settings. The award will provide participants with skills, knowledge and competence to work as a childcare professional within the childcare and early education sector.

Upcoming Changes to Childcare Qualifications

The Advanced Certificate in Early Learning and Care (Level 6) and Certificate in Early Learning and Care (Level 5) will replace the Level 6 and Level 5 Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) award from August 2023. The ECCE awards at Level 5 and 6 will still be recognised qualifications for childcare by the Department of Children, Equality, Diversity, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).

The graphic below details the deactivation timeline for the ECCE award.

At this time, it is advisable that anyone who has partially completed their certification in the ECCE Level 5 or 6 award should contact Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board (KCETB) Adult Education Guidance Service as detailed below to discuss the options available to them in completing their award in advance of the award being deactivated in 2023.

Kilkenny: 056 776448 email:

Carlow: 059 9133123  email :

CE Scheme

Since 2013 there is a CE Childcare Training and Development Programme for CE participants who wish to pursue a career in childcare.  It is a 3-year programme of formal learning and work experience leading to an NFQ Level 5 or 6 qualification in early childhood care and education.

Carlow Early Years Training Scheme can be contacted on 059-9134996.


Level 7

From September 2022, this level 7 will be a three-year programme. This part time programme, which is 50% funded by Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet, is designed for practitioners or those working in the sector who wish to upskill.

This programme will run two evenings per week and approximately 6 Saturdays during the academic year.

Please see the attached documents including an FAQ and the Application form.

Childcare FAQ

For more information you can contact Carlow Kilkenny Skillnet on 059 9132152 or

Level 8

IT Carlow also offer a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Education & Care and a Higher Diploma of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Care.

The overall aim of the programme is to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and competencies required to provide care and education for young children (0-6 years) in a range of Early Years Settings. The general aim is to develop early childhood professionals who have a specific expertise and a specialised knowledge base, competent to deliver and manage quality services to children and families. 

Level 9

IT Carlow also offer a Masters of Arts in Leadership in Early Years Education and Care.

This programme will prepare students and current practitioners for leadership and management roles in the operation of early childhood education services and related public policy.