Early Childhood Care & Education with Special Needs


This is a one year full-time course designed to provide students with the knowledge, practical skills and qualifications required to pursue a career caring for children, particularly children with additional needs. The course is suitable for both school leavers and experienced or mature students seeking a formal qualification.

Progression and Career Options:

Successful graduates can opt to go directly into the world of work in schools, crèches and residential settings as Special Needs Assistants. The qualification also allows graduates to work in nonspecial needs settings as Early Childhood Care & Education Practitioners. Graduates may opt to continue to QQI level 6 within DIFE or progress to Degree courses within Institutes of Technology and Universaties Nationwide.

Student Testimonial:

 'The Childcare with Special Needs course in DIFE has given me more than what is required to work in the Special Needs Sector. I am confident in the standards I have been trained to adhere to and have the confidence to raise the bar in any new work environment. I am currently working full-time as an SNA in a primary school and loving it!'- Mary Mc Carthy (past student)


Early Childhood Care & Education with Special Needs

Course Code:


Course Content

  • Child Development
  • Early Childhood Education & Play
  • Child Health & Well Being
  • Early Care and Education Practice
  • Creative Arts for Early Childhood
  • Children with Additional Needs
  • Understanding Special Needs
  • Manual Handling
  • Occupational First Aid
  • Communications
  • Work Experience


QQI Level 5 Certificate in Early Childhood Care & Education