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

Institute of Technology, Carlow  in partnership with Carlow and Kilkenny County Childcare Committees will be offering a Level 7 Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education and Care starting in Carlow (at IT Carlow) in September 2020.

This Bachelor of Arts in Applied Early Childhood Education and Care programme which is part funded by Carlow-Kilkenny Skillnet and is designed for those who hold a FULL QQI Level 6 major award in childcare and who are working full-time in the sector with at least 3 years’ full time experience.

Applications for Skillnet funding for 2020/2021 are now closed.

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.